Flashback Friday-Cleopatra (1963)

Cleopatra is one of those polarizing figures in history. From a certain perspective, one could argue that she was a strong female leader in a world where men normally ruled. On the other hand, her time in power was not scandal free.

In the 1963 film, Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor plays the eponymous queen. Rex Harrison is Julius Caesar and Richard Burton is Mark Anthony. The film starts with the initial introduction of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar and ends years later with Cleopatra’s suicide after the death of Mark Anthony.

I have complicated feelings about this film. One hand, it is as historically accurate as films of this nature can be from this period (including the fact that Arab/African characters, including Cleopatra herself, are played by white actors). The other thing is that this film will forever be associated with the Eddie Fisher/Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton scandal. At the time of the making of the film, Elizabeth Taylor was married to Eddie Fisher, who left his first wife, Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor. By the time filming was complete, Eddie and Elizabeth’s relationship was at an end and Elizabeth was headed toward her next husband, Richard Burton.

Do I recommend it? Well it is super long and it is, for lack of a better term a spectacle that I am not quite sure is 100% historically accurate. The answer is maybe.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Feminism, Flashback Friday, History, Movie Review, Movies

3 responses to “Flashback Friday-Cleopatra (1963)

  1. Yes, very spectacular and made in an era when this sort of ‘historical spectacle’ was very much the fashion in movies. Think also ‘Spartacus’ with Kirk Douglas in 1960, and ‘The Ten Commandments’ with Charlton Heston. Historical accuracy wasn’t really the main objective, was it?
    All great fun though!

  2. Have you seen the 1934 version with Claudette Colbert? I love that Cleopatra film more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s