Twentieth Century Fox
June 12, 1963
This is a classic movie that I am surprised it took me so long to see. I was given the collector edition for Christmas a couple years ago but just got to it recently. I think the length kind of kept me away from it for awhile.
This is a SUPER long movie – it took me 4 sittings to watch the whole thing because I couldn’t do it all at once. I saw the first half all at once, but the second half required more sittings. In terms of content, I found the part before the intermission (I told you it was long, it had a placard saying “intermission”!) to be the most interesting. The first half is mostly about Cleopatra’s interaction/romance with Caesar while the second half is focused on her relationship with Marc Antony. I think my issue with the second half was with the acting – which I will get into a little later. My favorite scene had to be when Cleopatra comes into Rome – there was so much fanfare and it was beautiful. Everything in this film looked great!
I thought that Elizabeth Taylor did a good job as Cleopatra. Her style was great. She was basically everything that I expected from her in this role. I have always been a Rex Harrison fan (watched the original Doctor Doolittle over and over again as a child and loved him in My Fair Lady). I thought that Harrison was wonderful as Caesar – even if the British accent was a little out of place. I honestly did not care of Richard Burton as Marc Antony or Roddy McDowall as Octavian. I felt like all that these two did was whine and Antony had no spine. This is exactly the opposite of how I envision Antony and therefore did not fit for me. Basically once the plot of the story turned to Antony I became disinterested.
Overall this was a beautiful film and very evocative of the period despite my dissatisfaction with some of the acting. Well worth the watch.
Since I posted the trailer yesterday during Caught on Tape: Cleopatra, I thought I would post a clip from my favorite scene, Cleopatra’s entrance into Rome.
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