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Cleopatra (1934)

Cleopatra. Feature film. (1934, 100 mins) IMDB

...a familiar story...

T

he rise and fall of Julius Caesar, Marc Antony and Cleopatra are so familiar that it sucks any suspense from a story about them and this is a story about them. It's a combination of Shakespeare's two plays: JULIUS CEASAR and ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.

Unlike DeMille's THE SIGN OF THE CROSS, Colbert takes centre stage in this film. She's the title star after all.

Cleopatra welcomes a conquering Julius Caesar to Egypt. I guess there's not enough screen time to show his four plus years in Egypt or the fact they had a child together, but you're not watching a film to learn about history. A film will always be short on details.

When Caesar returns to Rome, he's murdered and a power struggle ensues between Marc Antony and Octavian. Marc flees to Egypt to be with Cleopatra. When Octavian comes with his men, the gig is up for Cleopatra and Marc. The end of imperial rule in Egypt has come.

Filled with large sets and elaborate costumes, the film stands out for its day when so many film were shot in either the barren openness of the West or inside a few rooms of a house on a sound stage.

Posted 2009/04/10 at 20h14ET in Movie Commentary.

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