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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Blu Ray
One of my favorite films. I've been watching this movie since i was a kid and must have seen it a hundred times, but never like this. A Stunning transfer on to blu ray, It's sharp and crisp, the colours are stunning as technicolor should be, its like watching the film for the first time again. You can see so much detail, things you may not of noticed in previous...
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by Alice in Wonderland

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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 2 Disc edition is from a very bad print. Avoid.
I bought the 2 Disc edition because Cleopatra (Special Edition) [DVD] [1963] was unavailable at the time. This 2 Disc edition is most definitely not from a restored print, or even a good quality print. It looks *horrible*. The picture ranges from soft and smeared through very noisy to pebble dashed. The less noisy parts are terribly soft and smeared, with a...
Published on 6 April 2011 by Julian Hughes


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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Blu Ray, 30 Jan 2012
One of my favorite films. I've been watching this movie since i was a kid and must have seen it a hundred times, but never like this. A Stunning transfer on to blu ray, It's sharp and crisp, the colours are stunning as technicolor should be, its like watching the film for the first time again. You can see so much detail, things you may not of noticed in previous cinema/dvd/video screenings, so much going on in the back ground that I never took note of before. You can see the intricate detail of the costumes and how well the sets look, even the painted backdrops stand out now, and it finally does justice to how beautiful Elizabeth Taylor looks.
Most of the extras are the same as the last DVD release, though there is quite an interesting new Fox Legacy documentary. Nice packaging and outer sleeve with new art work on cover. A booklet would have been nice for the 50th anniversary edition, but all you get is the 2 discs.
Well worth the price for the picture quality alone.
Recommended.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 2 Disc edition is from a very bad print. Avoid., 6 April 2011
By 
Julian Hughes (Hove) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cleopatra [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
I bought the 2 Disc edition because Cleopatra (Special Edition) [DVD] [1963] was unavailable at the time. This 2 Disc edition is most definitely not from a restored print, or even a good quality print. It looks *horrible*. The picture ranges from soft and smeared through very noisy to pebble dashed. The less noisy parts are terribly soft and smeared, with a cartoonish lack of texture,resolution and detail. The colours are somewhat faded. Sometimes there are horrible edge artefacts where outlines have a ghost outline (or did they have Ready Brek in ancient Egypt?). I've seen some of the restored edition and it looks superb. This two disc edition stinks, as does the fact that Amazon's description and praise of the picture quality is misleading because it refers to a completely different and better edition. I'll be asking for a refund on the basis of that misdescription. If you want to enjoy this film then spend the extra on the restored edition and avoid this 2 disc set.

edit: I now have the three disc special edition and it is the same edition after all. I have no idea how the amazon reviewer had the gall to write "this handsome three-disc set spreads the restored four-hour print of the movie across two discs. The anamorphic widescreen print looks quite magnificent..." This is simply untrue. I can only believe it is not an honest review but simply a regurgitation of the studio press release. The picture looks *horrible* and is clearly and obviously not any kind of restoration but in fact just a patchwork of cuts from different prints, each with their own problems with some of those being severe, well below the quality of even a decent VHS tape. Meanwhile The blu-ray edition *is* from an actually restored edition, its picture quality is flawless, perfect and astonishing and it *would* merit the kind of praise that has been lavished on this pig in a poke.

If amazon offer a DVD movie review it should be more than simply recycling out the vendor press pack. Actually watching the movie would seem to be the minimum requirement, followed by an honest and factual representation of the picture and sound quality, the included extras etc. It's deceitful to take people's money on the back of official reviews that thoroughly misrepresent the product.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD Print Quality Simply Outstanding, 17 Nov 2005
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This review is from: Cleopatra (3 Disc Special Edition) [1963] [DVD] (DVD)
For a film that is now more than forty years old this DVD is simply outstanding. The film itself is contained on two DVDs and the extra features can be found on the third DVD. But if you view the film you will feel that this has just been produced, such is the quality. Sure the special effects are not there, so obvious in modern films like the 2004 epic Troy, but everything is done on a grand scale. The film remains the most expensive film ever made and you can understand why. Whereas today many of the grand sets would be done on computers, 20th Century Fox had to produce everything as a real set. So when you see Cleopatra's grand entrance to Rome this is the real deal, not pixels. The colours are vivid, the sound very powerful and the acting of the two main stars - Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton - is highly charged. Impressive historical entertainment.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical epic or simple love story?, 29 Mar 2010
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D. Arrowsmith "David Arrowsmith" (Coventry UK) - See all my reviews
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This film was derided by the critics as overblown, too expensive to produce and a relative failure. It is however a film that has lodged itself in our collective memories as one of the best purely entertaining films ever made.
Watching it on the theatre screen one is almost overwhelmed by the great set piece scenes of excessive splendour and the battle at sea (Actium). Watching at home the impact of these scenes is somewhat diminished and one is able to concentrate more on the private scenes between Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. I am not sure whether they were married at the time or between marriages but the crackling atmosphere created between them makes the hairs stand up at times.
The sets were wonderful, the colour resplendent and the dialogue intelligent, a class above some of the epics of the same period.
This is one of those films every movie buff should have in their collection as it will bear repeated viewings. There is something new to notice every time it is watched.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On Your Knees!, 9 May 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cleopatra (3 Disc Special Edition) [1963] [DVD] (DVD)
On your knees! It's something that Cleopatra her self shouts at a stunned Mark Antony, but it could quite literally have been shouted by many in Hollywood at 20th Century Fox as their gargantuan epic threatened to sink them. The trials and tribulations surrounding the film are stuff of legend, all of which makes for a film itself, but I will not go over old ground, there's a couple of great documentaries available out there and they are required viewing. They also help to explain somewhat why Cleopatra is not the genre defining classic many hoped it would be. Truth is is that no film could have lived up to the expectation that surrounded Cleopatra, as it is, with flaws and all, it's still a enjoyably lavish spectacle, harking back to a time when grandiose meant something. In fact a time of film making we could do with in today's day and age of retreads, remakes and soppy sequels.

