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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Movie Review: Cleopatra

Twentieth Century Fox
192 mins.
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.

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I am like you, I've always wanted to watch this movie, but never got around to it! Thanks for the review!!!

  2. Thanks for posting the clip -- I watched while eating my lunch -- talk about spectacle! So dramatic!

  3. Saw this movie a while back, I should see it again, thanks for sharing.

  4. Allison - it is a really good movie, but certainly something you can watch in small doses.

    Audra - glad I could help you enjoy your lunch!

  5. I love this movie and have watched it many times. I watched it again right after Elizabeth died...as sort of a tribute to her. I so loved her, I actually cried when she died. =O(

  6. Michelle - that would be a great tribute to her.


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