In 1963, this colossal and opulent $60 million spectacular was epic in every sense of the word -- an epic investment, an epic in the annals of Hollywood gossip, and, ultimately, an epic flop that nearly dragged 20th Century Fox down the Nile along with Cleopatra's barge. Handsomely mounted by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who replaced Rouben Mamoulian as director after six days of shooting), the drama follows the eighteen tumultuous years that led to the founding of the Roman Empire. Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) meets up with Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and plans to lure Caesar to her boudoir in order to forge an alliance with Rome so that she may hold on to her Egyptian empire. When Caesar is stabbed to death in the Roman Senate, Cleopatra is left without an ally, and Egypt is up for grabs. When Roman general Mark Antony (Richard Burton) comes along, she seduces him in order to make him over into her new protector. But, under the charms of Cleopatra, Mark Antony is reduced from a an awesome and dominating general to a sniveling, drunken wimp. At the Battle of Actium, Mark Antony is defeated and Cleopatra withdraws her troops, dooming Mark Antony and his army. With Egypt in peril, Antony and Cleopatra, the doomed lovers, meet each other for the last time, as the enemy forces close in.~Paul Brenner
Audio Commentary by Chris Mankiewicz, Tom Mankiewicz, Martin Landau and Jack Brodsky
I definitely loved this movie in the past but when Ive seen it on special @Best Buy on blue ray it was a must grab! The picture quality and sound effects were simply amazing! This definitely has my 5 star rating Especially when its almost a 4hr movie on 2 dvds♡
Joseph L. Mankiewicz's "Cleopatra" was a massive box-office failure when it was released. It is a typical embodiment of Hollywood, at that time, producing grand-scale, grandiose "historical epics" that white-washed so many of the stories it portrayed -- i.e. biblical movies, this film, et al. Caucasian actors speaking with American and British accents playing Middle Eastern, Egyptian, and so on characters. It seems pretty silly. But darn it, the movies are all so ENTERTAINING. "Cleopatra" is certainly no exception. It's epic, visually stunning, brilliantly designed entertainment. And Liz is her usual commanding self as the queen. The role was tailor-made for her. And the movie is certainly very, very long -- a major test of patience for anyone with short attention spans or who gets fidgety easily. But it's just such an excellent movie.
Have always loved watching the chemistry between Burton and Taylor. Elizabeth Taylor will ALWAYS be one of the most beautiful actresses ever! A very good adaptation and still my favorite take on the classic.
If you love old movies from the early 60's with a grand scale that has yet to be matched in a dramatic love story this is the movie for you. Magnificent Ancient Egyptian costume styles were enough to make this a worth while purchase for me. 3 Hours of them!
I watched this movie when I was a kid, really amazing production and really great in details. Now they made it in Blu-ray and I had to have it. A great classic, they don't make movies with this quality anymore.