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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 March 2010
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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on 30 January 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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 October 2016
To those who have seen and re-seen that classic of television drama Rome Seasons one and two, this movie is a natural successor. Not only is the story in parallel, the facts are interpreted differently. For example for HBO Caesar becomes Dictator for life and this means tyranny. In Cleopatra he also is made Dictator for life but this is understood as an honouree position; his ‘dictats’ being reviewed always by the Roman Senate who decide if it should proceed.

Two things dominate this movie: both are on Cleopatra’s chest. They are political weapons. They command attention. When her love returns: a nipple through the chiffon. Proud. And the colour, wow the colour of this widescreen spectacle. I watched in 10ft projection and marvelled at the quality of the costumes, the details, the scenery. And that golden ship. Her entrance into Rome (another point missing in HBO) is absolutely stunning in its giant proportions. I’m sure Hilary Clinton fantasises on entering Washington in the same way. Men at her feet. At her mercy. The awesome power of a woman.

The link with the real life relationship between Taylor and Burton is never missed. The dialogue frequently echoing their turbulent, deep love. They were never divorced, they just re-married. The 1963 production showcases the very best of British screen acting. Showcased due to the theatrical dialogue they are blessed with reciting. Some great lines in here.

The first reel, sorry first disc, is all Rex Harrison as Caesar. Affable but tactically astute. Loving Cleopatra. So the contrast with the second disc works really well when turbulence prevails, when love overcomes intelligence. Battles begin. Who will have love as a master?

I can’t recommend this four hour screen-fest enough. It really is great. The acting is Big Screen acting, cinema filling, a ‘money on the screen’ movie. Dripping with opulence, raging emotions and wide-eyed spectacle. This blu ray is perfect reproduction of sound and vision. The Stars are Taylor and Burton. The left one and the right one.
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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
'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
'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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on 12 February 2015
An epic and classic movie...Liz Taylor is super hot & sexy here!
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on 8 November 2015
All went well
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on 6 April 2011
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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on 2 February 2012
Good news about the UK blu-ray of CLEOPATRA:

The double-disc set is a stunner, and no one waiting for this big one will be disappointed. It's glorious and looks to be mastered from the latest Todd-AO 70mm source. Colors are rich and detail and depth are superb. The DTS HD 6-track master offers up splendid fidelity and the original, discrete 4-track stems are offered as a Dolby-digital audio option.

The Overture, Entr'acte and Exit music are intact, but once again, the intermezzo music is misplaced at the end of the first disc. The distraction of this alteration isn't too bad since the second disc starts immediately with a continuation of the film as soon as it loads (there is not a pause for menu startup). All the musical interludes are played against a card displaying red velvet curtains, instead of a black screen as in the theatrical prints. The curtain cards worked for me because they actually look pretty cool.

I haven't watched the extras, but they are the same as the Fox DVD sets, along with the inclusion of some new material especially for the blu-ray. Extras are spread across both discs. There is one entitled CLEOPATRA'S Missing Footage - which should probably offer up the latest on the original 6-hour intent.

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).
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on 31 December 2003
Cleopatra is astounding on every level - the magnificent sets, the unique array of actors and, infamously, a production that almost cost 20th Century Fox its bankruptcy.
This superb 3 disc collectors edition restores Cleopatra to its original 4 hour 3 minute length, spread over 2 discs and shining with crystal perfection - both in picture and sound. A third disc is brimming with bonus material - including original theaterical trailers, still galleries and an amazing 2 hour documentary of the creation of the most important movie ever made.
Elizabeth Taylor is stunning as Cleopatra and, regardless of what you have read, she pulls off the role with ease - this is pure entertainment and a movie that will never be matched again. The biggest shame is that 2 hours worth of material is still lost - the directors intention was for 2 films running 3 hours long - totalling a 6 hour epic. However, lost footage found has been included in the documentary on disc 3 and you will feel a great uplift in seeing it. One day, the 6 hour film, as it was intented will be available, but until then, this 4 hour version is worth every second of your attention. This is a film that changed Hollywood forever and a film this good has never been seen since.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 16 November 2002
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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