Cleopatra

1934

Biography / Drama / History / War

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 66%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 3492

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 05, 2021 at 01:34 PM

Cast

John Carradine as Roman Citizen / Party Guest / Soldier
David Niven as Slave
Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
931.64 MB
978*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S 4 / 5
1.69 GB
1456*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S 0 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by marcin_kukuczka 9 / 10

Pure Cecil B DeMille! Great, lavish production that has stood a test of time!

Since I am a fan of epics, particularly ancient and medieval ones, I had been looking for this movie for a long time. The name of Cecil B DeMille is probably most associated with his magnificent remake of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) where he made a total use of his imagination, where, as one of the movie critics said, "lavish sets and grandeur reach its peak." There are also people who love his silent THE KING OF KINGS (1927). DeMille's films do not seem much dated. With these expectations, I bought CLEOPATRA (1934), sat in my chair on one of the frosty evenings and started to watch. The movie involved me so much that after 20 minutes, I had to see it at least to the half, at the half, I admit an undeniable need for seeing it till the end.

The story of Cleopatra has been put on screen several times. From Helen Gardner in 1912, Theda Bara in 1917 (presumed lost) to Claudette Colbert here. The impersonation of Cleopatra was later followed by the great performances of Vivien Leigh in CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA (1945) and, of course, Liz Taylor in ultra long CLEOPATRA by Joseph L Mankiewicz, which had been the only Cleopatra film I had seen before this one. From the very beginning of watching DeMille's film, I was astonished by significant virtues of this high camp production, but realized fully that this film cannot be compared to any other film about Cleopatra.

HUMOR: Maybe this point will seem strange to mention at first, but what mostly struck me in this film was how excellent combination of history and humor it is. The script is full of very amusing contexts that lead a viewer to a wonderful atmosphere. "Together we could conquer the world," says Cleopatra to Caesar on one moonlit night, to which the Roman leader replies: "Nice of you to include me!" "I am dressed to allure you, Antony," says Cleopatra to her new Roman lover. Or after the moment when the half naked girls dance at the ox, Cleopatra says to Mark: "I wish you could see your face now. I'd have more chance with a stone wall." I know that some of these may seem dated, but they make a perfect sense in the scenes alone.

GREAT CAST: Claudette Colbert, though better known for playing in comedies, impersonated two historical figures on screen twice at DeMille's: Poppaea and Cleopatra. While her Roman empress was an object of lust and desire, her queen of the Nile is full of elegance and magnificence. In all these sophisticated fabulous costumes and gowns, she plays Cleopatra so well that she should have won an Oscar for this role. Unfortunately, Cleopatra lost to Ellie Andrews in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. The other great star of the film is Henry Wilcoxon who plays Mark Antony. He gives a marvelous, one of the best performances ever seen in historical epics. Pride, irony, love, and honor are presented by him so memorably that you will never forget this performance. I dare claim that he is a better Antony than Richard Burton in CLEOPATRA (1963). The third star of the film, in my opinion, is not Warren William as Caesar, but C.Aubrey Smith as a Roman soldier Enobarbus. I saw him in several roles, including DeMille's THE CRUSADES (1935), but here, he does an extraordinary job combining his role with honor, pride and wit. However, feminists... be careful! There are slogans said by Enobarbus that are unacceptable! Ian Keith, a mainstay of historical epics, does not give a very remarkable performance as Octavian. He is not bad; however, most historians imagine Octavian differently. Warren William is not bad as Caesar but indeed not the best.

SPECTACULAR MOMENTS: The whole movie is filled with DeMillean splendor. Scene by scene leaves a gorgeous experience for the fans of lavish sets. But three scenes are a must see: first, the royal barge which is elegantly setting off when Cleopatra and Antony are making love (flower petals, dancing girls, enormous sets); second, the gowns and art direction when Cleopatra awaits Caesar on the day of his tragic death (every movement she makes in a gorgeous gown is worth admiration); third, the final shot, one of the most memorable death scenes in cinema ever (this one is hard to describe, it must be seen)! Moreover, Cleopatra's entrance to Rome, which was the moment that the movie with Liz Taylor boasted so much, is more natural in DeMille's. Here, we get the most realistic picture of Roman streets instead of a huge Sphynx statue and rather a parade than an entrance.

