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on 5 February 2018
I’ve seen this ‘Cleopatra’ twice now. It’s a lavish movie that rewards repeated viewing - with its beautiful art deco sets, attractive cast; and towards the end there’s a remarkable battle scene, with a mix of old stock footage, and scale models cut with Cecil B. DeMille’s customary deluge of extras.
There’s little Shakespearean poetry here - instead we get a less formal human drama (dare I say soap opera?) with wit, humour and passion.
The style of the film is well contextualized in the informative audio commentary, which also sheds light on the careers of the supporting actors who aren’t so well-known today.

As ever, with ‘Masters of Cinema’, the film is beautifully presented (from the cover featuring Claudette Colbert on an ornate throne, to a booklet with archive photos and poster designs). And, on the DVD, there are ten-minute documentaries about the lives of DeMille and Colbert, plus another about the Hays Code and early Hollywood censorship (with tantalising glimpses of DeMille’s controversial ‘Sign of the Cross’.)
A first-rate release of an entertaining movie.
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on 12 August 2016
A gem from 1934, with good quality audio and video and some nice extras. Some very nice scenes, as you would expect from CBdM. Would certainly recommend to buy, as it's an enjoyable telling of the story with few of the acting tics of the period.

There are some things that work against immersion, though. For example, apparently the clothes worn by ancient Egyptian ladies-in-waiting were a cross between the cocktail dresses and negligées of the 1930s. The writing for the speaking extras - including the venerable Florence Roberts - is exactly as awful as you would expect from the time, and so is their acting. Claudette Colbert's eyebrows are four inches long, OK, but did I notice a variation in length too?

Claudette Colbert in the title role is as good as anyone else who's played the role. However, Warren William (Caesar) gets short shrift and while Henry Wilcoxcon (Mark Antony) makes the best of a difficult role, neither really stands out.

To do the notion of Cleo+JC+MA justice, a running time of 100 minutes or so is insufficient (the film does feel rushed) and while you might not really need the four hours of the 1963 version, that one is definitely a superior product. Buy both.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 March 2012
De Mille's Cleopatra is much more fun than you'd expect, played as much for deliberately camp comedy as for spectacle and a lot pacier at 104 minutes than the Elizabeth Taylor version. Warren William plays Caesar as De Mille himself, Henry Wilcoxen plays Anthony as an oaf and Claudette Colbert takes centerstage as the kind of vixen who knows which side of the Roman Empire her bread is buttered. At times De Mille's tongue is firmly in his cheek - not least a wonderfully drawn out death scene from Leonard Mudie that wouldn't look out of place in Carry On Cleo or Cleo's spectacular seduction of Tony on that fabled barge - but there's some fine filmmaking here too, not least a great battle montage padded out with footage from the silent Ten Commandments and a fine bit of censor baiting as a foreground hand ostensibly playing the harp seems to almost paw at Colbert's body. It ain't history but it is fun. Nice score from Rudolph Kopp too.

It's worth seeking out the Region 1 NTSC special edition release which, while not overloaded with extra features, does offer a bit more than other editions: audio commentary by F.X. Feeney, featurettes Claudette Colbert - Queen of the Silver Screen, Cecil B. de Mille - Hollywood's Epic Director and Forbidden Film - The Production Code Era (the latter also available on Univeral's Pre-Code Hollywood Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]), reissue trailer introduced with typical flamboyance by De Mille, and slipcase. Eureka's Masters of Cinema Blu-ray/DVD combo includes all the same extras plus a detailed booklet.
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on 14 April 2017
Yet again Cecil B. Demille produces an epic. Probably the best movie version of this subject. Intensely watchable with a superb performance from Claudette Colbert, who of course as Cleopatra carries the film.
The DVD also has some fascinating extras about the making of the film and they really knew how to make them in the 30's
No CGI - all real extras and real sets .
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on 26 September 2016
The film is not as good as advertised. I am not sure that if I were the DVD production company I would release this. However, the performance of the main lead Claudette Colbert is brilliant and it is always interesting to watch a Cecil B de Mille film, especially as this is clearly a predecessor to the much better Elizabeth Taulor version of Cleopatra which is clearly based on this. Nice packacking and interesting extras, especially the documentary whose information seems to be more accurate than the commentary's
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on 4 June 2014
Forget Elizabeth Taylor and what's his face, this is the definitive Cleopatra movie for the 20th Century. The restore is beautiful and Claudette Colbert is a treat to watch on screen.
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on 9 January 2015
I love old films and this is one of those films that any film fan should have in one format or other and in this set you get it on both Blu-Ray and DVD not to bad for the price.
4 people found this helpful
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on 12 December 2015
A brilliant film amazing sets for the period and a good challenger for the late Elisabeth Taylor film, The film has been restored to a high standard.
It has an intelligent story and requires the use of brain cells so may not be popular with fans of modern films.
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on 8 April 2018
Sublime production. Art Deco Egypt vs Victorian Rome. Loved it.
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on 13 February 2016
Had never seen this movie that is why I was exited to see it I was not disappointed it is great cast great acting back when movies where held in awe , BUY THIS YOU WILL LOVE IT.
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