A Few Words About A few words about...™ Cleopatra (UK) -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Yes, the scene with the towel partly covering her, as you described. The UK general release version was cut mainly for reasons of length. I think it was about 30 minutes shorter than the roadshow version.
     
  2. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    I was just responding to the person that doesn't believe that there was a European version. If it was n't for that fact that it was on the leaders, I wouldn't have even been aware of it. Then when I watched it, I saw there were scenes that weren't in the 70mm print I saw when it opened at the Rivoli in New York. In addition, this was the ONLY 35mm mag print I had ever seen at the time. I've spoken to other projectionists that hadn't seen a mag print either. I'm assuming it was made ONLY for the European market.
     
  3. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    That was all we saw in the "Dominion" print when it opened in London at about 3 hours 40 minutes compared to the "Rivoli" version we now have on BD at just over 4 hours.The so called European version at about 3 hours 10 was the version that opened in Paris at the end of '63. That version became the general non roadshow release version in the UK and I suppose in the US. I can't recall whether the scene quoted above was in it. If not it would have been cut for time not censorship. It was certainly in the Dominion version.There were no other" naughty" bits.
     
  4. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    While I have no idea what print(s) (70mm or 35mm) were run in the UK or Paris, the only thing I am sure of is that the nude scenes that were in this "European Version" were certainly not in the 70mm or 35mm U,S, versions I either ran or saw.
     
  5. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    The nude scene referenced above (Taylor showing a bit of rump, with a towel tastefully covering up the rest), was shown in the 70mm Roadshow version that premiered in Puerto Rico in 1963. I know, because I was 13 when I saw it and was somewhat impressed by nudity in a big, Hollywood spectacular. I also remember Cleopatra divining the future. Is this one of the subsequently cut scenes?
     
  6. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    That could very well be so. My ONLY POINT is, not withstanding what you might have seen in Puerto Rico in 1963, is that the nude scenes were NOT shown here in the U.S. :)
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    The divining should still be in the blu. It was on the DVD. It's when she sees that Caesar will be/is being assassinated.
     
  8. Mark Collins

    Mark Collins Cinematographer

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    I just remember being watched with my cousin while my Aunt saw the movie in 1963 in Rockford IL. She came back and stated to my Mother that Liz was naked in the film. She thought it was funny and it was during a bathing scene. She said it was an adults only picture and kids were not allowed because of Liz being nude. I have always remembered it. Being on her back seems to ring a bell with me. Topless i may have assumed as a kid. The naked part was said that a kid never forgets. I also remember being mad for not being allowed to see the film because I was able to see all movies up to that time.
     
  9. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    There are two divining scenes with Pamela Brown in the 4 hour version. One where she 'sees' that 'a son shall be born to Isis'; the other is when she 'sees' Caesar's assassination. I believe Andrew has said that there was to have been another earlier in the film before Cleopatra meets Caesar. This scene is supposedly lost. In the execrable 192 minute version, only the assassination/divining scene was retained.
     
  10. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    Do you recall the timings of the 70 and 35mm prints that you ran ? They may have been the 3 hour ten minute version cut down from the 4 hour Rivoli one.
     
  11. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Would Fox seriously use the old master for the DVD for such a high profile catalog release in the U.S.? Here's some evidence to suggest the contrary: Many, MANY foreign releases are sourced from masters created overseas or masters that were delivered overseas years ago. A new restoration residing in L.A. might not make its way to Europe for some time. Take a look at the various editions of The Egyptian on BD. The european releases are from an old DVD-era master while the Twilight Time release is from a 2010 scan and restoration. Perhaps Cleopatra's U.S. release was withheld for further mastering work. But, knowing the studios, it was probably just for marketing purposes. A shame considering how the color is so wrong on the U.K. Cleopatra BD and that the image isn't what it should be overall.
     
