2013 is coming to an end and we are still conmemorating many anniversaries.
Now we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Cleopatra”, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison.
In all of cinema history, Cleopatra is one of the most expensive films ever made (adjusted for inflation). It received mixed reviews from critics, although critics and audiences alike generally praised Taylor and Burton’s performances.
The film later won four Academy Awards, and was nominated for five more, including Best Picture (ultimately losing to Tom Jones).
The Plot: The Historical epic film about the triumphs and tragedy of the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) and her love affairs, first with Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and later, with Mark Antony (Richard Burton.
In my opinion, “Cleopatra” is an amazing film.
Yes, this film made history, first because of the famous “Liz Taylor and Richard Burton love affair”, second, because of the massive and complicated production (the high costs and production problems) and finally, the mixed reviews that the film received.
Taylor, Burton and Harrison are excellent and also Roddy McDowall is perfect as Octavian Ceasar Augustus.
Yes, “Cleopatra” is a controversial film, many people and critics love it, and others hate it (specially because it’s 4 hours long!) but ironically, when people think of Elizabeth Taylor, the first image that comes to people’s minds of Elizabeth Taylor is, of course, as Cleopatra.
Some Cleopatra Trivia:
Another still of a “Barbie Doll” of Liz Tayloras Cleopatra.
The film earned Elizabeth Taylor a Guinness World Record title, “Most costume changes in a film”; Taylor made 65 costume changes. This record was beaten in 1996 in the film “Evita” by Madonna with 85 costume changes.
Rex Harrison as Caesar was the only one of the three principal actors to receive unanimous good reviews for the film. Harrison was also the only one to received an Oscar Nomination.
It was shown as part of the Cannes Classics section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, to commemorate the film’s 50th Anniversary.
Awards and nominations
The film won four Academy Awards and was nominated for five more:
1963 Academy Awards
Best Picture – Walter Wanger (nominated)
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Rex Harrison (nominated)
Best Cinematography, Color – Leon Shamroy (WON)
Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Color – John DeCuir, Jack Martin Smith, Hilyard Brown, Herman A. Blumenthal, Elven Webb, Maurice Pelling, and Boris Juraga (Art Direction); Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox, and Ray Moyer (Set Decoration) (WON)
Best Costume Design, Color – Irene Sharaff, Vittorio Nino Novarese, and Renie (WON)
Best Sound Mixing – James Corcoran and Fred Hynes, 20th Century Fox Sound Department (nominated)
Best Film Editing – Dorothy Spencer (nominated)
Best Special Effects – Emil Kosa, Jr. (WON)
Best Music, Score – Substantially Original – Alex North (nominated)
1963 Golden Globes
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Best Motion Picture Actor – Drama – Rex Harrison
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture – Roddy McDowall
Best Director – Motion Picture – Joseph L. Mankiewicz