Split in to two narratives, that of Caesar & Cleopatra and Antony & Cleopatra, film basically deals with how Rome sought to conquer Egypt as Cleopatra clung on grimly in power and affairs of the heart. A cast of quality thespians stand straight backed and deliver the plot machinations, set to the backdrop of magnificent ornate sets, period costuming, piercing photography and a pulse pounding musical score. Quite simply the grandeur and scope is stunning in its presentation. Not all the dialogue works, and there are passages of exchanges that come off as undernourished; while soap operatics take a hold in the second part of the film. Yet for the historical epic fan there is just too much that is great for this to be ignored or considered a stinker. From Rex Harrison - Elizabeth Taylor - Richard Burton & Roddy McDowall, to the opulence seeping from every pore, Cleopatra is a joyous eye opening experience. Yes! Flaws and all. 8/10
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleopatra [Blu-ray] [1963] it is [Region Free], 23 Mar 2012
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I do not usually write reviews.Excellent transfer!Although not as spectacular as modern releases.I am so glad to see the respect this movie deserves.I purchased from amazon.co.uk. I received within a week and had no problems playing the Blu-ray in Canada.CLEOPATRA gets a wonderful 50th Anniversary release and fans will find it worth the wait.

Last, but not least, the UK blu-ray is region free (A,B and C). amazon.co.uk. is an excellent source.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very fun and lush, if riddled with laughable historical inaccuracies, 11 Mar 2012
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
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This restored version - the 4-hour release that was immediately rejected by theatres as impossible to screen 2x per night, forcing more than an hour to be cut - is an absolute delight for the eyes. From the first minutes when Caesar appears, I was utterly riveted by the splashy spectacle, the evocation of a vastly different time, and acting that can only be called first rate. The only thing that threw me off, as a Roman history nut, was the ridiculous historical inaccuracies that could only be made by an ignoramus.

On the positive side, the drama is a complete success: Cleopatra, the last Ptolemaic queen of Egypt, uses her feminine attributes and fine mind to advance a dream of staying in power and perhaps even create a new empire based on Roman power. To do so, she seduces first Julius Caesar, who restores her to power in a civil war with her brother-husband, and bears him a son. Once Julius dies, she then seduces his lieutenant, Marc Anthony, eventually losing to the wily Octavian, Caesar's adopted son. In the process, she genuinely falls in love with Anthony, perhaps for the first time in her life. They die together by their own hand. Surely, this is one of the greatest dramas of power and love in the history of mankind and it is the basis of this film, executed to perfection.

The costumes, sets, and images of sex and power are wonderfully vivid, which the bluray version (I have the British one that is available for $10 in Europe) brings with the sharpest of clarity. Beyond the actors (whose salaries were the highest ever paid), these props are the reason for the cost of the film. In my opinion, they were worth every penny as there are few film experiences that could compete.

Finally, there is the acting. Taylor, just after her 1950s prime, is at her best as a politically savvy seductress, aging and scrambling to maintain her nation and heir in their positions of prominence. I found her convincing, astonishingly beautiful, and realistically shrewd. In my view, Rex Harrison believably projects the universal genius of Julius Caesar, whose calm in the face of overwhelming odds and ever-changing political calculus are implacable and unpredictable. McDowall is also a good Octavian, who he plays as a sleazy, effeminate conniver, ultimately perhaps the smartest of all. The only principle I feel does not give a subtle and interesting performance is Burton, whose Anthony, while flawed as a love-starved drunk, is blandly formulaic. The supporting characters, such as Agrippa, are not all that distinguished, with the exception of the courtier Hugh Cronin.

