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Antony & Cleopatra (1981)

After the murder of her lover Julius Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Mark Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor, Octavius.


Jonathan Miller


William Shakespeare (play)




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Paul John Paul ... Canidius
Jonathan Adams ... Ventidius
Jane Lapotaire ... Cleopatra
Colin Blakely ... Antony
Darien Angadi Darien Angadi ... Alexas
Janet Key Janet Key ... Charmian
Howard Goorney Howard Goorney ... Soothsayer
Cassie McFarlane Cassie McFarlane ... Iras
Emrys James Emrys James ... Enobarbus
Kevin Huckstep Kevin Huckstep ... Messenger
Michael Anthony Michael Anthony ... Messenger
Mohammad Shamsi Mohammad Shamsi ... Mardian
Ian Charleson ... Octavius Caesar
Esmond Knight ... Lepidus
Harry Waters Harry Waters ... Thidias


Octavius Caesar (later renamed Augustus Caesar, adoptive son of the murdered Julius Caesar), Mark Antony, and Lepidus form the triumvirate, the three rulers of the Roman Empire. Antony, though married to Fulvia, spends his time in Egypt, living a life of decadence and conducting an affair with Queen Cleopatra. In Antony's absence, Caesar and Lepidus worry about Pompey's increasing strength. Caesar condemns Antony for neglecting his duties as a statesman and military officer. Hearing that his wife, Fulvia, has died and that Pompey is raising an army to rebel against the triumvirate, Antony feels he must return to Rome. Caesar and Antony try to patch up their quarrel through the marriage of Antony to Caesar's sister Octavia. In Egypt, Cleopatra is told that Antony has married and is furious with jealousy. However, when the messenger says that Octavia is not very beautiful, Cleopatra feels confident that she can win Antony back. The triumvirs meet Pompey, who agrees to keep peace in ... Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

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Drama | History | Romance


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Did You Know?


Although this episode was the last of season three to air, it was actually the first episode shot under Jonathan Miller's producership, and he purposely interpreted it in a manner divergent from most theatrical productions. Whereas the love between Antony and Cleopatra is usually seen in a very heightened manner, as a grand passion, Miller saw it as a love between two people well past their prime who are both on a "downhill slide, each scrambling to maintain a foothold." He compared Antony to a football player who had waited several seasons too long to retire, and Cleopatra to a "treacherous slut. See more »


Version of Antony and Cleopatra (1908) See more »

User Reviews

Not quite good and not grand enough
25 December 2019 | by AngelofMusic1998See all my reviews

Antony and Cleopatra is a very good play.This production is unfortunately not the best.Sets and costumes look lovely,but very cold and stage bound.The actress who plays Cleopatra is not quite beautifull,but she is good.The actor playing Anthony was not the best.The rest of the cast is solid.From the three TV movies based on Shakespeare directed by Jonathan Miller that I have seen,I liked Troilus and Cressida,but was a bit dissapointed with his Othello and his Antony and Cleopatra,which are much better plays.Not the best Antony and Cleopatra 6/10

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Release Date:

8 May 1981 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Antony & Cleopatra See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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