CLEOPATRA: Behind the Scenes



Someone made a montage of behind the scenes photos during the making of Cleopatra

8 comments:

Steve R. Orsulak said...

This looks familiar to me I wonder if this was compiled from CLEOPATRA: SPECIAL EDITION. This considered to be the most expensive movie ever made, and is it true that the production changes that took place during filming made it take well over a year to complete??

Anonymous said...

It was the most expensive movie ever made up to that time. Its budget has been far exceeded since. The problem with the Taylor-Burton Cleopatra is that it was a flop, never earning back its production costs. It was such a disaster that it brought 20th Century Fox to the brink of bankruptcy. In order to stay solvent, the studio had to sell off its large backlot to real-estate developers. That area of Los Angeles is now known as Century City, home to the Century Plaza Hotel, The Shubert Theater, a large upscale shopping mall, many office buildings, and acres of homes and condos. Ah, Liz and Dick.

Michael O'Sullivan said...

I have been watching CLEOPATRA not once but twice in the last week, yes I am a glutton for punishment! No, I really love it, the first half anyway while Caesar is around as splendidly played by Harrison. The sets are so opulent, the photography is terrific, I love the score by Alex North, and that entry into Rome still dazzles. It all looks so real, not the cheap CGI effects of today. They really don't make them like this any more - maybe it cost so much it could never recoup its costs, but the dvds (I have the 3 pack, with interesting documentaries, with footage of Finch and Boyd before they were replaced by Harrison and Burton).
I saw it on general release when I was a teen, so it was great seeing it on the big screen. The last scenes in the tomb are quite effective too and I just love that panorama shot across the bay of Alexandria as Caesar arrives .... great process work. For me it one epic that really works, as good as EL CID or SPARTACUS, amazing Mankiewicz was writing it by night while shooting.

Michael O'Sullivan said...

I was watching it twice as TCM here in the UK ran it, so I recorded it and was able to re-run my favorite bits, like with Cleo says to Mark Anthony: "I asked it of Julius Caesear, I DEMAND it of you" for him to kneel before her as a supplicant, and that barge, which is very spacious inside ....

Pal said...

The most expensive movie ever made is (and presumably will ever be) the Soviet WAR AND PEACE (directed by S. Bondarchuk in the second half of sixties; it took several years to film the movie - so we can actually see the actors/actresses age). If adjusted to inflation, it was cost one billion dollars!

Otherwise CLEOPATRA is of course a great and and absolutely stunning movie.

PEPLUM cinema said...

"...yes I am a glutton for punishment!"

You said it, Michael. Aha. :-)

The film cost $40 million and made $40 million at the box office, which is still pretty good but the film was so expensive that it never made any money.

I like watching it as an example of filmmaking from an era but for me I have a lot of issues with it, one being the many different accents heard throughout the film because of the international cast. I sometimes feel like the film should be called CAESAR and not CLEOPATRA. I certainly prefer the first half than the second, even if the amazing battle during the second half is probably the best part of the film.

abdul666 said...

Don't remember seeing the elephant on screen?

Even more spectacular and memorable than 'The Fall of the Roman Empire'.

Anonymous said...

The elephants that had been hired proved to be unruly and destructive, one of them running amok on the Cinecittà soundstages and pulling up stakes; the elephants’ owner, Ennio Togni, later attempted to sue Fox for slander when word got out that his pachyderms had been “fired.” Said a disbelieving (Fox head) Spryos Skouras, “How do you slander an elephant?"
Thanks for posting this wonderful video, I never saw the footage featuring the giant snake or the elephants.