Reviews

  • Jul 23, 2020

    This might be the worst performance I have seen from Colbert.

    This might be the worst performance I have seen from Colbert.

  • Jan 27, 2019

    The best romance movie ever made!

    The best romance movie ever made!

  • Dec 22, 2017

    Great vehicle for Claudette Colbert here, as she is great as the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra. Everyone else is just okay. Of course, the other big thing is the sets on this movie. Massive! And what about those dance sequences??

    Great vehicle for Claudette Colbert here, as she is great as the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra. Everyone else is just okay. Of course, the other big thing is the sets on this movie. Massive! And what about those dance sequences??

  • Jun 17, 2017

    A last gasp for the "precode" era by Cecil B. DeMille who had earlier gotten into trouble with the same star, Claudette Colbert, in Sign of the Cross (1932). Indeed, he seems to be taunting the incoming censors by dressing her (and all of the female extras) in the skimpiest outfits possible. Unfortunately, most of the film is still rather turgid and not particularly daring. Cleopatra seeks to form a relationship with Julius Caesar (Warren William) who is soon offed by Brutus and a mob worried about his attack on their notion of the republic. When Marc Anthony (Henry Wilcoxon) comes out to Egypt to capture her, he too falls under her alluring sway. The Romans then rise up against him, leading to tragic ends. DeMille and his art direction team (Roland Anderson and Hans Dreier) do create some magnificent sets (there is an art deco feel to this Egypt) and the war montage near the end when the Romans attack is crazy in its fast editing and over-the-top content. But overall, I didn't find the drama compelling - I wonder if the lost silent version (1917) with Theda Bara was any better (I'm not game for the 4-hour Liz Taylor version). Perhaps 1930s audiences did find this a tonic to distract them from their woes nevertheless.

    A last gasp for the "precode" era by Cecil B. DeMille who had earlier gotten into trouble with the same star, Claudette Colbert, in Sign of the Cross (1932). Indeed, he seems to be taunting the incoming censors by dressing her (and all of the female extras) in the skimpiest outfits possible. Unfortunately, most of the film is still rather turgid and not particularly daring. Cleopatra seeks to form a relationship with Julius Caesar (Warren William) who is soon offed by Brutus and a mob worried about his attack on their notion of the republic. When Marc Anthony (Henry Wilcoxon) comes out to Egypt to capture her, he too falls under her alluring sway. The Romans then rise up against him, leading to tragic ends. DeMille and his art direction team (Roland Anderson and Hans Dreier) do create some magnificent sets (there is an art deco feel to this Egypt) and the war montage near the end when the Romans attack is crazy in its fast editing and over-the-top content. But overall, I didn't find the drama compelling - I wonder if the lost silent version (1917) with Theda Bara was any better (I'm not game for the 4-hour Liz Taylor version). Perhaps 1930s audiences did find this a tonic to distract them from their woes nevertheless.

  • May 13, 2017

    Funny , strange, gets better as it goes.

    Funny , strange, gets better as it goes.

  • Antonius B Super Reviewer
    Feb 01, 2017

    What an extraordinary year 1934 was for Claudette Colbert. "It Happened One Night", "Imitation of Life", and of course, Cecil B. DeMille's version of the epic story, "Cleopatra". It's lush and extravagant especially for the time period, with absolutely marvelous costumes by Travis Banton, and beautiful art deco sets by Hans Dreier. Warren William is solid as Julius Ceasar and Henry Wilcoxon is passable as Marc Antony, but, wow, Claudette Colbert sizzles as Cleopatra. She finds the right balance between regal grandeur and smooth seduction. This movie just squeaked in before the doors of the Hays Code closed, and thank goodness, because she's so beautiful while slinking around in those revealing outfits. There are some fantastic dance/circus performances as well, and the movie is such a visual treat. The dialogue sometimes gets a little silly, but DeMille knew a good story when he saw one, and he knew that sex and violence sold. His ambition in production, both in creating big scenes and in the small details, really pay off, and it's no doubt that this is one of those early films that shaped Hollywood "epic" movies for decades.

    What an extraordinary year 1934 was for Claudette Colbert. "It Happened One Night", "Imitation of Life", and of course, Cecil B. DeMille's version of the epic story, "Cleopatra". It's lush and extravagant especially for the time period, with absolutely marvelous costumes by Travis Banton, and beautiful art deco sets by Hans Dreier. Warren William is solid as Julius Ceasar and Henry Wilcoxon is passable as Marc Antony, but, wow, Claudette Colbert sizzles as Cleopatra. She finds the right balance between regal grandeur and smooth seduction. This movie just squeaked in before the doors of the Hays Code closed, and thank goodness, because she's so beautiful while slinking around in those revealing outfits. There are some fantastic dance/circus performances as well, and the movie is such a visual treat. The dialogue sometimes gets a little silly, but DeMille knew a good story when he saw one, and he knew that sex and violence sold. His ambition in production, both in creating big scenes and in the small details, really pay off, and it's no doubt that this is one of those early films that shaped Hollywood "epic" movies for decades.

  • Jan 18, 2017

    Pre-Production Code rendering of the often told Cleopatra story boasts of great visuals and a tad more sexuality than was typical for films back in the day.

    Pre-Production Code rendering of the often told Cleopatra story boasts of great visuals and a tad more sexuality than was typical for films back in the day.

  • Apr 03, 2015

    An absurd, messy, and sporadically entertaining historical melodrama that really focuses more on the Romans than on Cleopatra. Anyone looking for a true study of the mysterious Queen of Egypt will have to look somewhere else, though fans of over-the-top cinematic fun will have a lot to enjoy here. The cinematography, which won the Oscar, is excellent, with great shot framing and beautiful lighting effects. The editing is also impressive, most notably in a battle scene near the end of the film which is by far the film's best scene. "Cleopatra", with its "Wolf of Wall Street"-like focus on the spectacles the titular queen surrounds herself with and the overly theatrical performances of its actors, feels more like "Monty Python" than serious history, and it doesn't dig deeper than its gilded surface, but it's a fun enough watch if you're bored and have 100 minutes to spare.

    An absurd, messy, and sporadically entertaining historical melodrama that really focuses more on the Romans than on Cleopatra. Anyone looking for a true study of the mysterious Queen of Egypt will have to look somewhere else, though fans of over-the-top cinematic fun will have a lot to enjoy here. The cinematography, which won the Oscar, is excellent, with great shot framing and beautiful lighting effects. The editing is also impressive, most notably in a battle scene near the end of the film which is by far the film's best scene. "Cleopatra", with its "Wolf of Wall Street"-like focus on the spectacles the titular queen surrounds herself with and the overly theatrical performances of its actors, feels more like "Monty Python" than serious history, and it doesn't dig deeper than its gilded surface, but it's a fun enough watch if you're bored and have 100 minutes to spare.

  • Nov 08, 2014

    Stupefyingly superficial extravaganza.

    Stupefyingly superficial extravaganza.

  • Aug 12, 2013

    Classic movie by DeMille, the 4th Cleopatra one in cinema history - the actings are good, Claudette Colbert being the best in the movie. To the time that it was shooted, it have nice scenography and photography. The main story follows the history, with some adptations, and focus on the characters. My score: 7,0 / 10,0

    Classic movie by DeMille, the 4th Cleopatra one in cinema history - the actings are good, Claudette Colbert being the best in the movie. To the time that it was shooted, it have nice scenography and photography. The main story follows the history, with some adptations, and focus on the characters. My score: 7,0 / 10,0