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 Posted:   Aug 9, 2014 - 4:40 PM   
 By:   joec   (Member)

Varese has the CLEOPATRA set back in Stock for only $7.99.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2014 - 5:33 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Varese has the CLEOPATRA set back in Stock for only $7.99.

Amazing value, $4 a disc (plus p&p). I've just about given up on the film, the last two times I've seen it I looked at part one only, couldn't face part two, & I hate the look of the Blu-ray. I love the score, & listen to it regularly, it's the only Alex North soundtrack I like.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2014 - 5:44 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

How many did they make?

http://www.varesesarabande.com/servlet/the-503/Cleopatra/Detail

 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2014 - 5:59 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Cleopatra was probably not the great beauty that Liz Taylor presented.

You're right:





Nodody knows what she looked like, despite a few descriptions by historians of the time. But that bust is probably not quite contemporary. If it IS Cleo, she's shown stylised as a classical Greek beauty. That's what they liked back then. All Greek Aphrodites look like that.

But try administering a Photoshop nose-powdering. The nose is discoloured and looks like she has a cold or a boozer's red nose. Pallour that out and actually she's not bad. Reduce the classical nose and she IS beautiful. She was a Greek really y'know, and she sure as hell never wore all that absurd quasi-designer Egyptian gear that Liz did. Biologically, Liz wouldn't have cut it in those cut-throat days. Much of her charm was the camera's tricks.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 9, 2014 - 11:59 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

That bust is positively pulchritudinous compared to the ancient coin I've seen showing her in profile: she looks like the wicked witch of the west.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 12:01 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

"Amazing value, $4 a disc (plus p&p). I've just about given up on the film, the last two times I've seen it I looked at part one only, couldn't face part two, & I hate the look of the Blu-ray. I love the score, & listen to it regularly, it's the only Alex North soundtrack I like."

CinemaScore, I have to ask: Do you actively dislike all the others, or are you simply indifferent to them?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 12:48 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)



CinemaScore, I have to ask: Do you actively dislike all the others, or are you simply indifferent to them?


Na, I think rap is the only music I actively dislike. North just does nothing for me...except Cleopatra.

I looked at my old R1 DVD of Land Of The Pharaohs last night (another riotous Saturday night!), a lot more fun than Cleopatra.

Cleopatra must have been a bit of alright, just look at the men who fell for her, & lost everything!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 1:00 AM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

CLEOPATRA has personal resonance for me.

I was 14 when it was first released, and devoted to ancient spectacles. (I ended up getting my B.A. in Classical Civilization, studying Latin for 9 years!) I loved to see the recreated vistas of the ancient world, and loved the music scores that accompanied them. (It took me a long time to finally catch up with QUO VADIS and THE ROBE, both of which had been released when I was too young to see them.)

Consequently, I was avid to see the much publicized CLEOPATRA, and discussed it with my family at the time. We lived in Pittsburgh, where CLEOPATRA wasn't scheduled to play until several weeks after I was to be sent off to yet another homoerotic summer camp, this time on the shore of Maine.

Because of that, and because I was mostly downcast due to a broken friendship at the time, my father told my mother he was going to do something to cheer me up. So he took off a day from his job as Executive VP of a major steel corporation, and flew me to from Pittsburgh to New York City, to see the first matinee of the roadshow CLEOPATRA, at the Rivoli Theatre in New York.

Magnificent!

I had been to New York before, but never in warm weather, and I was quite taken by the multiple flags and banners waving from the sides of buildings.

Needless to say, I loved the movie, and still do. Yes, I know all its drawbacks. I believe it would have been better as the 2 proposed 3-hr. films Mankiewicz originally planned. But Zanuck needed to capitalize on the "Liz and Dick" publicity, and wouldn't let him. Consequently, I understand a lot of Burton's scenes were excised. It has also been said that Burton may have looked uncomfortable because he was wearing costumes originally designed for Stephen Boyd, the original casting for Antony. (Also, contrary to some of the opinions here, I found Burton to be a brilliant actor, chiefly because I saw him onstage in EQUUS, in which his work was a revelation. Amazing awareness! Acted rings around Anthony Hopkins, who originated the role, but who seemed two-dimensional compared to Burton. I saw both of them, and I know.)

