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 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 3:13 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Interesting that this thread continues to have some life.


I'll add another Burton acting gem to the pile: "The Prince of Players". Wonderful film and performance.

 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 3:28 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

A couple of irritants in the film:

Someone refers to Sosigenes as Sisogenes.

Taylor refers to Isis as Ises (long "e") at least once, but as Isis the rest of the time.

 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 4:54 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

It really is $7.99 on the Varese website. The world has gone stark raving bonkers. I bought this CD as soon as it appeared on the scene, god knows how many years ago. It has a great frontispiece which, in my view, facilitates gravitating towards it rather than being pushed away. I also bought the Tsunami before the Varese and paid a heck of a lot more for it, with it's gold painted title placed on the exterior of the jewel case.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 5:01 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

A couple of irritants in the film:

Someone refers to Sosigenes as Sisogenes.

Taylor refers to Isis as Ises (long "e") at least once, but as Isis the rest of the time.


Roddy Mcdowall pronounces it Sosaginees in that great speech he has before the Senate.

 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 5:07 PM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)

Taylor refers to Isis as Ises (long "e") at least once, but as Isis the rest of the time.


I-see ! big grin


London / European Premiere....Dominion, Tottenham Court Road, July 31st, 1963.
(You can see the Centerpoint Tower in the center background,, just starting it’s journey upwards.)




The booking form for August 1st onwards ..... (You see, this was an EVENT ! )



 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 5:20 PM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

Bluray was first experience with this film about a year ago.

I cheated though and saw the wonderful "Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood" making of first. I don't know why but this makes older films easier to approach. I did this with GONE WITH THE WIND as well.

As for the film....its fucking GORGEOUS but that isn't enough although it nearly got me there to really liking it but I found it to be OK. It really was like nothing I'd ever seen especially because of how REAL it all was. The supporting cast was spectacular [and really, what a cast!] and the three stars all shined well enough but Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison are well...awful at generating heat or passion or romance for one another. I never ONCE bought the chemistry at all and it was even more jarring how ALIVE they were in other parts of the film.

Am I the only one who saw this or do I need to visit it again?

Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor were amazing in THE MALTESE FALCON and Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw were blistering in THE GETAWAY but these three didn't do it for me.

 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 5:41 PM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

A couple of irritants in the film:

Someone refers to Sosigenes as Sisogenes.


I would pronounce it as soe-SI(short "i")-gen-eeze, but:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ6CMN6VmDs

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 7:03 PM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

As for the film....its fucking GORGEOUS

Well, I don't think that activity occured in films in 1963, and it probably isn't even necessary in a post in 2014.

As for Cleo, the biggest (of many) problems with the film is the advance publicity the Taylor/Burton affair generated. I don't mean expectations; I mean editing. The story is fascinating, and the romance angle (there probably wasn't that much historically) is about the least interesting take on it. Vastly more interesting is the way it split the Republic, which perhaps it what Cleo intended all along. I'm sure without the Burton/Taylor scandal the film would have been edited much more along political/military lines and been the better for it. In Oz it was edited just a few days before the premiere to a blueprint from Fox USA, and I'll warrant some great battle scenes went on the cutting room floor in favour of lingering shots of Liz on massage tables, Liz in the bath, Liz and Dick face sucking etc.

Despite being the titular star, Liz should have been minimized. She was never a great actress (that voice!), and at this level, with dialogue occasionally striving for Shakespearian dignity, she was utterly out of her depth. In fact she reminds me now of Jason Robards in the 1970 Julius Caesar, and that's a genuine insult.

 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 7:37 PM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

... and the score of course is beyond words.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2014 - 10:34 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Dear REAL -

One of the contemporary reviews -- was it TIME Magazine? -- remarked on the lack of ardor and excitement in the clinches between Liz and Burton, adding words to the effect of, "Maybe because they were tired from too much rehearsing."

 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2014 - 3:10 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

A couple of irritants in the film:

Someone refers to Sosigenes as Sisogenes.


I would pronounce it as soe-SI(short "i")-gen-eeze, but:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ6CMN6VmDs





I wouldn't worry about the video Greek, George. I see it's spelt:

'S?s??????'.

The guy on the vid is modern Greek, pronouncing a MODERN name and he says 'Sossyjennees', like those dogs that can be trained to say 'sausages'.

But in 1st Century Greek, the gamma was always a hard 'G' and the 'eta' was like 'AY', not 'EE' though the omega was indeed a long 'o'.

So it's really 'Sowsiggenase' (with the 'ase' as in 'case', and a hard G as in goat).

