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Cleopatra

 (2,677)
7.04 h 11 min1963X-RayPG
This epic classic, now with restored picture and sound, stars Elizabeth Taylor as the Egyptian queen whose romance with a Roman (Richard Burton) may decide the fate of an empire.
Directors
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Starring
Elizabeth TaylorRex Harrison
Genres
DramaAction
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio Languages
English
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Studio
Twentieth Century Fox
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

2677 global ratings

  1. 76% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Mr. P. T. BaleReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 September 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Epic of epics
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Coming in for a lot of criticism at the time, mainly because of the Burton Taylor off screen scandal, but it is a gorgeous film, a true epic in every sense, and made when the vast crowds, and incredible sets you see are actual people and rebuilt temples and palaces, not computer generated. What I would love to see is the hours of missing footage Twentieth Century Fox made director Mankewicz remove from his original two movies idea of a three hour film Caesar and Cleopatra followed by a three hour one about Anthony and Cleopatra. Fox thought the audience would only be interested in the scandalous couple and not want to see a movie that hardly featured Burton, in spite of a terrific performance from Rex Harrison as Caesar. The footage has never been found, though people are still searching, and I hope one day they find it. But what there is in the four hour release is a compelling story of the siren of the nile and her attempts to become the empress of Rome, manipulating first one Roman then another, and failing both times. Taylor is good, especially in the intimate moments, and she of course looks gorgeous throughout, while sparks fly between her and Burton. Part of the missing footage appears to be at least one full scale battle as the film opens after the fighting and one can see as far as the horizon, thousands of extras moving about clearing up after the fight. Now who hires an army and uses it for just clean up?
Most of the epic is in the sets and set pieces, most notably Cleopatra's entrance into Rome, the night attack on the palace, and the fateful sea battle. But all is wrapped up in such splendid costumes, accompanied by a wonderful score from Alex North, and a superb supporting cast, that the best thing to do is sit back and immerse yourself in this lost world from two thousand years ago, as recreated by a team of technicians at the top of their game.
26 people found this helpful
coraReviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 October 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra
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For me this film is a bit of a blast from the past. I remember it from the 70s and early 80s when it was the topic of conversations for a week after every TV screening. The DVD version I purchased (3 disc set) presents it with a run time of just over four hours (which apparently is longer than the original theatrical release) but just right for another long lonely night in during the current lockdown situation. The feature film comes on disc one and two, and in this case it's a good thing it's split. There is an entracte around the two hour mark and it's a welcome chance to get refreshments before you insert disc two. Also, it's a natural break in the story. Part one tells the story of Cleopatra and Caesar, in part two it's the more complicated and vastly more interesting story of Antony and Cleopatra.

Elizabeth Taylor is dazzling as Cleopatra. For me this will forever be her most iconic role. I'm even prepared to forgive the incongruous high heels she wears. Rex Harrison makes for a dignified if rather theatrical Caesar. But whereas in my younger days it was all about the glamourous leading lady, on this recent revisiting of the film it was Richard Burton's performance as Antony that impressed me most. He really was a wonderful actor. Also nice to see Martin Landau in a very substantial supporting role as Rufio. And if you look closely, and at the right time, you can even spot Desmond Llewelyn (Bond's Q) as a Roman senator.

Visually the film is dazzling with grandiose sets, costumes and make up. A real spectacle on an epic scale. The high point must surely be Cleopatra's entrance in Rome on that immense Sphinx throne pullled by Egyptian slaves. It's mindboggling. And back in the 60s in the years before cgi this was all built and done for real.

