Cleopatra (1963)

Director
Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Rouben Mamoulian; Darryl F. Zanuck

Main cast
Elizabeth Taylor; Richard Burton; Rex Harrison; Roddy McDowall; Martin Landau

Genres
Drama, History, Romance

Description
Historical epic. The triumphs and tragedy of the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra.The winner of four Oscars, this epic saga of love, greed and betrayal stars Elizabeth Taylor as the passionate and ambitious Egyptian queen who's determined to hold on to the throne and seduces the Roman emperor Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison). When Caesar is murdered, she redirects her attentions to his general, Marc Antony (Richard Burton), who vows to take power -- but Caesar's successor (Roddy McDowall) has other plans.


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Cleopatra, the famed Egyptian Queen born in 69 B.C., is shown to have been brought by Roman ruler Julius Caesar at age 18. Caesar becomes sexually obsessed by the 18 year old queen, beds her, and eventually has a son by her. However, his Roman followers and his wife are not pleased by the union. In fact, as Caesar has only a daughter by his wife, he had picked Octavian as his successor. The out-of-wedlock son of Cleopatra is seen to be a threat to his future leadership. Thus Brutus and other Roman legislators plot the assassination of Caesar. Caesar's loyal general, Marc Antony, and Octavian then divide up the Roman empire. Antony takes Egypt and soon takes up the affair with Cleopatra. However, Octavian soon launches an attack on Antony and ultimately defeats and mortally wounds him. Rather than permitting herself to be humiliated by Octavian, Cleopatra sends her son away to India and she commits suicide by permitting the deadly asp to bite her.
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