I don't think I have ever cared about any of that, then or now. I was entranced with the pomp and vision of the whole thing. And I loved North's score; I still think it's the best thing he's ever done.

I'm still bowled over by that splendid panoramic shot of Alexandria in its heyday! Unbelievable!

And the entry into Rome, though much truncated from what it was originally supposed to be, is still a pageant of spectacle.

Seeing it now, I'm impressed by the way Mankiewicz was able to interweave the politics of Rome and Ptolemaic Egypt into a dramatic presentation. No easy task, especially when you realize just what was going on. (He also snipped quite a few details in the process, like Antony's attempted invasion of the Parthian Empire, or, to put it mildly, the several other children he and Cleopatra had together.) And I love the Mankiewicz wit: Antony says, "I have a fondness of almost all Greek things," to which Cleopatra responds, "As an almost all Greek thing, I am flattered." Or the resonance of poor Octavia, referring to a nearby clock, saying, "It's not nearly as practical as our Roman ones; the Greeks have such a weakness for beauty," fully understanding her new husband's preoccupation.

The film worked for me and works for me. It always will.

Pauline Kael wrote in "I Lost It at the Movies," that some films are inextricably linked to feelings she had at the time she originally saw them. I can believe that. CLEOPATRA is forever entwined by that kind act of my father's. Before he died, I wrote him a letter of gratitude, in which, among other things, I mentioned it. My mother told me he was using it as his bookmark in the John Buchan book he was reading in his final days.

So, everyone, there it is.

I can never see CLEOPATRA without remembering his kindness to me, at a time when I needed it.

I hope each of you has similar experiences of your own.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 2:02 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

My favorite style inconsistecy in the film is in the scene in which Rex Harrison is trying to teach his son the quality of mercy. The child actor hired was obviously a local Italian boy, with a thick Italian accent. Rex would say, "I pardon you," and gesture to the boy, who would repeat after him, waving his sceptre, "Ay parrr-doan yoo." One almost wishes it were Henry Higgins instead of Julius Caesar tutoring the future emperor.


I recall the scene, but not the circumstances. Wasn't the kid meant to be an Egyptian speaker like his mother, learning his father's Roman/latin?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 3:26 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

My favorite style inconsistecy in the film is in the scene in which Rex Harrison is trying to teach his son the quality of mercy. The child actor hired was obviously a local Italian boy, with a thick Italian accent. Rex would say, "I pardon you," and gesture to the boy, who would repeat after him, waving his sceptre, "Ay parrr-doan yoo." One almost wishes it were Henry Higgins instead of Julius Caesar tutoring the future emperor.


I recall the scene, but not the circumstances. Wasn't the kid meant to be an Egyptian speaker like his mother, learning his father's Roman/latin?


Oh so that's why he sounded like his mother, Elizabeth Taylor smile

They just used a local lad with a thick accent. I'd think they would have dubbed him, but it never happened with all the chaos of the post production.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 3:41 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Hilarious. Not only the language but the scrutiny of his 'subjects' had to be gauged properly in the light of circumstance. I thought the lad said, "I parrr-doh yu!"

Daddy should have been pleased his egyptian son had such an innate sense of his better half.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 3:41 AM   
 By:   Loverozsa   (Member)

I continue to enjoy the film but can't really identify with any of the characters other than
Caesar, and he is killed off before the end of act one. In many scenes, Taylor was out of her league. However, the sets, costumes, and epic set pieces (eg., Cleopatra's Barge, The Battle Of
Actium) are still excellent.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 4:32 AM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

CLEOPATRA wasn't scheduled to play until several weeks after I was to be sent off to yet another homoerotic summer camp.

