The opulence and grandeur of this epic spectacle has never been more glorious as it comes to cinemas for the first time on 2k DCPs. Screenings will be held from the 12th July at Curzon May Fair, London and select cinemas nationwide. The 243-minute original theatrical version of CLEOPATRA has been meticulously restored to commemorate its golden anniversary.
Elizabeth Taylor stars as CLEOPATRA, the glamorous and cunning queen of Egypt. To secure her hold on power, she seduces the rulers of Rome, only to meet her match in Mark Antony, played by Richard Burton. Their passionate romance could decide the fate of the world’s greatest empires.
Directed by Academy Award® winner Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the historical epic shot on 70mm film took home four Academy Awards and was the highest grossing films of 1963 earning more than $57 million in its initial release. CLEOPATRA infamously cost an unprecedented $42 million to make (equivalent to over $300 million today) and was racked with scandal as the onscreen love affair between Cleopatra (Taylor) and Mark Antony (Burton) spilled over into real life during the three-year production in Rome. Burton celebrated his great love for Ms. Taylor with exquisite gifts from Bulgari.
In 51 BC, Cleopatra became queen of the Egyptian Empire: the wealthiest and most revered kingdom the world has ever known. More than 2,000 years later Twentieth Century Fox Studios set out to tell her epic story in what would become, at the time, the most ambitious and lavish moviemaking endeavor in Hollywood history. Elizabeth Taylor signed a one million dollar contract to play the title role of Cleopatra, becoming the first female star to command such a sum for one picture. Elaborate sets and costumes, production delays and the relocation of principal filming from London to Rome added to the skyrocketing budget.
Certificate: PG Distributor: Hollywood Classics/Metrodome
Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, UK/US/Switzerland, 1963, 243 mins
Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison
- ‘Cleopatra’: 25 Things You Didn’t Know About the Elizabeth Taylor Classic (news.moviefone.com)
- Barry Norman on Richard Burton and Liz Taylor…How I watched Hollywood’s greatest love story unfold (dailymail.co.uk)