  12. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Cleopatra is having a one day showing at most Cinemark theater's today, May 22nd, at 2 pm and 7pm. The site below will let you look to see if you have a theater nearby playing it. I'm leaving in about an hour to go see it on the big screen, something I didn't think was ever going to happen....

    http://www.cinemark.com/cleopatra-%281963%29

    from the press release:

    Plano, TX - Cinemark, one of the world's largest motion picture exhibitors, is pleased to announce a special in-theatre performance of the 1963 Twentieth Century Fox masterpiece CLEOPATRA in over 120 Cinemark theatres across the country as part of Cinemark's Classic Series. Performances will be on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at two separate show times, 2 pm and 7pm, with an additional Sunday matinee on May 26 at 2pm.
    "A film like CLEOPATRA is why we created the Classic Series," states James Meredith, VP of Marketing for Cinemark. "From award winning costumes and lavish sets, to the epic vision of the director, to the iconic performances of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison, this film is a visual feast in so many ways."
    Twentieth Century Fox has meticulously restored the 243-minute original theatrical version of CLEOPATRA to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The new digitally restored transfer will receive a world premiere as an official selection of Cannes Classics at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on May 21 in the Sixtieth Anniversary Theater.
    Tickets for Cinemark's Classic Series are now available at www.cinemark.com or at the participating theatre box office. For a full list of participating Cinemark locations, advance ticket purchases and show time information go to the Cinemark web site.
    In 51 BC, Cleopatra became queen of the Egyptian Empire: the wealthiest and most revered kingdom the world has ever known. More than 2,000 years later Twentieth Century Fox Studios set out to tell her epic story in what would become, at the time, the most ambitious and lavish moviemaking endeavor in Hollywood history. Elizabeth Taylor signed a one million dollar contract to play the title role of Cleopatra, becoming the first female star to command such a sum for one picture. Elaborate sets and costumes, production delays and the relocation of principal filming from London to Rome added to the skyrocketing budget.
    Directed by Academy Award® winner Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the historical epic shot on 70mm film took home four Academy Awards and was the highest grossing films of 1963 earning more than $57 million in its initial release. CLEOPATRA infamously cost an unprecedented $42 million to make (equivalent to over $300 million today) and was racked with scandal as the onscreen love affair between Cleopatra (Taylor) and Mark Antony (Burton) spilled over into real life during the three-year production in Rome. Burton celebrated his great love for Ms. Taylor with exquisite gifts from Bulgari.
     
  13. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Very much looking forward to seeing it this evening. This wasn't a movie my family would have gone to back in the day, and I've never managed to see it on the big screen at all. I expect this to be quite the treat.
     
  14. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I would love to go to this, but I've been so swamped this week there is no way I could make it through a 4 hour epic tonight. Too bad it's not showing on Friday. I hope those of you who get to see it are wowed by the bigscreen experience.
     
  15. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    It's repeating this Sunday at 2. Maybe you can make it at that time.
     
  16. usrunnr

    usrunnr Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, they were. I saw "Cleopatra" opening weekend at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. "How the West Was Won" was playing down the street at the Warner's Cinerama. My mother liked "HTWWW" better, but my father could not believe that Elizabeth Taylor showed her butt (half of it anyway). I remember that scene well, as well as the scene in the 'bathtub', wherein, I suppose you could sort of see her breasts. I don't know if these actually qualify as nude scenes, but they showed more skin than the public was used to in major studio films at that time.
     
  17. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Those scenes described above are in the movie I just saw.

    As a film, two films really, I think it's very good and underrated.

    Is there a link somewhere to the final (or close to final) version of the screenplay. I would like to read some of those missing scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor and were later thrown out.

    Glad I saw it on the big screen. Works best that way. Although the blu-ray is very good.
     
  18. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I didn't notice the Sunday matinee option! Thanks for pointing it out. I just pre-ordered a couple of tickets for me and the wife for Sunday.
     
  19. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    David,
    It's a gorgeous presentation. Vibrant colors, great sound. Excellent PQ. You won't be disappointed.
     
  20. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    My feeling exactly. It was simply gorgeous. Eye and ear candy galore.

    I say that, not knowing the film like many here do, this being my first time to see it on anything other than TV and DVD.
     

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