The film is presented in widescreen format. Picture and sound quality are very nice, the colours are vibrant and subtitles are available for those who may need them. The bonus material on the third disc is plentiful and for me a welcome addition to a film I fondly remember from my youth. There may be better and historically more accurate films about the iconic Egyptian queen, but for me this is still the most enjoyable version. Loved seeing it again.
7 people found this helpful
Hon Aubrey WilsonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 03 March 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Cleopatra - a beautiful photographed epic of a scale that would be impossible today
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The blu ray version brings out the beautiful photography of this film, produced at a time before computer animation and with huge crowds of extras and sets. An improbably beautiful Taylor stars with the honey voiced Burton and a host of great character actors. Dialogue now appears archaic and nearly Shakespearean at times, but this adds to its beauty and appeal. Perhaps a little overlong but we can now see this this as an opportunity to enjoy even more of an epic - perhaps the epic or epics - filmed in an era without computer graphics. The scale of some of the scenes is astonishing - as typified by the scene of Cleopatra’s entry into Rome. This is a real treat to everyone who appreciates the golden age of Hollywood. Perhaps this film will generate such interest and admiration from a younger generation. The film is a worthy tribute to the golden age of Hollywood.
14 people found this helpful
david brownReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 July 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
CLEOPATRA
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VERY PLEASED WITH PRODUCT WHICH ARRIVED ON TIME. EXCELLENT VALUE FOR MONEY AS THIS IS A 3 DVD SET WITH THE COMPLETE FILM INCLUDING OVERTURE & INTERMISSION. FILMED IN TODD-AO & DE LUXE COLOR, THE
PICTURE QUALITY & SOUND ARE PERFECT. SO MUCH TO SEE IN ADDITION TO THE FILM ITSELF SUCH AS GALLERY,
COSTUME PICS, DOCUMENTARY, TRAILERS, ETC. NEARLY 7 HOURS VIEWING! NOW I HAVE ALL FOUR OF THE BIG AND
BEST OF THE ROMAN EPICS NAMELY BEN-HUR, FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND.....SPARTACUS. MANY THANKS!
8 people found this helpful
W. SwalesReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 April 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
If you seek an epic film full of mystery; treachery; and intrigue then this is for YOU
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Set in the period when Rome conquered Egypt through to the assassination of Julius Caesar that opened the door for the supremacy of Mark Anthony, this breathtaking epic classic film features three of the finest actors that ever walked upon the planet – Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra); Richard Burton as Mark Anthony; and Rex Harrison as a brilliant Julius Caesar.

This is a film of epic proportions, told in ‘two halves’. Filmed in the amazing Todao super-high definition cinematic format that knocks Cinemascope into a cocked hat, everything looks unbelievably ‘real’ – and the incredible resolution of the camera lenses reveals everything in minute detail – from the grain and texture of the marble right down to the blemishes and wrinkles on people’s skin. The cinematic realism gives one the feeling that you are right there walking around in the sumptuousness and splendour of ancient Egypt and ancient Rome as an observer of all that takes place as the amazing luxurious ‘true-life’ story unfolds – with the ever-present threat of death on the doorstep of those that rule. Talk about how ‘the other half’ live.

There are many many sub-plots of historical significance to follow – all of which require the time and space to present them all a condensed cinematic format so as to fully grasp what goes wrong and WHY.

To aid this process, the director tells the story over two significant periods – Julius Caesar’s arrival in Egypt and his power struggle and love affair with Queen Cleopatra that ultimately leads to Caesar’s assassination; and the ‘reign’ of Mark Anthony and the treachery that takes place following the murder of Caesar.

The restoration is amazing, however, sadly, the original six-hour ‘directors cut’ has been lost due to poor storage, fire, and ‘disappearance’ of much of the original camera masters so short narrations have been deployed to keep us informed of what takes place where footage is missing or unusable so as to maintain continuity and intrigue to keep us on the edge of our seats. Whilst this loss is masterfully handled by the restorers and the loss does not detract us from the plotline in any way, what we do not fully experience and enjoy is the full power and majesty of the dialogue - which was constructed from the diaries of Cicero and the scribes of Cleopatra - and recited by three of the word’s finest orators of the English tongue.

What remains are four-and-a-half hours of one of the finest historical epics ever made.

This is a film you will watch many times. Watch it with a box of tissues near by – a handkerchief does not cut it.

