Claudette Colbert
Director: Cecil B. DeMille Cast: Claudette Colbert
Claudette Colbert
, Warren William
Warren William
, Henry Wilcoxon
Henry Wilcoxon
Cecil B. DeMille


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Film historian William K. Everson once observed that the secret to the success of Cecil B. DeMille's 1934 Cleopatra is that DeMille subtly reshaped the known historical events into a contemporary "gold-digger makes good" scenario. Exhibiting the same determination with which Barbara Stanwyck sleeps her way to the top in 1933's Baby Face, Queen Cleopatra (Claudette Colbert) uses her feminine wiles to become sole ruler of Egypt. By turns kittenish and cold-blooded, Cleopatra wraps such otherwise responsible Roman worthies as Julius Caesar (Warren William, who wittily plays his role like one of his standard ruthless business executives) and Marc Antony (Henry Wilcoxon) around her well-manicured little finger. To emphasize the "contemporary" nature of the film, DeMille adds little modernistic touches throughout: The architecture of Egypt and Rome has a distinctly art-deco look; a matron at a social gathering clucks "Poor Calpurnia...well, the wife is always the last to know"; and, after Caesar's funeral, Mark Anthony is chided by an associate for "all that 'Friends, Romans, Countrymen' business!" Cleopatra's barge scene and her suicide from the bite of a snake marked two of the most memorable sequences in DeMille's career. Remarkably, for all the enormous sets and elaborate costumes, Cleopatra came in at a budget of $750,000 -- almost $40 million less than the 1963 Elizabeth Taylor remake.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/10/2018
UPC: 0191329055120
Original Release: 1934
Rating: NR
Source: Universal Studios
Time: 1:41:00
Sales rank: 18,221

Special Features

Claudette Colbert: Queen of the Silver Screen; Cecil B. DeMille: Hollywood's Epic Director ; Forbidden Film: The Production Code Era; Feature Commentary with Filmmaker F.X. Feeney; Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Claudette Colbert Cleopatra
Warren William Julius Caesar
Henry Wilcoxon Marc Antony
Gertrude Michael Calpurnia
Joseph Schildkraut King Herod
Ian Keith Octavius
C. Aubrey Smith Enobarbus
Ian MacLaren Cassius
Arthur Hohl Brutus
Leonard Mudie Pothinos
Irving Pichel Apollodorus
Edwin Maxwell Casca
Eleanor Phelps Charmian
Grace Durkin Iras
Ferdinand Gottschalk Glabrio
Claudia Dell Octavia
Harry Beresford The Soothsayer
Jayne Regan Lady Vesta
William Farnum Lepidus
Lionel Belmore Fidius
Florence Roberts Lady Flora
William V. Mong Court physician
Robert Warwick Gen. Achillas
George Walsh Courier
Jack Rutherford Flavius
Kenneth Gibson Scribe
Wedgewood Nowell Scribe
Bruce Warren Scribe
John Carradine Roman
Edgar Dearing Murderer
Wilfred Lucas Roman Greeting Antony
Robert Manning Aelius
Charles Morris Cicero
Jack Mulhall Roman greeting Antony
Hal Price Onlooker at procession
Richard Alexander Gen. Philodemas
Dorothy White Dancer

Technical Credits
Cecil B. DeMille Director,Producer
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Anne Bauchens Editor
Bartlett Cormack Screenwriter
Franklin Hansen Sound/Sound Designer
Rudolph G. Kopp Score Composer
Vincent Lawrence Screenwriter
Victor Milner Cinematographer
Waldemar Young Screenwriter

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