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Cleopatra - 75th Anniversary Edition (1934)

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon, Joseph Schildkraut, Ian Keith
  • Directors: Cecil B. DeMille
  • Writers: Bartlett Cormack, Vincent Lawrence, Waldemar Young
  • Producers: Cecil B. DeMille
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 15 2013
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,296 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra, one of the most spectacular motion pictures ever to hit the silver screen, is now available in a new 75th Anniversary Edition DVD. Nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, the historical epic stars Claudette Colbert as the cunning Queen of the Nile who, wielding her beauty like a weapon, lures Roman leaders Julius Caesar (Warren William) and Marc Antony (Henry Wilcoxon) into her web of royal deception and betrayal. Featuring a digitally remastered picture and all-new bonus features, Cleopatra 75th Anniversary Edition is a stunning tribute to one of the most breathtaking motion pictures ever made.

Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on July 31 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Cecil B. DeMille approached Claudette Colbert for playing the title role in this fantasia/extravaganza on the life of Queen of the Nile. Obviously, the eccentric, egotistical DeMille took his pictures too seriously & they almost always have "camp quality" to them - which, incidentally, make them a lot of fun to watch! The pretentious dialogue is nigh hilarious at times (audiences laughed in 1934 as well!) Like most of DeMille"s biggest pictures, CLEOPATRA didn't exactly please the pious critics, but the public ate it up! The picture going public marveled at it's lavish 'kitsch' quality and savoured it's expensive excesses (i.e. when Cleo seduces Marc Antony, there are writhing and dancing females everywhere clad in seaweed; one is whipped into naked submission by a giant slave!) Colbert's versatility is astonishing in all actuality. In the year this was filmed (1934), she had played the role of Bea in the ultrasentimental IMITATION OF LIFE and won herself an AA for falling in love with Gable in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. These are three very different roles and Colbert did each of them magnificently. Colbert never takes her interpretation of Cleo TOO seriously and she cleverly delivers her lines with tongue-in-cheek flair. Travis Banton created the lavishly daring costumes and although this flick is not exactly a history teachers' ideal, at least it didn't bore everyone to tears like the 1963 Liz Taylor epic.
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Format: VHS Tape
So exclaims Claudette Colbert's Cleopatra as she presses an asp to her bosom at the conclusion of this great film. Of course, the sentiment was Dryden's first, as he chose to call his play about Antony and Cleopatra's consuming relationship, "All for Love", but that's okay no harm done. This is a real vamp of a Cleo, with Colbert sauntering around to arouse the interest and protection of Warren William's Caesar. She falls hard for him, and thinks that Henry Wilcoxin's Antony is no great shakes at first. But after she loses her man on the fateful Ides of March, Cleo seduces Antony to retain her throne with his protection. That is a really insightful scene, as we see Wilcoxin in his cups, besotted with Colbert and falling on her neck with kisses while she looks straight ahead, emotionally unavailable--is she calculating, frigid, disgusted with herself? The interpretation is up to you. Much better than the Liz and Dick version, this Cleopatra is sexy without being obvious and the viewer really does come away saddened by this tragedy of a woman who could find love twice but not keep it either time.
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Format: VHS Tape
For the collector this version of Cleopatra is unique and of course adds also to the Cecil collection. It is filmed in black and white. The actors barely into talkies over emotionalize every chance they get. Cleo had to cram the rubber snake to her bosom with a stabbing force. There are a few Shakespeare quotes. And the sets are from the 30's. That may be because it was made in 1934. However I expected King Kong to come out from behind the curtain at any time.
After getting over the shock of the accents and costumes and gesticulations, it was fun to watch Cleo vamping Anthony. You felt like saying, "Look out Anthony!" And the battle scenes must have taken the lions share of the budget. So try to make it past the beginning and you may wonder why it is over so soon.
I was compelled to write this review on the Ides of March.
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Format: VHS Tape
Firstly I must say that even though the approach they take is very different I really love and appreciate BOTH versions of "Cleopatra". It seems to be inevitable that the two are endlessly compared as to their general worth but in reality they are very different while essentially telling the same story.
I found Claudette Colbert to be an excellent Cleopatra and while she is most famous for portraying sophisticated modern women in "Cleopatra" and her other epic production from that time, "The Sign of the Cross" she captures beautifully the feel of that far off time in history. Claudette was an extremely capable actress equally adept at performing in comedy, drama and spectacle. Here she has a role of a lifetime and it is one of the roles she is justly remembered most for.
Contrary to what a lot of reviewers always state I find Cecil B DeMille's work wonderful to watch. I guess being a history buff I just love the times most of his productions are set in.I think that a great deal of thought and care has gone into all his productions...no more obvious than in his 1934 version of "Cleopatra"
The film positvely glows with one exotic scene after another. Cleopatra's seduction of Marc Antony on her barge has to be seen to be believed!! Surely the queen's real barge was never so lavish!! Her entry into Rome as part of Ceasar's entourage while well done can't possibly compare to the incredibly lavish entry scene in Elizabeth Taylor's version unfortunately.
As a history exercise it stays close to what real history says happened but never once does the entertainment let up. The settings , costumnes, music used are pure DeMille and are thus a sight for the eye.
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