Cleopatra (50th Anniversary): Blu-ray Review










The Movie:

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, this film follows the eighteen tumultuous years of Cleopatra’s (Elizabeth Taylor) life that include the romance between her and Mark Antony ( Richard Burton) and eventually led to the founding of the Roman Empire.

I love revisiting classics like this. Especially when they remaster the picture and sound. Seeing as this is the first time this film is on blu-ray now was as good of a time than any to really take in the beauty of it. This film has been regarded as the most expensive flop in film history but I think more than enough time has passed that we can look beyond that. Many know the story of Cleopatra and Mark Antony but younger generations may not have had the chance to experience this film. With a running time of 4 hours and 11 minutes you really shouldn’t let that discourage you from seeing this work of art. The sets are amazingly constructed and the scale of them were basically unheard of in that time. When you see the look of the Roman Forum your mind will be blown. There are so many costumes in the film and each are so gorgeously crafted. Any fashion buff will drool over the intricacies of each piece. The other big controversy that came from this film was the eventual relationship of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. As you watch the film you can see that there was undeniable chemistry between the two and that made for some unforgettable scenes. If you’re in the mood to take a trip down memory lane or if you’re discovering it for the first time then this would be the way to see it.

Special Features:

Cleopatra Through The Ages: A Cultural History – An interesting feature that compares the film version of Cleopatra to that of those in various stories throughout history.

Cleopatra’s Missing Footage – A look at many different versions of the film that existed before they settled on the longest version possible that they could put together with the archival footage that was available to them. At one point the film had an 8hr running time after it was originally made.

Fox Movie Channel Presents: Fox Legacy With Tom Rothman – A 30 minute feature that is as close to a “Making Of” as we’re gonna get about the film and numerous stories regarding it’s stars.

The Cleopatra Papers: A Private Correspondence – This was REALLY interesting! To read these personal letters between Jack Brodsky and Nathan Weiss really give you an idea what it was like to be in the middle of the chaos that was going on during the production of Cleopatra. This was a fantastic read.

Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood – A spot on 2 hour documentary on how Cleopatra was made and how it changed the film industry so much and how things were done after the fact.

The Fourth Star Of Cleopatra – A behind the scenes feature that looks to be from the film’s original release.

Cleopatra is available NOW on Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment


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