They're always going to Anglicise these names in a script. In 'Troy' people kept using 'correct' pronunciation and Menelaus became 'Mennylouse' (which is correct but absurd), and Priam became 'Preeam' (which is also correct but absurd). But if there's an old long-standing theatrical pronunciation in English, then that's what's needed for an English-language film. For years (and indeed in Robert Wise's film earlier) actors said 'Menelayus' and 'Pryam', not correct but good in English. Obviously some Germans on 'Troy' didn't see it that way. I'm surprised O'Toole didn't sort them out.


P.S. Here we go again: no Greek script on the pages. Sorry about the above ????? thing.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 12, 2014 - 5:52 PM   
 By:   RM Eastman   (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.




Me thinks the Blu ray is superb looking!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2014 - 1:03 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

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

Me thinks the Blu ray is superb looking!


Too cold & processed looking for me, but I seem to be in the minority there.

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2014 - 4:38 AM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

Dear REAL -

One of the contemporary reviews -- was it TIME Magazine? -- remarked on the lack of ardor and excitement in the clinches between Liz and Burton, adding words to the effect of, "Maybe because they were tired from too much rehearsing."


LOL

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2014 - 6:32 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

I think the film's reception was a significant chapter in the evolution of journalistic movie reviewing. After all the hullabaloo, the critical verdict was eagerly awaited. Bosley Crowther's notice in the NY Times sounded a positive note: "FORGET the fantastic sum that "Cleopatra" is reported to have cost. Forget the length of time it took to make it and all the tattle of troubles they had, including the behavior of two of its spotlighted stars. The memorable thing about this picture, which opened last night at the Rivoli, is that it is a surpassing entertainment, one of the great epic films of our day." Of course there were lots of similar notices from the low-grade hack reviewers who abounded in those days. This was to be expected. Newspapers feared that the movie companies might pull valuable advertising if their reviewers dumped on important studio product. It took an upstart writer in the rival NY Herald Tribune, Judith Crist, to tell a different tale: "I must report that this film is at best a major disappointment, at worst an extravagant exercise in tedium. . . . All is monumental – but the people are not. The mountain of notoriety has produced a mouse." I can't recall whether Fox did in fact retaliate against the Tribune. Within a few years there were plenty of other young Turks, like Pauline Kael, who were unafraid to speak truth to power.

Was Crowther sincere at the time or had he withered under pressure? I don't know. But it did seem curious at the end of the year when "one of the great epic films of our day" did not rank among his ten best of the year.

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2014 - 7:26 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Crist also decimated "The Sound of Music", as did Bosley Crowther and Pauline Kael. It cost Kael dearly: She was fired from her newspaper because of readership dissatisfaction.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2014 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

I always thought Crist's review of CLEOPATRA was a career move, an intentional effort to bring herself into the spotlight, make people aware of her. Interesting, because in later years, she reputedly reversed her opinion of CLEOPATRA, saying it wasn't as bad as she'd originally announced.

With her review, in effect, Crist was presenting herself as the mouse, standing up against the elephant, Fox and the established studios. The review was actually more about her, and less about the movie.

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2014 - 8:46 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)


I can't recall whether Fox did in fact retaliate against the Tribune. Within a few years there were plenty of other young Turks, like Pauline Kael, who were unafraid to speak truth to power.


Fox retaliated against a critic on one of the London newspapers following his review of the film. If I recall correctly, the critic (it may have been Alexander Walker) had referred to the film dismissively as just another "flick" which Fox took great exception to and they stopped sending him preview invitations.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2014 - 2:05 AM   
 By:   General Achillas   (Member)

Since there are so many devotees of the film to be found here, I thought I'd post a photo I just took of the Ring of Pompey the Great, the device invented by Joe Mankiewicz that ties the whole dramatic tapestry together and one of the cornerstones of my film memorabilia collection (and, before you ask, no, I don't also have Pompey's pickled head):



But I do also have a couple of other interesting items. On the left, a keepsake given those who attended "Cleopatra"s premiere at the UA Rivoli in Times Square (the obverse mimics an ancient Roman coin with the image of Caesar, complete with a nonsensical faux Latin inscription, and on the right a token presented to the film's attendees at Britain's Denham Theatre:

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2014 - 6:04 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

British pictures have tended toward picture postcard scenery and more languid dialogue scenes, and sometimes rather pointlessly convoluted romantic plot lines set against classical music. Lean's best picture is surely Lawrence of Arabia but some of his others pictures are utterly languid, beautiful but dull.

In later years Hitchcock pictures got rather dull and calculated, and exhibited more than ever his peculiar points of view on women. The highpoint for Hitchcock was North by Northwest, and it was all downhill from there. Then also Vertigo is probably the single most over-appreciated movie of all time, it is stultifying boring and odd.

 
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