Five stars

STAY SAFE
Al: Ipsissima verbaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 March 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
When Gods walked the Earth. Asp and thou shalt receive.
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Sexier than a Royal Barge cruising the Nile in spate. Swifter than Gaius Appuleius Diocles driving a six horse team at the Circus Maximus. More devastating than a battery of ballistae pounding the massed hordes of Cherusci, Suebi, Chatti etc. And, that's merely the incredibly alluring Liz Taylor's eyes, talk about Violet Lightning!
Given the sumptuous sets and the opulence of Ms Taylor's exquisite make-up and costumes the dialogue is hard pressed to keep up, being somewhat banal and pedestrian in places, however, no matter, the cast of thousands keep the pace moving along nicely.
I was going to say I was disappointed by the battle of Actium, but nowhere near as disappointed as Marcus Antonius and his Royal paramour. The craft of both forces did not look too out of keeping with records, although the plotting table was, perhaps, stretching the imagination a little too far. Thankfully the weapons and uniforms looked almost authentic and not the product of a raid on the studio props department.
All in all a jolly four hours and, I await, with almost breathless anticipation, the discovery of the vandalised 'lost' portion of the original six hours, given the nature of things it is bound to exist in some dark, forgotten corner.
Anyone interested in casts of thousands and vast sets would do well to obtain D W Griffith's masterpiece 'Intolerance' if only for the Babylonian storyline.
LONDON NINJA.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 March 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Amazing Sets!...
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OK... More has been written about the making of this film, than the film
itself. So, my review is on the film alone. Having said that, this has to be
one of the only movies that was a major hit with audiences, but a box office
flop, as the costs of promotion and over budget nearly broke 20th Century Fox.
Cleopatra did make it's money back by 1972, so it wasn't a complete
failure....

There are 4 great Hollywood Roman epics, those being Ben Hur, Spartacus,
The Fall of the Roman Empire, and this film. And Epic is the word I would
use here... Every thing is big! Epic acting, Epic sets Epic music this is
Hollywood at it's most... well, Epic.... Over the years, you can only look
at this movie as a piece of grand art, which it is... But I have to say, the
weakest part of this film, is it's script. A pretty dull script at that has little
in the way of humour, but that is overshadowed by the best thing about
the movie... and that is THE SETS! The film sets are AMAZING... If
the acting and dialogue are a bit wooden, you can't keep your eyes off
the set design. When they say, "they don't make em like that any more"
They are right!... No CGI or modeling here, the Roman and Egyptian
reproductions are in real life size, and are breathtaking... So much has
been said about the production of this film, and I can add little to it, but
only to say, if you have any interest in Roman or Hollywood history, you
have to see this movie before you die...
7 people found this helpful
Wendy Y.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 May 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
FOUR AND HALF HOURS OF UNADULTERATED BLISS. EPIC OF EPICS.
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Wow, this is one epic that has certainly stood the test of time, thanks to a bit of skullduggery with the soundtrack and stuff😂. Having watched it in the 70’s I wasn’t watching it with the same motives. For the last decade I’ve loved Ancient Egyptian and Roman history and having just watched JULIUS CAESER which glosses over his liaison with Cleopatra in a movie 3 hours long , after scouting around Cleopatra the movie came up. I was a little hesitant as I’ve watched a few epics which hadn’t stood the test of time but gave it a go. It reallly does cover a lot more of the history than I remembered : I hadn’t realised half of the movie is with Julius Caesar and this was for me the better half; largely because I didn’t remember much of this.The other half, obviously with Mark Antony was mainly the love story we all know so well, with some history thrown in and pretty much as I remember., not to say it wasn’t anything but top notch gripping drama.

Who would want to nit pick this magnificent contribution to the world of movies, it is just beyond fabulous. I did smile with a scene on Cleo’s ship when she entertains MA in her boudoir the size of a TOWN HALL without a clue tHats its on water, but hey who really cares? It’s all so gloriously OTT, the settings, the costumes, sheer crowd scenes, the lot.

I will have to purchase the blu-ray, just in case I can’t stream in the future. Like AVATAR This is going to be one of my go to movies when I need some serious stress relief and escape from the trials and tribulations of everyday life and I’m pretty sure this will still be just as enigmatic this century. Joyous. THEY JUST DONT MAKE THEM LIKE THIS ANYMORE!
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