Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Cleopatra out-takes ...

Elizabeth Taylor and veteran actor Finlay Currie on the set of CLEOPATRA. But Finlay wasn't in CLEOPATRA you say - quite right, his part was surgically removed when they were cutting the 6 hour epic down to a more manageable 4 .... pity Finlay didn't make the cut here, he was in so many other epics, from QUO VADIS? to BEN HUR

FILMS IN REVIEW is a fascinating little magazine I missed at the time, its good discovering them now, like that 1988 one with a terrific interview with Lee Remick looking back over her career, and this recent acquisition I found on ebay, dated January 1988 with a good feature on CLEOPATRA, going through the original Mankiewicz screenplay for his proposed six hour version, which would be shown in two parts. Zanuck at 20th Century Fox soon put paid to that and the 4-hour version that exists now is as much as we are going to get. 
I don't think there will be any A STAR IS BORN-type restoration here! 
Other deletions, apart from Finlay, included background material on those other characters like Ruffio, Sosigenes, Apollodorus, Octavian, etc. 

I like this particular scene closing the first half, as Cleo sails away, its perfectly written, acted, and scored with that great Alex North score.
Among the supporting players we also like Richard OSullivan (the little boy in DANGEROUS EXILE) as the petulant young Pharoah, Gregoire Alsan as the scheming Pothinus, and Pamela Brown's all-seeing high priestess, and of course we love the opulent sets and costumes, as discussed before, and that great panning shot over the bay of Alexandria as Caesar arrives ....  There is still a lot to enjoy in CLEOPATRA not least Rex as Caesar and as befits a Mankiewicz film, the dialogue is to savour.

No comments:

Post a Comment