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41 of 43 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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51 of 55 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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41 of 43 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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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD Print Quality Simply Outstanding, 17 Nov. 2005
By 
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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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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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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical epic or simple love story?, 29 Mar. 2010
By 
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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51 of 55 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding, 4 April 2011
For all it's faults, I've loved Cleopatra ever since I first bought the video in 1989. This DVD version however, is exceptional - partly due to the extended length. But more so, because of the extraordinary documentary it includes. Having owned the DVD set for more than 2 years, last night was the first time I'd bothered to watch the documentary - and I'd expected something fluffy without much depth. Instead, what I saw took my breath away. For anyone who loves this film the documentary about it's creation will be completely riveting. Right from the idea first being thrown in the air, for 20th Century Fox to re-make one of it's old hits to achieve a box office boom - at a time when the great studio was on the point of total ruin - to Cleopatra's final release and the regrets of Joe Mankewicz - who had risked his own health and life to complete it.

The story begins with descriptions of how desperate Fox had become after a run of films that bombed - and then Monroe's final disastrous screen attempt in Something's Got to Give. Her death is not referred to, but, apart from the grief, it must have been a blow upon a bruise to an already demoralised studio. Fox's then-chief Sypros Skouras was about to sell its back-lot and, by the end of the making of Cleopatra, everything in the studio had shut down including the "commissary" where the stars and crew usually ate - save for a few offices. Shareholders in New York held the balance of power and Skouras and later, Zanuk, had to shuttle back and forth between there and Rome pleading with them to keep the production rolling, like gamblers who keep on rolling the dice because they no longer have anything left to lose.

Fox's original creator, Daryl Zanuk, had earlier resigned and gone off to make his own independent films - although, from Europe, he was carefully watching his successor, Spyros Skouras's attempts to revive Fox. The tale involves great Hollywood figures - Zanuk, Skouras, Walter Wanger - whose idea it was to re-make Cleopatra on a grand scale; and Joe Mankiewicz, brought in later just to make a script changes, at Taylor's recommendation whose courage, determination and stamina one can only bow in awe to - who, when the production was going out of control and the studio was running into debt on a scale one would think insane, never lost faith in the project and kept a punishing 24 hour schedule, fulled by injections of God-knows-what. This extraordinary man actually re-wrote the entire film - at night after filming was over for the day; directed and effectively produced and even personally cut, two separate films of over three hours each - one dealing with Caesar - the other with Mark Anthony. Infuriatingly - but possibly justifiably at the time - Zanuk, who finally took back his old studio from the exhausted Skouras, and forced the production through to it's end - made Mankiewicz cut his film down to just over 3 hours; the object being to get the film into the cinemas as fast as possible, before the Burton/Taylor romance fizzled out. In fact they could easily have left it on the burn and released it as two films very profitably - for the Burton/Taylor love affair went viral with the press for a full decade, and never really let-up until Burton died. Mankiewicz went to his grave pleading with his family to try and ensure that the film was revived the way he had originally cut it - as the dual 6 hour film he'd originally intended.

The production history is known anyway. Taylor's ill heath - the rotten English weather that kept ruining the outdoor sets at Pinewood - the colossal waste even before the entire UK production was scrapped - and the original male stars - Peter Finch and Stephen Boyd - had abandoned the project pleading other commitments - all piled nightmares on nightmares for the Fox executives and shareholders. As the production shifted to Rome, with further lunatic extravagances, and excesses, the explosive scandal of Burton and Taylor's burgeoning love affair started as a desperately-kept secret, and ended up being the No. 1 selling point of the film - to it's lasting detriment. Stars who came to work for 10 weeks ended up staying 10 months - Mankiewicz joked that a Fox executive in Hong Kong taking 2 hookers to lunch would be charging it to the Cleopatra set; not far from the truth since there was no other Fox production running at the time - and the Cleopatra set was soaking up cash at a terrifying, near-unquantifable rate.

