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Cleopatra (1912)

Unrated | | Drama, History | 13 November 1912 (USA)
The fabled queen of Egypt's affair with Roman general Marc Antony is ulimately disastrous for both of them.

Director:

Charles L. Gaskill

Writer:

Victorien Sardou (adapted from the play by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Helen Gardner ... Cleopatra - Queen of Egypt (as Miss Gardner)
Pearl Sindelar ... Iras - An Attendant (as Miss Sindelar)
Miss Fielding Miss Fielding ... Charmian - An Attendant
Miss Robson Miss Robson ... Octavia - Wife of Antony
Helene Costello ... Nicola - a Child (as Miss Helene)
Charles Sindelar Charles Sindelar ... Antony - a Triumvir and General (as Mr. Sindelar)
Mr. Howard Mr. Howard ... Pharon - a Greek Slave and Fisherman
James R. Waite James R. Waite ... Venditius - a Roman Soldier (as Mr. Waite)
Mr. Osborne Mr. Osborne ... Diomedes - a Rich Egyptian (as Mr. Osborn)
Harry Knowles Harry Knowles ... Kephren - Captain of the Guards to the Queen (as Harley Knowles)
Mr. Paul Mr. Paul ... Octavius - a Triumvir and General
Mr. Brady Mr. Brady ... Serapian - an Egyptian Priest
Mr. Corker Mr. Corker ... Ixias - Servant to Ventidius
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Storyline

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 <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 1912 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cleopatra: The Romance of a Woman and a Queen See more »

Filming Locations:

Tappan, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Shakespeare's play was produced in London circa 1606-7; Victorien Sardou's play, "Cléopatre", opened in Paris on 23 October 1890. See more »

Quotes

Pharon - a Greek Slave and Fisherman: I shall begin to live when I die - and dreams come of you - and you - and you - !
See more »

Crazy Credits

Helen Gardner Picture Players, Tappan-on-the-Hudson, New York. See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in Cleopatra: The First Woman of Power (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Important early feature a developmental milestone
11 August 2000 | by DLewisSee all my reviews

Producer-star Helen Gardner has doubtless seen the Italian "Quo Vadis", and this "Cleopatra" runs an amazing 90 minutes for a 1912 feature (with 106 title cards!) "Cleopatra" is a case of trial and discovery in this exploratory era of American features. The first hour is filmed in the static "Film d'Art" style, save for one brief insert added probably very late in the production, and the modern viewer begins to wish that the camera were moved even just a bit closer to the stagebound action, despite the elaborate, if somewhat primitive, stage dressing. In the last third of "Cleopatra" more shots and setups are used, by far, than in the first two thirds. We also find the camera is moving closer to the actors and less of a concern is shown towards exposing the sets, costumes, and extras, resulting in an entirely more satisfying and intimate cinematic experience, though some of this section of the film is choppy in the GEH print aired on TCM. My feeling is that "Cleopatra" is a textbook example of how feature-length filmmaking helped open up possibilities towards a more sophisticated style of onscreen direction, cutting and camera setups. Gardner & co. are literally discovering as they go, and it seems much of "Cleopatra" was filmed in story sequence. By shooting using gradually smaller parts of the set, and closer to the actors, Gardner created a film that had considerably more dramatic power in the end result than was generally required by 1912 standards, and on this alone the film remains a genuine step-forward for the fledgling American feature industry.


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