This film condenses almost two decades of Cleopatra’s life into it’s four hour run time. In 48 BC, Julius Caesar arrives in Rome to mediate between the Egyptian queen and her co-ruling brother. Cleopatra persuades Caesar to help her regain the throne as the sole monarch. In the process, the two begin an affair which produces a son. The birth of Caesarion encourages Cleopatra in her ideas of building a world empire.
Eventually she travels to Rome where she is very unpopular with the people due to her influence with Caesar. She meets Marc Antony, the general of Caesar’s army, who helps her return to Egypt after Caesar’s assassination.
Even though Caesar named Octavian as his successor, the Roman Republic is split among Octavian, Lepidus and Marc Antony. Octavian and Marc Antony eventually neutralize Lepidus’ power. Their power struggle forces Marc Antony to turn to Egypt for support where he meets Cleopatra again. The two fall in love and begin an affair which is ultimately the downfall of them both. The film ends with their deaths in 30 BC.
For my full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.
2 Replies to “Classic Film Review – Cleopatra (1963)”
I don’t disagree with your CLEOPATRA review, at ALL—though I HAVE sat through it, maybe, half a dozen times. Half the length would, indeed, improve it, immensely. My biggest complaint is that Taylor didn’t really seem to be acting, but rather playing HERSELF, for the entire four(+) hours!!! …The only saving grace, to ME, was its phenomenal music score (and thanks to CD’s, one can enjoy THAT without the movie)! 😉
It’s nice that we agree, but sad what we are agreeing about when there was so much potential for this movie to be good. Elizabeth Taylor could really act, but unfortunately she didn’t do much of that here. Thanks for the tip on the score. I didn’t pay much attention to it, but will check it out. Also, thanks so much for your visit and your feedback.