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

A Few Words About

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#61 of 81 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted March 13 2013 - 03:21 AM

When you refer to the scene above, are you referring to what I wrote? That would mean the US release was too racy for European censors and make it very unlikely the "nuder" scenes described earlier ever existed.
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.

#62 of 81 OFFLINE   Techman707

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Posted March 13 2013 - 07:54 AM

Yes what you describe here is what my Aunt saw! I just reread your post.
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.

#63 of 81 OFFLINE   john a hunter

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Posted March 13 2013 - 09:04 AM

You guys are real film pros. You take the discussion from T&A to film prints. :) I know I saw Cleopatra theatrically, first run and the Liz nudity was limited. She was laying on her stomach with a towel strategically draped showing her bare side and some tush. The nudity cited above wouldn't have been allowed in the US back then, IMHO. I never read anything about a racier European version. That would be some lost footage.
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.

#64 of 81 OFFLINE   Techman707

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Posted March 13 2013 - 10:05 AM

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.
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.

#65 of 81 OFFLINE   bujaki

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Posted March 13 2013 - 10:29 AM

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?

#66 of 81 OFFLINE   Techman707

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Posted March 13 2013 - 10:38 AM

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?
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. :)

#67 of 81 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted March 13 2013 - 10:47 AM

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?
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.
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#68 of 81 OFFLINE   Mark Collins

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Posted March 13 2013 - 10:48 AM

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.

#69 of 81 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted March 13 2013 - 03:39 PM

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.
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.

#70 of 81 OFFLINE   john a hunter

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Posted March 14 2013 - 08:51 AM

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.
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.

#71 of 81 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted March 31 2013 - 12:53 PM

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.



#72 of 81 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted May 22 2013 - 08:13 AM

I first saw Cleopatra in 70mm at a theatre in Miami, Fl. in the fall of 1963.  The version that I saw was uncut, and I will never forget how I marveled at look and textures of Leon Shamroy's 65mm cinematography.  So much so, that I'm certain that I bored my date to invisible tears. The film, which I've always respected highly for it's breath-taking scope and the literacy brought to it by director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, has taken the long road to Blu-ray, but at least it has made an appearance. Derived from large format elements, and with audio in DTS-HD Master, it looks and sounds very nice.  But I wondered if it might look better, and did a comparison to other 65mm Blu-ray releases. Here's what I'm seeing. The Sound of Music looks to be the best.  Mad World very nice, but not quite matching in quality.  Then come Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, West Side Story and with a very similar look, Cleopatra. While differences may not show up on smaller screens (I've not had the time to check), in projection there are two different looks, which led me to a bit of research.  It seems that the two looks, one with far more film-like grain structure, and a more cinematic feel came from one post facility, and the second group, from another.  In the former, the images are more highly resolved. Cleopatra, which looks fine, does not come close to matching the look of The Sound of Music.  Might the domestic release be re-scanned.  Doubtful, but not out of the realm of possibilities, should the studio wish to hold full-rez data files on the subject. The differences, in a general sense, can be night & day when it comes to Blu-ray, and far more intensive and important when it comes to restoration and archiving. The better scans come from Foto-Kem, which is not a surprise. Speaking of full-rez, one might ask the meaning.  Marketing has been around the web referencing scans at 2k, 4k, 6k and 8k.  And 4k is generally considered full resolution for 35mm, and is measured perf to perf. 4k is four times the resolution of 2k.  8k four times the resolution of 4k in 35mm, and only used, as far as I'm aware, for the prime harvest of an image, which will then be down-rezzed to 4k.  Files can be huge.  The added resolution enables the scanner to see, and reproduce, everything on the film element. When one refers to an 8k 65mm scan, the reference is correct, but has a different meaning than it would for 35mm / 4 perf.  With a image approximately twice the width, a larger scanner is necessary, and that mechanism scans at 8192 pixels, vs. 4096 in 35mm. But the actual scan is still roughly 4k, as the actual area scanned for 65mm is 8192 x 3584.  The scanned area for 35mm 4k is 4096 x 3144. The scan of a large format production affects viewing pleasure precisely the same way that it would in film projection.  With an image that is enlarged only half as much as standard 35mm, resolution, dependent upon the quality of projection and optics, should be at least three times the quality, and possibly more than an anamorphic 35mm image. Just for fun, let's make things just a bit more complex. VistaVision is usually scanned at 4k, which is more than enough to capture the image.  But some post facilities or marketing firms will refer to it as a 6k scan. Which is it. But isn't. A VVLA scan is still 4096, but with twice the area, now 4096 x 6144. Hence...  6k. Sort of. But not really. Back to Cleopatra. One of the most important films ever produced, and possibly the largest production.  Beautifully photographed, directed, and played.  It was originally planned as a two part production of close to six hours, but was released as a single show. Image: 4 Audio: 5 Recommended. RAH

 

 

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....leopatra-(1963)

 

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.


Edited by benbess, May 22 2013 - 08:14 AM.


#73 of 81 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted May 22 2013 - 08:30 AM

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.



#74 of 81 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted May 22 2013 - 09:29 AM

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.



#75 of 81 OFFLINE   bujaki

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Posted May 22 2013 - 09:46 AM

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



#76 of 81 OFFLINE   usrunnr

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Posted May 22 2013 - 12:53 PM

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. :)

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.



#77 of 81 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted May 22 2013 - 03:26 PM

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.

 

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.



#78 of 81 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted May 22 2013 - 03:28 PM

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

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.

#79 of 81 OFFLINE   bujaki

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Posted May 22 2013 - 04:31 PM

David,

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



#80 of 81 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted May 22 2013 - 08:14 PM

David,

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

 

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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