Hmm, that sounds interesting. Perhaps you could fill us in a little more. smile

Seriously though, a lovely reminiscence. Shows how so often in our lives movies are far more than that, and the old saying, 'It's just a movie' is so off the mark.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 8:50 AM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

My favorite style inconsistecy in the film is in the scene in which Rex Harrison is trying to teach his son the quality of mercy. The child actor hired was obviously a local Italian boy, with a thick Italian accent. Rex would say, "I pardon you," and gesture to the boy, who would repeat after him, waving his sceptre, "Ay parrr-doan yoo." One almost wishes it were Henry Higgins instead of Julius Caesar tutoring the future emperor.


I recall the scene, but not the circumstances. Wasn't the kid meant to be an Egyptian speaker like his mother, learning his father's Roman/latin?



Actually, young Caesarion probably spoke Greek at court. Egyptian was the common language, but the Ptolemies were all derived, sometimes in brother-and-sister marriages, from Alexander's general, Ptolemy, who wisely stole the body of the great man, and ensconced it in Egypt, his chosen area of command. (There's a marvelous novel by Mary Renault, "Funeral Games," which delineates the power struggles after Alexander's death.)

And Cleopatra, herself, the Seventh of that name in her lineage, reputedly spoke, I can't recall which, either 7 or 9 languages, and was charming in all of them, the one aspect of her personality that everyone seems to have agreed upon.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 9:41 AM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

FYI: There's a website which details all the material originally meant to be in CLEOPATRA.
Go to Google, enter The Restored Cleopatra, and it will take you to the listing. Click on that, then read the whole thing. Even has color photos of deleted scenes. Beware, though, it's quite lengthy...

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 11:26 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Dear CinemaScope,

(With apologies for getting your name wrong!)

Second the motion on rap. Thanks for answering my nosy question.

Next nosy question: Do you think you could please put your finger on why North's CLEOPATRA does it for you, whereas the others don't? Does it have something the others don't have? (Or, is it perhaps free of something you dislike in his other scores?)

Thanks again,

Preston

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Dear CinemaScope,

(With apologies for getting your name wrong!)

Second the motion on rap. Thanks for answering my nosy question.

Next nosy question: Do you think you could please put your finger on why North's CLEOPATRA does it for you, whereas the others don't? Does it have something the others don't have? (Or, is it perhaps free of something you dislike in his other scores?)

Thanks again,

Preston


Ah, Preston, we're talking about the mysteries of the brain here, who knows? I had a scratchy old gatefold LP (bought s/hand), which I quite liked. I'd given up hope of it being released on CD, & then one day in HMV saw the Varese double CD, bought it & just fell in love with it. I much prefer it to Spartacus. If Varese ever came to their senses & released the 70min stereo Spartacus on a single CD I'd certainly buy it, but if they don't I'm not too bothered.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2014 - 6:52 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Dear CinemaScope,

(May I call you Cinema for short?)

Well, much obliged, and I guess I can't trouble you any further because, as you said, we're now in "mysteries of the brain" territory. Please don't feel offended if I say that for me, "mystery" is the operative word, here, simply because I love SPARTACUS so much that it's a mystery to me why you don't like it at least as much as CLEOPATRA. Oh well, at least you appreciate the beauties of North's CLEOPATRA, and that's certainly something on which we both can agree.

(Somehow a scene just flashed into my mind of Octavian's legions arriving at the palace before the Egyptian queen has had a chance to fulfill her asp-iration. The Roman demands, "Which one of you dames is Cleopatra?" Whereupon Cleopatra rises to identify herself -- you can see where this is going -- but before she can utter a word, one loyal handmaiden after another rises to declare, "I'm Cleopatra!" "I'm Cleopatra!" "No, I'm Cleopatra!"...)

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 2:56 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Dear CinemaScope,

(May I call you Cinema for short?)

Well, much obliged, and I guess I can't trouble you any further because, as you said, we're now in "mysteries of the brain" territory. Please don't feel offended if I say that for me, "mystery" is the operative word, here, simply because I love SPARTACUS so much that it's a mystery to me why you don't like it at least as much as CLEOPATRA.


Well it's certainly a mystery to me why the rest of the world doesn't seem to like the stuff I like. What's wrong with them?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 9:52 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Go figure.

 
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