Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coming to DVD: Cleopatra (1934)

A 75th Anniversary Edition of Cecil B. DeMille's CLEOPATRA comes to DVD on April 7, 2009.

The movie stars Claudette Colbert in the title role, with Warren William as Julius Caesar and Henry Wilcoxon as Marc Antony. The cast also includes Joseph Schildkraut, Sir C. Aubrey Smith, Gertrude Michael, Ian Keith, and Irving Pichel, who spent his career alternating acting and directing.

DVD Times lists the extensive extras, which include a commentary by F.X. Feeney, who also worked on the recent DVD release of QUO VADIS (1951). The set will also have a trailer and featurettes on Colbert, DeMille, and the Production Code Era; CLEOPATRA was released a few months after the Production Code went into effect in mid-1934.

I don't recall ever seeing this film. It sounds like a great release, particularly for those of us who enjoy Claudette Colbert's work.


Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

Yay! I'm so excited. If Colbert is half as good as she was in Sign of the Cross, I'm sure to like this one.

6:00 AM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

This was released previously on the Cecil B. Demille Collection set in 2007 (?) with Four Frightened People, Sign of the Cross, etc. It is encouraging that Universal, in addition to releasing a Pre-code set in April, is now giving this the deluxe treatment.
It's an interesting film, to say the least. Audiences didn't know quite what to make of it- Demille's "epics" even by then were becoming old hat and laughable to Depression era audiences. DeMille saw Colbert as a smoldering femme fatale of sorts and was his "historical beauty" muse for a time and used her in several films (milk bath, anyone?) in such a manner. Thank goodness Colbert was able to renegotiate and break out of that mold with It Happened One Night. Some of Demille's and even Griffith's female "stars" that they groomed and kept control over didn't survive their mentor's visions and careers.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for the info and insight, J.C. I'm quite curious about it, especially seeing Colbert in this type of role.

Best wishes,

12:07 PM  

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