Last night, I watched the 1963 Oscar Nomination Cleopatra–all five hours. To say that it is an epic film is cliché. If the movie had been three hours shorter, I would have been happier, but apparently, the length of the movie has always been a controversy.
I was 13-years-old when Cleopatra was released, and I saw the movie soon after that. I do not believe that I have seen it since that time, and I was surprised that I actually remembered nothing about the movie–nothing except how the Egyptian Queen was purported to have died. Even the historical facts of that scene are in controversy now. The interesting thing is that I thought that I remembered most of the movie Cleopatra. I suppose that forty years ago, the movie made a great impact on me, and I only remembered its essence.
In 1963, Elizabeth Taylor was 31-years-old, and she was gorgeous. As I said before, I was 13-years-old then, and I grew up, admiring Taylor’s beauty, and I watched her get older and fatter. I watched her, as she was towed through publicity smears and bad marriages. In short, I witnessed the de-flowering of a queen. I don’t know why Americans feel better when they trash a great person, but it seems that we do.
I am glad that I watched Elizabeth Taylor again, and I am glad that I saw her perform in her epic role. I am glad that I was reminded that Elizabeth Taylor was a beauty and that she was actually a very fine actress. Cleopatra is a worthy Oscar nomination.
I especially liked watching Rex Harrison, as he adeptly played the part of Julius Caesar. Richard Burton was–well, Richard Burton, and I never have truly liked Richard Burton. But that should not enter into my review. Burton probably did play the part of Marc Antony well.
In watching the movie, I was reminded of the splendor of the Egyptian civilization. It is interesting that the great Egyptian civilization is gone and now, so are those who portrayed it. I am glad that I took the time to look at all of it again.
©Jacki Kellum February 15, 2016