I don't think it is quite true that they are "old lovers" at the start of part two. I'd have to check, but it must be at least 20 or more minutes into part 2 before A & C become lovers.
The real reason part two is considered "weak" IMO is that Caesar dies at the end of part one. Even though the film is called Cleopatra, Rex Harrison dominates the first half as Caesar. If you had to choose the most fascinating people of history, Caesar would easily crack the top 5, if not the top spot. Rex Harrison perfectly inhabits the character in the film. Throughout part one, Caesar is shown as brilliant, charming and successful until his sudden assassination. No story can survive the loss of such a character. If you were reading a straightforward historical account the same thing would occur.
Yup, you're right gov'nor. I've just finished watching it, & with a few adjustments to my TV (more colour & brighter) the picture looked very good for the most part. Funny how the old memory works, I remembered part two starting on the barge, & Liz & Dick as old lovers! I have to admit it does seem slower every time I watch it, a LOT of talk. I love big 60's Roadshow movies, & ancient world epics, & can still remember seeing it at the pictures (Odeon, Hammersmith, London), but I think modern audiences will find it very slow going, more like a talky filmed play. I don't think it was a good idea having an Italian boy with a thick Italian accent playing Caesar's young son, where did he get that accent from? No one else in the film has it! And when Mark Antony uncovers the dead Ceasar's face, just prior to burning the body, well the bloke lying there didn't look much like Rex Harrison to me!
Edited by Billy Batson, May 25 2013 - 12:42 AM.