- Format: NTSC
- Studio: Fox Video
- Release Date: Feb 7 2006
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000C8Q8W4
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,983 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
The Music of the film is the BEST. Till this Day, I don't know why the Oscars didn't give Cleopatra the award. Of course, Oscars didn't give Gone with the Wind, Gladiator, and lots of other film's beautiful scores the Oscar, it's weird.
How do I know about all about Cleopatra? I have ALL the books, interviews, and even the full movie shooting script of this movie, I am the biggest fan! If you have seen the movie, you'll realize that Cleopatra was usually unhappy and tense. But there is a happy side of her, for example, there was a scene where Cleopatra, Antony and her son with Caesar were in the garden, Cleopatra watching them play swords. Then Caesarian, the son, stubbed Antony with his wooden sword and Antony cried out in "pain", and Caesarian suddenly went crying, saying "don't die, don't die!" Antony suddenly comes back to life and tickles Caesarian, then drags Cleopatra into them and they were all laughing and rolling on the floor... it was so happy, and that's one of the many sides of Cleopatra that's been cut off.
In the four-hour version, we first see Cleopatra dumped out of a carpet. That was NEVER intended to be the first scene we see Cleopatra. From the script I learned that there was a whole story of Cleopatra outside Alexandria, and she and the others planned to meet Caesar and how to sneak her in. Just after they got to the Palace, some soldiers almost caught them and the maid had to lure the guards away... it was thrilling to read the pages of the script! There are sooo much to saying about what Cleopatra should have been, but sadly, no one expect FOX has the missing footage, and they are the best scenes of the movie (some scenes were so humorous that I laughed out loud!).
In the late 70's, 20th Century FOX called a recording session to record the lines of the movie so they can restore it, since the sound elements were missing. But it was called off at the last minute. But the three-and-half hours of missing film footage was NEVER lost! With today's technology, they can totally restore the film back, including the sound. They also have the missing part of the unused scores, but why doesn't FOX, after making a two hour documentary about the film, restore it? No one knows! Movies like "A Star is Born", "Lawrence of Arabia", "Sparticus", and many other classic movies has been successfully restored and loved by many. Why not Cleopatra? I am writing just to let you know the truth about the movie, and hopefully, if more people know maybe FOX will restore the film to the intended way. In a Late interview with four-time Oscar winner Joseph L Mankiewicz, the director and screenwriter of the movie, when the subject Cleopatra went up, he literately cried (on TV!). He said he wanted the film to be perfect that he bit his nails until they were bleeding that he had to wear gloves when he was writing the script... He called Cleopatra his "butchered masterpiece". But however, it's still one of the best movies out there! Totally worth buying!!
FOX: PLEASE RESTORE CLEOPATRA BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE, BEFORE THE FILM ROTS OR A STUDIO FIRE AND BURNS THEM TO DUST, LIKE FOX'S 1917 VERSION OF CLEOPATRA!
1). A unified vision or point of view, extending from the development of plot and characters to the physical look of the production itself.
2). A literate and compelling script that could play irrespective of the opulence of its surroundings.
3). Four leading actors who instinctively understand how to work their material, making the seams between performer and character invisbile to the spectator.
#s 1 & 2 were supplied by director / screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz, #3 by Taylor, Burton, Harrison, and McDowell.
This is a film that easily bears repeated viewings, and, again, thanks to Mankiewicz and his actors, functions simultaneously on a variety of levels. For example, there are the love stories:
Caesar & Cleopatra / Antony & Cleopatra.
The tender scenes are written and played almost poetically, but there are also political manouverings going on as each uses the other to attain or augment their power. This is made even more fascinating in that these are obviously intelligent, witty, charming, beautiful, ruthless, and influential people whose calculations shape nations and Empires.
Given all of the above, the movie also looks like the enormous sum it cost, has a brilliant score by Alex North, an accomplished supporting cast (in particular, Martin Landau, Pamela Brown, Hume Cronan, Cesare Danova), and spectacular "set pieces" that though fully integrated into the plot, almost play as "movies within the movie" - Cleopatra's Entry into Rome, Cleopatra's Barge & Banquet, the Battle of Actium.
In sum, Mankiewicz and cast succeed in bringing off the big "world stage" themes critical to this genre of historical film. Their greatest achievement however lies in making an audience understand that these ancient archetypes were human beings trying to bear the weight of both history and their emotions.