A Few Words About A few words about...™ Cleopatra (1963) - U.S. Release -- in Blu-ray

OliverK

Producer
Joined
Feb 1, 2000
Messages
4,225
Reaction score
2,143
Points
4,110
I too have to disagree, I don't think it looks so good, if fact I can't bring myself to look at it again. All the gold bling that Cleopatra wears, now looks like silver, & the entry into Rome, was it supposed to be set in January? Anyway, I've bored for England on this subject, so I'll shut up.
Indeed the disc has a bluish and overcast look with whites leaning more towards bluish-grey and all other colors being dragged down towards the more cold/bluish and murky parts of the color and brightness spectrum.

This is a strange inconsistency with Fox with Hello Dolly having a tendency to suffer from blown out whites and a yellowish tint and Cleopatra being the complete opposite.

Ironically the new 70mm prints of both movies that I had the pleasure to see leaned towards a look that was between those two extremes but with Cleopatra actually looking a bit more contrasty and warm.
 

trajan007

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
501
Reaction score
380
Points
610
Age
71
Real Name
Larry C Bender
Are we talking about the UK or US release? I have the US release.
 

OliverK

Producer
Joined
Feb 1, 2000
Messages
4,225
Reaction score
2,143
Points
4,110
Are we talking about the UK or US release? I have the US release.
I checked both and they looked the same to me. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of detail on display on this Blu-ray but the grading just gives this a rather dark and unpleasant look:

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Cleopatra-Blu-ray/30513/#Screenshots

The entry into Rome is a good example as this was more of a brightly lit and colorful spectacle in 70mm while now it looks like Cleopatra visited on an overcast day and indeed all the gold that she is wearing does lack the warmth that it had when I watched the 70mm print and the DVD for that matter.
 

trajan007

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
501
Reaction score
380
Points
610
Age
71
Real Name
Larry C Bender
I know you can't go by screen shots but the images on my tv looked much brighter especially with the colors.I have a Samsung 65' 4 k HDR
 

OliverK

Producer
Joined
Feb 1, 2000
Messages
4,225
Reaction score
2,143
Points
4,110
I know you can't go by screen shots but the images on my tv looked much brighter especially with the colors.I have a Samsung 65' 4 k HDR
On a calibrated display it looks relatively dim compared to other movies where actors actually squint because it is a sunny and very bright day..
Of course adjustments can be made to let this look warmer and much birghter but this should not have to be the case.

In any case I doubt that people would mind an even better looking version to put it another way ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: john a hunter

RolandL

Producer
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
5,083
Reaction score
2,426
Points
9,110
Age
68
Location
Cromwell, CT
Real Name
Roland Lataille
I'm in the middle of cleaning up the house as we are selling it. I came across a copy of the movie program. I thought I would compare the colors to the Blu-ray. They look about the same. Not saying they are correct, just a comparison.
 

rsmithjr

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
675
Points
1,610
Age
75
Location
Palo Alto, CA
Real Name
Robert Smith
Cleopatra exhibits the recent trend of Fox to color-time toward blue. Fortunately, Cleopatra is somewhat correctable by judicious use of the controls on my projector.

I have a list of these Fox Blu-rays together with the correction settings for each title.

The one that is completely beyond correction is The King and I.

I recommend that you use your own color judgment to do the best that you can with these and any other titles that you feel are wrong. Studios, production houses, and individual colorists, and even "experts" (myself included) are no substitute for the end-user's own sensibilities.

Remember: it's your money, your time, and your memories of what things looked and sounded like when you first saw them.
 

Mistress9

Banned
BANNED
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
10
Age
37
Real Name
Ramona
Though I like the movie more than you, I think you are correct about its faults. I remember reading Charlton Heston's comments about it in his journals (The Actor's Life). Heston would often comment on the movies he saw and Cleopatra was among them. Heston thought the film did not quite work either and said something to the effect that Mankiewicz tried too hard to write it in a Shakespearean style but came up short. I agree with this. I think some of the dialog is rather over-written and strives to be more pseudo-poetic than it needs to be. So you get lines like "My breasts are filled with love and life. My hips are rounded and well-apart. Such women, they say have sons".

That line occurs in the first part of the fillm; but most of the over-written parts occur in part two. Antony's speech to Cleopatra on the barge in which he complains that no matter what he does "Caesar's done it before and done it better" comes off to me as an attempt at a Shakespearian "actor-ish" speech. Likewise, Antony's speech when he descibes how he felt after deserting the fleet at Actium is another pseudo-Shakespearian moment. It's not really normal IMO to speechify that much in an epic film unless it's Shakespeare. I think much of the criticism of Burton's perfomrance (I think he's great in the part) is due to the fact that he has too many declamatory speeches.

I still think it's a pretty good film with some great spectacle, some great performances and a great music score.
what's wrong with pseudo shakespearean moments though?
 

Mistress9

Banned
BANNED
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
Points
10
Age
37
Real Name
Ramona
Cleopatra exhibits the recent trend of Fox to color-time toward blue. Fortunately, Cleopatra is somewhat correctable by judicious use of the controls on my projector.

I have a list of these Fox Blu-rays together with the correction settings for each title.

The one that is completely beyond correction is The King and I.

I recommend that you use your own color judgment to do the best that you can with these and any other titles that you feel are wrong. Studios, production houses, and individual colorists, and even "experts" (myself included) are no substitute for the end-user's own sensibilities.

Remember: it's your money, your time, and your memories of what things looked and sounded like when you first saw them.
It is SHAMEFUL that film's color timing is fundamentally being changed, in Cleopatra's case, from a warm toned movie, to an excessively dark, Nolanized teal version. Shameful. Would people allow the Mona Lisa to be repainted and reprinted as a 3D object?? I assume they wouldn't, so why is this happening to our most beloved films?
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
343,656
Messages
4,686,117
Members
140,979
Latest member
MotorMikey