On the negative side, the script really needed a scholar as consultant. Given that Mankiewicz was re-writing the script while directing, this was perhaps impossible. It is a pity, because while most of the blooper inaccuracies do not detract seriously from the storyline, they were constant irritants kind of like a buzzing mosquito at night. For example, Agrippa appears as a middle-aged lieutenant of Julius Caesar, when the person with whom he rose to prominence was Octavian, his coeval. But there are bigger problems as well. Just prior to his assassination, Julius is shown as demanding that he be named King by the Senate, which he was far too subtle ever to do in life. This fundamentally distorts his character, making him more of a simple tyrant than a master manipulator whose end game, if he had one, will never be known due to his premature death. Finally, there are many political complexities that are left uncovered, such as Anthony's massive and unprecedented failure to conquer Parthia. Anthony also had many implacable enemies, such as Cicero, whose right hand he had nailed to the Senate doorway during the civil war that followed Caesar's assassination. I know I sound like a pedant, but given the lavishness of the production, why not have made it more accurate?

With all of its flaws, I still recommend this warmly. The extras are also excellent, such as the documentary of the chaos of its production.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLU RAY - A VISUAL FEAST, 7 Feb 2012
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I'm sure most of you are familiar with the story and probably the film .
if not GOOGLE away , i'm not going to talk about the film in that respect other than to say it has some great actors and some good scenes with a decent script and the most amazing sets and wardrobe to ever grace a camera lens.
LETS TALK BLU-RAY .... 1080p .... 2 BD50 dual layer discs
aspect is 2.20:1 and sound is DTS 5.1
this appears to be the 4 hr version previously released as a special on 3 dvds .
the picture transfer is amazing considering the film is nearly 40 years old . the sets and costumes really shine through . colours are vibrant and detail is good , cloth textures are notable and jewellery shines and glitters . Taylors trachyoptomy scar is visible in most scenes and every hair , mole and wrinkle is visible even through the heavy make-up .. the sets are so colourfull and detailed i was often looking more at the scenery and clothing than the actors . it was like watching a new film .
the sound is mostly stereo and works well . the surround sound is very subtle and used during the more exciting scenes . for those with decent sound systems the depth and spacial imaging of sounds and effects are noticibly better than the dvd . the voices however are clear but at loud moments (shouting) the sound can be harsh and slightly distorted .( more to do with the recording at the time than the processing for the bluray). the orchestra seems to have been processed , it is clear and rich in sound and uses all channels of the 5.1 surround.
highly recommend this blu ray .. only Bladerunner impresses me more as a bluray title . although i have yet to purchase Lord of the Rings.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Flawed Masterpiece, 25 April 2002
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This review is from: Cleopatra (3 Disc Special Edition) [1963] [DVD] (DVD)
This revamped DVD of Twentieth Century Fox's 1963 folly is superb in virtually every aspect. The four hour version of the film is split between two discs with a third providing a hugely entertaining two hour documentary about the various machinations of the production exposing an almost unbelievable story of excess and stupidity. But far from being a $44,000,000 white elephant, Cleopatra comes across as a film of immense grace and style. A veritable plague of British character actors support the three principals and give solid performances throughout. Rex Harrison as Julius Caesar steals the acting honours in this cut with Richard Burton's Mark Anthony coming a poor second. However, the personality of Elizabeth Taylor dominates the film, with her astonishing beauty enhanced by some stunningly camp costumes and wigs. Her acting is adequate and occasionally very good, but her visual presence is everything and it is difficult to imagine any other actress at that time carrying it off. What we are seeing here is, of course, a heavily cut version of what was originally intended by the director Joe Mankiewicz. The two hours of missing footage is continuously referred to throughout the documentary and the running commentary and there must come a time when these deleted scenes are restored so that the original vision can be appreciated for the first time. One or two of these scenes are shown in the documentary along with a number taken from the aborted Pinewood version of the film. Alex North's score is simply brilliant, and the DVD captures every nuance perfectly. Compared to the crudity of 'Gladiator', Cleopatra appears positively poetic. A literate script, glorious music and costumes and real three-dimensional sets (even if the Arch of Constantine is wrongly referred to repeatedly as the Arch of Titus and wasn't built until more than three hundred years after the events of the film). My only complaint is that the end credits were not included and although presented in widescreen, there still appears to be some cropping at the edges. Never can it be said more appropriately of any film: 'They don't make them like that anymore'.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Was this well done of your lady?", 16 Nov 2002
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cleopatra [VHS] [1963] (VHS Tape)
Forget the naysayers; Cleopatra is pure entertainment. Every one of its 246 minutes is filled with opulence and excitement. Elizabeth Taylor stars as the Egyptian queen who used her feminie wiles to make powerful alliances with both Ceasar (Rex Harrison) and Marc Antony (Richard Burton). She bore Ceasar's son, but lost everything in her devotion of Antony.
The grand scale of the film makes it a pleasure to watch, and not a guilty pleasure. Cleopatra's entrance into Rome is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. No expense was spared in receating the glory of Rome and Egypt. The film is well-acted and well-written. Harrison's Ceasar is majestic and cunning, and Taylor and Burton still burn up the screen even after all these years. They don't make lavish spectacles like this anymore; enjoy it!
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Cleopatra (3 Disc Special Edition) [1963] [DVD]
Cleopatra (3 Disc Special Edition) [1963] [DVD] by Rouben Mamoulian (DVD - 2002)
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