Manual Cleopatras Mountain - a screenplay

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But, perhaps this proximty in time to her personal story made Cleopatra resonate deeper with contemporary movie goers. Colbert's Cleopatra doesn't resort to fighting her way out to be heard over the art production, but stays with a basic strategy of making monkeys out of men and grabbing geographic acquisitions.

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Hers is a more likeable person who also makes a lot more sense as an "American" Queen of Egypt. Colbert wants to run Egypt sans corruption and with a firm grip on all the levers of power. Taylor's Cleopatra at times seems to be preaching bringing peace by naval battle, and it just doesn't add up. One area that the Cleopatra strives to outdo DeMille's version is the decadence of the Egyptians.


In both films the Romans seem to be stand-ins for puritanical American society, and Cleopatra's Egyptians are the free-thinking, free-living Bohemians who do a great deal of bathing. At other times the Egyptians as represented by Cleopatra just want to be free, but Rome is in the way. In actual history the reality was the direct opposite, as Cleopatra's system was a pyramid of power built upon the backs of a huge number of peasants and slaves. In the Hollywood version, the matter is of course different, and who wouldn't like for Claudette Colbert and Elizabeth Taylor to have the right to make decisions about their own life and who they want to love?

Scriptnotes, Ep 327: Mergers and Break Ups — Transcript

Taylor's film is a different kind of colorful, opulent spectacle, and is truly unique. The lushness of DeMille's version is simply of a different category, taking advantage of things only possible in black and white, but at the same time limited by that monochromatic palette. Neither film is ultimately successful in the filmmaking sweep states of high drama, flawed by various things, but one in particular is their main marketing points, which is the voyeuristic obsession with Colbert's and Taylor's bodies. Both films have stories which explain what happened between Cleopatra - Julius Caesar - Marc Antony, and Taylor's film in particular wants us to take it seriously, and has good writing interspersed between the big budget set pieces.

DeMille's film is leaner and moves from point to point like the pretend rocket carrying tourists through Disneyworld's Space Mountain in Florida.

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We see a lot in a short amount of time. Cleopatra '34 and '63 are each a Hollywood creation by way of the Victorian age of historical painting, and stage dramas. In an important way, these "Cleopatra" aren't really Egyptian at all, but Americans. The film was nominated for a number of Academy Awards, but only cameraman Victor Milner won for cinematography. Though a big money-maker for , the film is now not particularly well-known, and is completely overshadowed by any number of other films from that year like the afore-mentioned It Happened One Night.

It is peculiarly of it's era, and very definitely a product of Cecil B. It's visuals have been influential, though, as both any number of big spectacle costume-dramas that followed can attest, along with other unusual items see, for example, artist Frank Frazetta's "Egyptian Queen" painting. Though not nominated for an award, a standout for the film is the art deco design influences on the sets by Art Director Hans Dreier.

Be sure to take a look at the David Claubon web site for an analysis of Colbert's costuming for this film here.

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  • Also, the filmreference. A page which compares the various presentations of Cleopatra from various films is at makeupgallery.

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    Unproduced Scripts by Genre

    The Blair Witch Project. The Sixth Sense. Being John Malkovich. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. American Beauty. The Virgin Suicides. The Best Man. You shall have the same privilege. Caesar's left wing and right arm. Slipped through our fingers,. He has a galley waiting at the coast.

    The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb)

    Provision enough for Egypt, they say. They owe him a great deal. Borrow money, borrow time. I thought it was over. It seems it's not. Rufio, consult the augurers. In Egypt, will Pompey face me at last? But surely Caesar will now. I must go to Egypt in any case. King Ptolemy and his sister. That cannot be so urgent. Let the Romans welcome. Marc Antony is to speak for Caesar.

    His authority is not to be questioned. But remind him to keep his legions. We've arrived on their market day. Where's the guard of honor for Caesar? We have the privilege of watching. Caesar battle through our marketplace. Marcellus, a dozen front-rank men,. Clear a direct line. It's precisely what they hope we'd do:. Manhandle their people. This is their market day,. Joseph Leo Mankiewicz February 11, — February 5, was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. All Joseph L. Mankiewicz scripts Joseph L. Mankiewicz Scripts.