Caesar and Cleopatra (film)

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Caesar and Cleopatra
Caesar and Cleopatra - 1945 - poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gabriel Pascal
Produced by Gabriel Pascal
Written by George Bernard Shaw
Starring Claude Rains
Vivien Leigh
Cinematography Jack Hildyard
Distributed by Eagle-Lion Films (UK)
Release dates
1945 (UK)
1948 (France)
Running time
123 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $5.2 million[1]
Box office $2.2 million[1]
815,007 admissions (France)[2]

Caesar and Cleopatra is a 1945 British Technicolor film directed by Gabriel Pascal and starring Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh.[3] It was adapted from the play Caesar and Cleopatra (1901) by George Bernard Shaw. The film was produced by Independent Producers, Pascal Film Productions, and Eagle-Lion Distributors.[citation needed]

Caesar and Cleopatra was a box office failure, but it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction (John Bryan).[4]

Plot[edit]

In this philosophical coming-of-age film, an aging Julius Caesar takes possession of the Egyptian capital city of Alexandria, and tries to resolve a feud between young Princess Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy. During the resulting sometimes-murderous court-intrigues, Caesar develops a special relationship with Cleopatra, and teaches her how to use her royal power.

Production[edit]

Filmed in Technicolor with lavish sets, the production was reported to be the most expensive film ever made in Britain at the time, coming to £1,278,000.[5]

Pascal ordered sand from Egypt to get the right cinematic color. The production also ran into delays due to being filmed during the Second World War.[6] During the shoot, Vivien Leigh tripped and miscarried.[1]

The film was described as a "box office stinker" at the time, and almost ended Pascal's career. It was the first Shaw film made in colour, and the last film version of a Shaw play during his lifetime. After Shaw's death in 1950, Pascal went on to produce one more Shaw derived film, Androcles and the Lion (1952).

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film earned US$1,363,371 in the United States, making it one of the most popular British films ever released there.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jay S.Steinberg, 'Caesar and Cleopatra', Turner Classic Movies
  2. ^ Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story
  3. ^ http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/28453?view=cast
  4. ^ "NY Times: Caesar and Cleopatra". New York Times. Retrieved 20 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "Noteworthy Films Made In U.K.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 17 January 1953. p. 27. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) home video review, Turner Classic Movies
  7. ^ Sarah Street, Transatlantic Crossings: British Feature Films in the USA, Continuum, 2002 p 94

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Great British Films, pp 97–101, Jerry Vermilye, 1978, Citadel Press, ISBN 0-8065-0661-X

External links[edit]