7.0/10
29,019
230 user 88 critic

Cleopatra (1963)

Trailer
1:03 | Trailer
Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Writers:

Joseph L. Mankiewicz (screenplay), Ranald MacDougall (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,098 ( 710)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Cleopatra
Richard Burton ... Mark Antony
Rex Harrison ... Julius Caesar
Pamela Brown ... High Priestess
George Cole ... Flavius
Hume Cronyn ... Sosigenes
Cesare Danova ... Apollodorus
Kenneth Haigh ... Brutus
Andrew Keir ... Agrippa
Martin Landau ... Rufio
Roddy McDowall ... Octavian - Caesar Augustus
Robert Stephens ... Germanicus
Francesca Annis ... Eiras
Grégoire Aslan ... Pothinus (as Gregoire Aslan)
Martin Benson ... Ramos
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Storyline

In 48 B.C., Julius Caesar (Sir Rex Harrison) pursues Pompey from Pharsalia to Egypt. Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII (Richard O'Sullivan), now supreme ruler after deposing his older sister, Cleopatra VII (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), attempts to gain favor with Caesar by presenting the conquerer with the head of Pompey, borne by his governors, Pothinus (Grégoire Aslan) and Achillas (John Doucette). To win Caesar's support from her brother, Cleopatra hides herself in a rug, which Apollodorus (Cesare Danova), her servant, presents to Caesar. The Roman is immediately infatuated. Banishing Ptolemy, he declares Cleopatra Egypt's sole ruler and takes her as his mistress. A son, Caesarion (Loris Loddi), is born of their union. Caesar, however, must return to Italy. Although he is briefly reunited with Cleopatra during a magnificent reception for the Queen in Rome, Caesar is assassinated shortly thereafter, and Cleopatra returns to Egypt. When Mark Antony (Richard Burton), Caesar's protégé, beholds Cleopatra... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The motion picture the world has been waiting for!


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Richard Burton's costumes was later worn by Sidney James in Carry on Cleo (1964), which is a parody of this movie. Burton and James played Mark Antony. See more »

Goofs

When Cleopatra is rolled out of the rug in her first appearance, she is wearing flat sandals. in the next shot, she walks to the table in high heels. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: And so it fell out that at Pharsalia, the great might and manhood of Rome met in bloody civil war, and Caesar's legions destroyed those of the great Pompey... So, that now only Caesar stood at the head of Rome. But, there was no joy for Caesar as in his other triumphs... for the dead which his legions counted and buried and burned were their own countrymen.
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Alternate Versions

Premiered at a length of 243 minutes. A week after the premiere, the film was reduced to 222 minutes, and edited further to 194 minutes for general release. The 194-minute version was the default broadcast television version for years; home video and cable television releases are of the full-length cut. See more »

User Reviews

so many thoughts - so little space
21 May 2003 | by venusianSee all my reviews

Seduction by a queen. Men driven to the brink by a woman bent on power. The worlds most powerful empire run by a man who was run by arguably the most powerful woman on the planet, Cleopatra. I'll be up front about my ignorance of other Elizabeth Taylor films, but this movie made me love her. Watching it on a large screen was amazing, the scenery, the set design, and the costumes were absolutely stunning. It made me miss the days before cgi took over movies. What the movie Cleopatra isn't is hardcore historically accurate, particularly well acted, or even well edited. It is though, one of the slyest, near comedic movies ever made. Sure it's long, but if you approach the movie not absolutely set on seeing an accurate portrayal of ancient Rome, the Caesars, or Cleopatra herself. It doesn't really matter because the movie is telling a story, not necessarily by the book, but more in a fun dramatic hollywood way. Its fun to see Taylor and Burton act and react to each other, especially after the battle of Actium. Harrison is of course fantastic and MacDowell is sniveling, but all in fun. The story around the movie might be more interesting to some given the parallels between Taylor and Burtons own ill fated affair.To keep this review under a thousand words: I now own the dvd.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Switzerland | UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Cleopatra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$57,777,778

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$57,777,778
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) | (director's cut) | (roadshow) | (50th Anniversary) | (HD)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm prints)| Stereo (Westrex Recording System)| DTS 70 mm (70mm re-release)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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