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Robert B. Williams
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Nigel De Brulier
When she discovers that a slave named Pharon professes his love for her, Cleopatra makes a bargain with him: she will give him ten days of "love," at the end of which he is to commit suicide. He agrees, although the queen's handmaiden Iras, in love with the slave, isn't happy with the arrangement. Later when Cleopatra is seducing Marc Antony, her relationship with Pharon is used against her, but with little effect. She allies herself with Antony against Octavius, participates in a brief war, then meets her end rather than be subjected to Roman rule.Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
Certain stage traditions originally founded in ignorance and preserved after they became traditions, have not been considered; the object of the Director has been to insure naturalness in an atmosphere of romance, the object of the Author to intimate the nobilities and grandeur of the woman who was devotedly loved by Julius Caesar. Perfect freedom has been exercised in the adaption. See more »
A restored version, funded by Turner Classic Movies and in the George Eastman House Collection, was shown on Turner Classic Movies on 10 August 2000. It has an original music score by Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida, and runs 88 minutes. See more »
I'm amazed to see a 1912 feature that's almost 90 minutes long. By contrast, "From the Manger to the Cross" is under 70 min. The tinting and restoration are good, the modern music by Chantal Kreviazuk is interesting if unnecessary (there's no reason to be turned off by it--you can always play your own music!). The film is not in "pure" tableau style but in modified tableaus. That is, there is some cross-cutting from different locations, and dialogue cards do interrupt the shots. The first scene is even somewhat distracting in its cutaways to a man who is a short distance away. During the battle of Actium, the camera suddenly goes in for a series of near close-ups of Cleopatra and Antony from the waist up, and the entire scene is told in these alternating shots with captions. (A way to avoid staging a battle.) The scene in which she barges down the Nile and seduces Antony is a typical example of "film d'art" tableau style, with only dialogue interrupting the shot occasionally. The major lengthy sequence at the end, however, begins in two locations: in Cleo's chamber on an upper floor and outside on the ground below, and Antony is raised up through the window on a rope, then for the rest of the complex scene the camera pans right and left as called for by the action. Fascinating and typically noble.
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