At the time Zanuk could not have foreseen the arrival of Videos and DVDs which created a whole new market for the film - but now 20th Century Fox are trying to track down all the missing parts to re-create the original film - which for any Cleopatra devotee will be bliss - and a fitting memorial to Mankiewicz; the man who gave so much of himself to see this great film off the blocks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great use of illustrations and information on Cleopatra, 4 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Cleopatra (Paperback)
The authors brought out a different side to Cleopatra and portrayed her as the brilliant, intelligent and beautiful women she was. With the use of her power she planned on joining the world under her Egyptian rule. It is full of information, yet it has a natural flow and easy to follow. It has a number of stories within the story telling her enjoyful, tragic life. It starts off with giving some information on her family background and slowing moving into her reighning years as Queen of Egypt. It also mentions her personal love life as well as family members, but not too in detail just enough to give you some kind of idea on her values and strength as a women. There are beautiful illustrations on each page that show you her lifestyle and her riches as a powerful Queen who was loved by many people. The language usage is easily understood and one doesn't seem to get lost in the text. It also has plenty of other useful information on other historical people and events that occured during her life time. This biography of Cleopatra is full of life and is sure to educate children. It is great for readers who are first learning of Cleopatra and the Egyptian form of ruling. Finally there is a great bibliography which could also be very helpful when researching a little bit further on this courageous and charmful ruler.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video, DVD and Now Bluray, 12 Feb. 2012
I do not usually write reviews - this is my first. But I had to after watching this movie on bluray. I already had the film on DVD and was pretty pleased with the picture even on my 50" TV. However the transfer of this great film is stunning and the soundtrack has also had a major revamp. In these days of 'flash bang wallop' films it is great to sit back and watch a film which looks as good as modern equivalents without the usual standard modern mediocrity. Or perhaps its just a case of getting older and enjoying films I watched as a child. Anyway if your a fan its a must buy.
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A GLORIOUS 'HOLLYWOOD' SPECTALE', 20 Dec. 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
A truly lavish presentation, the film made during the era's of the most revered 'Epic's' such as 'Ben Hur' 'Spartacus'
'The Ten Commandments' and 'El Cid' among them.
This perhaps the most expensive of it's day due to health issues that plagued 'Elizabeth Taylor' preventing filming,
the cast still had to be paid, the sets maintained, it's cost, around $44 million, a lot of money in the early 60's, though
it did in fact gross nearly $58 million in the U.S alone.
The story telling of the internal power struggle that existed in both the 'Roman' and 'Egyptian' empires, 'Rome' led by
'Caesar' (Rex Harrison) and 'Egypt' between brother 'Achillas' (John Doucette) and sister 'Cleopatra' (Elizabeth Taylor)
'Rome' a mighty power, 'Egypt' once so, but no longer the influence it once was.
'Rome' now seemingly with administrative influence over the affairs of 'Egypt' - 'Cleopatra' wanting the support of 'Rome'
to be sole ruler of 'Egypt'
Temptress 'Cleopatra' offers herself to 'Caesar' who in turn ensures her rule..
'Caesar' spends much time in 'Egypt' but needs to return to 'Rome' though loyal General 'Mark Anthony' (Richard Burton)
has seen to it that 'Rome' remains loyal to 'Caesar's'
Eventually after fighting two wars 'Caesar' does return to 'Rome' however he's yet to return back to his love in 'Alexandria'
and his young son 'Caesarian' for three long years.
'Cleopatra' decides to visit 'Rome' itself, making a glorious and lavish entrance with her son amid adoring crowds to greet
her.
'Caesar' seeks higher recognition from the Senate, that of both 'King and Emperor' which brings much unrest within the
walls of the senate, it is planned that 'Caesar's' ally 'Mark Anthony' is distracted whilst the Senator's commit their act of
treachery.
'Cleopatra' and her son return to 'Egypt' after 'Caesar's' death, she will now turn her scheming attention toward 'Marc Anthony'
to fulfil her ambitions, after 'Mark Anthony' brings justice to those that had killed his beloved 'Caesar' he could at that time
claimed sole power but chooses to divide the power, leaving 'Octavian' (Roddy McDowell) in 'Rome'
However 'Cleopatra' will weave her spell upon 'Mark Anthony' to become more ambitious, but, does he still command all the
Legions he once did.
The alliance between the two will put them at odds with 'Rome' with War inevitable, the romance between the two leading to
their demise, that of legends.
Perhaps stretching Historical fact some, the spectacle that is 'Cleopatra' unforgettable nevertheless (of course 'Roddy Mcdowell'
went on to play the role of 'Caligula')
The 251 minute presentation is spread over two discs with all the touches of yesteryear including the 'intro' and indeed the
'intermission' faithfully in tact.
The picture and sound upgrade for this lavish 1963 presentation is quite outstanding.
Special Features -
Disc One -
* Cleopatra through the ages - a cultural history
* Cleopatra's missing footage
* Fox Movie channel presents the legacy with Tom Rothman
* Commentary with - Chris Munkiewicz - Tom Munkiewicz - Martin Landau - Jack Brodsky
* The Cleopatra Papers - A private correspondence
Disc Two -
* Cleopatra - The Film that changed Hollywood
* The Fourth tar of Cleopatra
* The Movietone News
* Theatrical Trailers.
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Cleopatra [DVD] [1963]
Cleopatra [DVD] [1963] by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (DVD - 2010)
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