HISTORY: The movie is not a very good historical lesson. In this respect, Liz Taylor version supplies you with more knowledge of history. Nevertheless, we all must take into account two aspects: the period the film was made in (the 1930s required more of entertainment than of facts) and by whom it was made. It was Cecil B DeMille, a spectacle lover of crowds, gowns, peacocks, leopards, and lavish sets (late Zygmunt Kaluzynski, a Polish movie critic, once joked that when DeMille was making THE KING OF KINGS, others feared that he would entail 24 Apostles because 12 is not spectacular enough). Therefore, it is important to watch this film as a part of Cecil DeMille.

All in all, it is absolutely right to say that it is not TEN COMMANDMENTS, KING OF KINGS, or SIGN OF THE CROSS that define DeMille most. These are absolutely gorgeous films in all respect. However, the film that gives the picture of his soul and talent is CLEOPATRA. It is, however, not only an unforgettable experience of DeMille's fans, but for all fans of historical epics, Hollywood elite of the 1930s, and love stories. It is simply a must see and a must release on DVD! Though more than 70 years old, some films never fade... it is, undeniably, CLEOPATRA. 9/10

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 7 / 10

DeMille's baths were a very real contribution to the sexuality of the screen...

Of the many screen incarnations of the romantically foolish, politically shrewd Egyptian queen, this was Cecil B. DeMille's... His Victorian puritan's approach to the sex and scandals surrounding Cleopatra's throne reflected her continuing appeal to the imagination - even if that imagination were really a childhood fantasy of adult desires...

Authenticity, except as decorative embroidery, took second place to his desire to capture her timeless appeal on film... Facts and figures may vary, fashions and desirable objects may be ever changing, but sex, sin and punishment make up a triangle of eternal allure...

Travis Banton's wardrobe transformed Claudette Colbert from a flirtatious star into a splendid, seductive woman with fanciful art direction... The film had the opulence, the barbarity, the epic sweep and shocking decadence of certain books and paintings that were at the heart of so much of this film...

The French-born, American-raised Claudette Colbert made three films with Cecil B. DeMille, but felt more comfortable in contemporary comedies, for one of which, 'It Happened One Night,' she won an Oscar, and in all of which she identified herself with the most American of American secretaries, sweethearts, wives and mothers...

Colbert's popularity lasted well into the fifties... but her magic rests with 'Cleopatra'.

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 8 / 10

Cleopatra (1934) ***1/2

I wasn't looking forward to this one as much as THE SIGN OF THE CROSS (considered by many as De Mille's best film) but I must say that I was just as impressed by it. The pacing here is smoother, and we do get to see some wonderful action montages towards the end as opposed to the rather middling arena stuff of CROSS.

Claudette Colbert, too gets a lot more coverage this time around and certainly clinches the title role far better than the positively annoying Elizabeth Taylor in the ill-fated 1963 version. However, the male leads here are less interesting, for lack of a better word: Henry Wilcoxon and Warren William are adequate but, naturally, no match for the thespian skills of Richard Burton and Rex Harrison respectively.

The supporting cast is notable (Ian Keith, Irving Pichel, Joseph Schildkraut, C. Aubrey Smith) and the film features a number of great scenes: Caesar's murder (partly filmed in a POV shot), following which is a delicious jibe at Antony's famous oratory during Caesar's funeral as envisioned by Shakespeare; the long - and justly celebrated - barge sequence, in which Antony (intent on teaching Cleopatra, whom he blames for Caesar's death, a lesson) ends up being completely won over by her wiles; Cleopatra's own death scene is simply but most effectively filmed.

Like in THE SIGN OF THE CROSS, the film's production values are truly awe-inspiring and, in fact, Victor Milner was awarded with a well-deserved Oscar for his lush cinematography here. Needless to say, De Mille's take on Cleopatra, despite feeling hurried since it runs for less than half its length, is a more satisfying viewing experience than the stultifyingly dull, overblown and misguided (if still worthwhile and not quite as catastrophic as the history books would have it) later version.

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