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cleopatra 1934 poster 2This version of CLEOPATRA certainly qualifies, at least for me, as an overlooked movie. The Elizabeth Taylor take as well. Never had seen either of them until Turner Classic ran the first version recently. Produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, the script was by Waldemar Young and Vincent Lawrence and was from an adaptation of historical material by Bartlett Cormack.

Claudette Colbert was a very attractive Cleopatra that spent a great deal of the film scantily clad(The Hays Code had just taken effect ans DeMille got away with more risque stuff OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthan later productions). Warren William was Julius Caesar, though his part in the film ended about forty minutes in with his brutal murder at the hands of people he thought friends, most especially of course Brutus. Henry Wilcoxon had the role of Marc Anthony.

I don’t know how accurate the film is, but all the elements we know are here. Cleopatra’s bonding with Caesar for his protection during her struggles with her brother Ptolemy over control of Egypt, Caesar’s murder, Marc Antony falling under her charms after he was supposed to deliver her in chains to Rome, the war between Octavian and him over Egypt, the 4433299603483195_1qTTCw3U_bfinal defeat, and the two suicides of the lovers, Marc Antony stabbing himself, thinking she’d betrayed him, her using the asp after finding him dying.

It was a glorious spectacle all through with elaborate parties thrown a number of times with all sorts of entertainment going on simultaneously. it had to have taken a large bit of planning to get everything coordinated.

Quite enjoyed this one. Maybe I should seek out the modern film now.


For more overlooked movies, as always on Tuesdays, visit Todd Mason over at his blog, SWEET FREEDOM.