Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo

Would you buy a Cleopatra: Director's Cut?


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
87 replies to this topic

#1 of 88 OFFLINE   Andrew Budgell

Andrew Budgell

    Screenwriter



  • 1,223 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 12 2002

Posted April 02 2002 - 11:34 AM

When the film Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Rex Harrison was originally released back in 1963, it was not a critical success. Many fans feel the reason for that is because it is 'choppy.' That reason is because at it's current 4-hour legnth, was edited down from 6-hours. Most of Elizabeth Taylor's best scenes were left on the cutting room floor. At the time of it's release, one critic said that, "At 6-hours, Cleopatra may have been a good film, at 4 it's a preview of something that will never come." But now, that may be changed. According to last April's DVD release of Cleopatra, Fox Execs and director Mankiewizc family are hard at work trying to locate the missing footage. My question for you is:

If a Director's Cut eventually comes about, would you purchase a copy of the film on DVD? I also would love to hear your thoughts on the flm, and the recent DVD release.


Thanks for listening!

Andrew Budgell

#2 of 88 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

Dennis Nicholls

    Lead Actor



  • 7,876 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 05 1998
  • Real Name:Dennis
  • LocationBoise, ID

Posted April 02 2002 - 12:43 PM

I thought it was originally TWO films, "Cleopatra and Caesar" and "Cleopatra and Marc Anthony". And it was combined to cut the overall length. Would this new version create TWO 3-hour films?
Feline videophiles Condoleezza and Dukie.


#3 of 88 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

Robert Harris

    Archivist



  • 7,601 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 1999
  • Real Name:Robert Harris

Posted April 02 2002 - 01:10 PM

Cleopatra was to be two films, with a total running time of slightly less than 5 hours, not six.

Other than a scene at the opening of the film which had
both Cleopatra and and brother in their tents prepared for battle, the most important scenes lost involved Roddy McDowall, not Elizabeth Taylor. The opening of the film, as it now exists...

didn't.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#4 of 88 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

Jeff Kleist

    Executive Producer



  • 11,286 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 04 1999

Posted April 02 2002 - 01:59 PM

And there we have it, thank you Mr. Harris

That said, I'd still be interested in seeing the lost footage

#5 of 88 OFFLINE   Bob_L

Bob_L

    Supporting Actor



  • 893 posts
  • Join Date: May 19 2001

Posted April 02 2002 - 05:38 PM

I would buy that in a Hollywood minute.

In fact, I'd write a check for three copies right now if Fox committed to a restoration.

#6 of 88 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

Carlo Medina

    Lead Actor



  • 9,760 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 31 1997

Posted April 02 2002 - 06:01 PM

To be honest, I'd like to see this as two movies. Cleopatra, for me, manages to be both choppy and abbreviated feeling, and yet also a bit long at 4 hours. I think I could handle two 2.5 hour movies better.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind length, I can watch all 9 hours of Godfather in one day. Just something about Cleopatra as it stands now that makes sitting through it a little bit hard.

XBox Live: TheL1brarian (let's play Destiny on XB1)


#7 of 88 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

Robert Harris

    Archivist



  • 7,601 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 1999
  • Real Name:Robert Harris

Posted April 03 2002 - 12:54 AM

As a point of (very) general reference, there are many films which, when cut for time and not quality, seem much longer in their short versions than in their longer cuts. The most notorious cases probably being the 187 minute cut of Lawrence and the 161 of Spartacus.

Cleopatra would be a far superior film in its intended version.

For those too young to remember that Century City was originally the Fox back lot, it may also be instructive to understand why (at least a major reason) the film was cut down. Fox had run out of money; the studio was all but shut down; and all hopes were placed upon Cleopatra to in some way bring the studio back to life. Two 2 1/2 hour films probably would not have helped.

As much I as I deplore seeing the work of a filmmaker the quality of Mr. Mankiewicz shorn of its artistry, I cannot honestly say that if I were in Mr. Zanuck's shoes I would have done things differently.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#8 of 88 OFFLINE   Jonathan Perregaux

Jonathan Perregaux

    Supporting Actor



  • 714 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 10 1999
  • Real Name:Jonathan Perregaux

Posted April 03 2002 - 01:57 AM

I liked this movie, but I too got a sense that something far greater could be made of this. I absolutely would buy this again if it was reconstructed and re-released as a duology.

It's interesting that the DVD format has instigated such a fervent interest in restoring and reconstucting classics such as Touch of Evil as well as many others. Let's hope this trend continues and gives studios the dollar signs they need to pour into this ongoing effort.
My DVDs

#9 of 88 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

Mark Zimmer

    Producer



  • 4,269 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 1969

Posted April 03 2002 - 03:46 AM

Although Mr. Harris' comments probably have rescued this thread from the dustbin of Polls, I'll chime in that I'd definitely buy the DC; I should think that nearly anyone who bought this in the theatrical version would be intrigued enough about what it might have been to want to see the full version.

So, anyone know if the search has turned up anything? I didn't think it sounded too hopeful, but if Mad World trims can surface, anything's possible.

#10 of 88 OFFLINE   Dmitry

Dmitry

    Supporting Actor



  • 743 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 30 1998

Posted April 03 2002 - 05:43 AM

Quote:
I can watch all 9 hours of Godfather in one day
And I thought I was the only one who did it Posted Image But I agree, if the movie is good (read if you like it), the length is not nearly as important as when it's not (or you don't like it). I'd take my chances with a longer cut of Cleopatra.
My DVDs

#11 of 88 OFFLINE   James David Walley

James David Walley

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 148 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 12 1999

Posted April 03 2002 - 09:18 AM

Quote:
As a point of (very) general reference, there are many films which, when cut for time and not quality, seem much longer in their short versions than in their longer cuts. The most notorious cases probably being the 187 minute cut of Lawrence and the 161 of Spartacus.


I'll probably get flayed for saying this, but one of the most notable examples I've seen of this was Heaven's Gate. When I saw the (edited for 1981 re-release) in the theater, I thought that it was a better film than critics were giving it credit for, but that it would have been unendurable had it lasted five minutes longer. Then, when I saw the uncut version several years later on video, I was amazed at how quickly it seemed to flow. (I've also noticed that reviewers of the uncut video version have been a lot kinder to the film -- I've seen lots of "this thing is fantastic!" comments as compared to the "a failure, but a worthy failure" summaries from theatrical reviewers of the cut version.)
Raven Falls Photography
Nature, Architecture, and Fine-Art Images

#12 of 88 OFFLINE   Randall Dorr

Randall Dorr

    Second Unit



  • 268 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 11 2000

Posted April 03 2002 - 09:41 AM

You won't get flayed by me.

I can't say I've seen the shortened version (149 min.), but I think the film at 219 minutes is a masterpiece. It's the anti-western audiences wouldn't accept for more than a decade (Unforgiven). Heaven's Gate continues to be eviscerated by people who have either only seen the short version, or haven't seen it at all. And in Final Cut: Dreams and disaster in the making of Heaven's Gate by Steven Bach, he states that the first cut was five hours and twenty-five minutes.
8 Ball gave it a 9:
Yo, Martin and Will are my boys, you know what I'm saying? They make jokes I understand. The car chase is dope! I give it a 9 but I'm still 8 Ball.
-user review of Bad Boys II from Metacritic.com

guzzlefish

#13 of 88 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

Moe Dickstein

    Filmmaker



  • 3,149 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 06 2001
  • Real Name:T R Wilkinson
  • LocationSherman Oaks, CA

Posted April 03 2002 - 12:37 PM

in a word

YES!!!

I would sell my grandmother for the long version of Cleo.

You can tell theres a masterpiece itching to get out there, just that crackling mankiewicz dialogue alone makes it worthwhile.

RAH - ive heard things from our friend that all the footage exists at fox, only in B+W and sans sound...

I also understood that another reason for combining the films was also the concern that the publicity furor over the Taylor Burton affair would die down by the time that the second film that had more than 10 minutes of Burton was released.....
Yes, these strange things happen all the time - PT Anderson, Magnolia

#14 of 88 OFFLINE   Jacob_St

Jacob_St

    Second Unit



  • 263 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 15 2000

Posted April 07 2002 - 05:31 PM

So the AMC documentary on the making of Cleopatra is not correct? I saw it about six months ago and it went into detail about how the movie was to be two three hour films. Because of the massive overbudget fiasco Fox told the director to combine both films and he delivered a five and a half hour cut which the studio ordered him to cut to four hours. According to the documentary the director pleaded with the studio to allow him to reinstate the five and half hour cut for several years after Cleopatra was released.

#15 of 88 OFFLINE   Jenna

Jenna

    Second Unit



  • 485 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 12 2002

Posted April 07 2002 - 06:53 PM

This has always been one of my favorite films...so YES, I'd be one of the first in line for a Director's Cut!!! Posted Image

I love the costumes, the drama (especially backstage), and the epic production. It does seem choppy at times...so a smoother, longer version would be the best thing to happen to film restoration EVER!

My Collection

#16 of 88 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

Ken_McAlinden

    Producer



  • 6,093 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 20 2001
  • Real Name:Kenneth McAlinden
  • LocationLivonia, MI USA

Posted April 08 2002 - 01:07 AM

I would just like to join the chorus here and say that I, too, would buy a Cleopatra director's cut and would also be willing to sell Moe's grandmother for it. Posted Image

Regards,
Ken McAlinden
Livonia, MI USA

#17 of 88 OFFLINE   Darren Gross

Darren Gross

    Supporting Actor



  • 500 posts
  • Join Date: May 16 2001

Posted April 08 2002 - 02:55 AM

This is an extremely exciting project and very tantalizing, should it happen. While I would definitely buy it on DVD, I would much prefer to see it shown theatrically in 70mm over two nights. All 70mm films need to be experienced in that format on a big screen...Video is great, but even D-VHS projected on the best home system can't compare to that experience.

#18 of 88 OFFLINE   Craig Robertson

Craig Robertson

    Supporting Actor



  • 986 posts
  • Join Date: May 12 1999

Posted April 08 2002 - 04:20 AM

i'd buy it in a heartbeat. in cases like this, it's fascinating to see the original release, produced under the limitations of time, budget, studio politics and pressure, and compare that to the intent of the director, as shown in the less limited Directors Cut.

#19 of 88 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

oscar_merkx

    Lead Actor



  • 7,632 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 15 2002

Posted February 10 2003 - 12:30 PM

I am reviving this thread because I bought the DVD yesterday.

I watched the first 60 minutes of the documentary, very impressive indeed the troubled history of the filming of Cleopatra.

Would I buy the DC ? Absolutely

Posted Image
Toastmasters International

Communication is Everything

#20 of 88 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

Ed St. Clair

    Producer



  • 3,320 posts
  • Join Date: May 07 2001

Posted February 10 2003 - 12:39 PM

Quote:
Most of Elizabeth Taylor's best scenes were left on the cutting room floor.

Not 'only' her best scenes, but her best parts (.)(.)!
It's a 'crime' this title was released on DVD, without the 'European' scenes in.
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Forum Nav Content I Follow