Search - Cleopatra on DVD

Actors: Billy Zane, Timothy Dalton, Rupert Graves, Leonor Varela, John Bowe
Director: Franc Roddam
Genres: Drama, Television
NR     1999     2hr 57min

The chemistry between Leonor Varela, who stars as the bewitching queen Cleopatra, and Billy Zane, as the steadfast Marc Antony, is undeniable. Their love scene is one of the steamiest to hit network television. However, on...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Billy Zane, Timothy Dalton, Rupert Graves, Leonor Varela, John Bowe
Director: Franc Roddam
Creators: Dyson Lovell, Robert Halmi Jr., Robert Halmi Sr., Steve Harding, Anton Diether, Margaret George, Stephen Harrigan
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Television
Studio: Hallmark
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 08/31/1999
Original Release Date: 05/23/1999
Theatrical Release Date: 05/23/1999
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 2hr 57min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Frank E. (realartist) from HENDERSONVLLE, NC
Reviewed on 8/12/2009...
This movie would serve as evidence in any court in any country, that Hollywood producers have the mind and maturity of 12 year old girls. The set, the costumes, the cinematic extravaganza are all there. I honestly think if Zimbabwe were compelled to pay for the movie production costs, it would take them several generations. So then...why can't we hire a good writer? How about a good casting director? But noooo. We have two rivals for queen of Egypt, who behave like school girls with bitchin' bods, cat fighting over whoever happens to drive the corvette at school, or is in the backfield of the football team. God forbid he just be a "lineman".
This movie also reveals what a cheap, tawdry, and infantile society we live in. That the only things of interest are bitchin' bods, and men with power. Everyone else, everything else, is chopped liver.
And please...what's with the fake British accents? Is this some pathetic attempt at 'royalty'... a jolly good show of 'good breeding'? An indication of belonging to 'the upper crust'? Boys and girls, hear me... the Brits are the shallowest people on earth.They honestly have utterly no depth. They have one hope and one hop only-and that is to rescusitate old dead literary masters. They have elevated a mere mortal, Darwin, to one was responsible for all of life on this planet. It makes no sense whatever to think that by feigning upper class British, that "one has truly arrived". Arrived where? In a movie that will never be heard from again throughout all eternity...except perhaps to look back on by the next generation and laugh uproariously until our sides ache, and tears steam from our eyes. This is only one notch above Cheech and Chong.
2 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

An exceptional effort!
D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 11/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is an excellent, high budget made-for-TV project which ranks up there with "Odysseus," "Merlin," "Joan Of Arc" and "Jason And The Argonauts" in quality. In my mind, it is the most well-done film of them all.The movie concentrates on Cleopatra's rise to power as well as her liasons with Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony. Timothy Dalton, in particular, gives a standout performance as the proud Julius. The sets are lavish and the film is very panoramic. Although not too much of the outside of ancient Rome is seen, the set designers did a superb (not to mention expensive) job of re-creating ancient Alexandria.As with most films which try to cover as much ground as "Cleopatra," there is some fudging of history. For example, Octavion (later to be known as Caesar Augustus) was NOT in Rome prior to the assasination of his uncle. It was not until after the assasination that he stepped inside the walls of Rome (he was named by Julius as his chief heir). The most egregious fudging is a scene in which Octavion is let in on the conspiracy of Brutus & Cassius to assasinate Julius. I do not think this was necessary and most assuredly is not something Octavion would have allowed to happen, had he been aware of the plot. Also, in the struggle for power after the death of Julius, there was (for a short time) a triumverate: Octavion, Mark Anthony (Antonius) and Lepidus. Lepidus is not mentioned and the film leads one to believe the struggle was only between Octavion and Mark Anthony. It may sound as though I'm being nit-picky and intentionally trying to find fault with this movie. I am not. In fact, I can see why they chose to gloss over most of the historical details I mentioned. First of all, if they had chosen to go for veracity as far as Octavion is concerned, they would have had to have gone one of two ways. Either they would have had to add another half hour or so to introduce his character, studying in Appollonia, or they would have had to have seemingly made his character appear "out of the blue" after Caesar's murder. I believe the way they did it was better, for the sake of pragmatism. After all, this movie is supposed to be about Cleopatra, not Octavion. Also, Lepidus was a very minor character & quickly dropped out of the triumverate. He was irrelevant to the "scheme of things" insofar as Octavion & Anthony were concerned. The only issue I take umbrage with is the scene where Octavion is told of the plot to slay Caesar, and does nothing about it. That not only did not happen, it could not have happened, given the closeness he shared with his uncle.The movie does a wonderful job of making allusions to many historical nuances, such as the Lighthouse of Alexandria (one of the 7 Wonders of the World), the library of Alexandria and the Julian Calendar. The film contains a very ambitious staging of the Battle of Actium as well. There is also a wonderful scene in which Mark Anthony holds up the bloodied robes in of Julius at the Caesar's funeral. That is a historical fact & is what drove the masses into a rage (and also drove Brutus and Cassius out of Rome).This is a very tasteful and well done movie. I would highly recommend it to all fans and historians of antiquity. This one is a can't miss. Also, for those who enjoy this project, I would advocate the BBC production of "I, Claudius" starring Derek Jacoby. It picks up about 20 years later and is a wonderful series to be seen in tandem with the present movie."
A diversion: Nothing more; Nothing less
Neal C. Reynolds | Indianapolis, Indiana | 08/09/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"... Timothy Dalton did give an excellant portrayal of Julius Caesar and did his best with the script he had to work from. Billy Zane was better than adequate, but suspect strongly that the women viewers enjoyed his portrayal more than the male viewers did. That's okay, because I enjoyed watching Leonor more than I imagine most women did. LOL I do think she's blamed for a poor performance when the fault was quite likely more with the script than her acting. She's no Elizabeth Taylor or Claudette Colbert, but I thought she was adequate for a TV portrayal. I give this three stars because it didn't strike me as a BAD movie. And for those really devoted to different versions of Cleopatra's life will want it. There's enough sex and violence to titilate those looking for that. However, I believe that most viewers will find either the Elizabeth Taylor or Claudette Colbert versions more worthwhile."
What a shame
wolfen | Great White North | 08/19/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This happens to be one of my favorite times in history, and I have read alot about it. Now, I wasn't going into this movie expecting historical correctness, but neither was I expecting a whiney, bratty Cleopatra either. Timothy Dalton does a passable to good job on his portrayal of Julius Caesar. As does Billy Zane with Marc Antony (historical correctness aside). But I have to draw the line at the absolutely horrid job that was done by Leonor Varela as Cleopatra. I'm not sure if it was the acting, her direction, or the script, but her part in this movie really ruined it for me. Cleopatra was an intelligent, and politically adept woman. Her leadership of Egypt kept them from becoming just another Roman province in a time when the Republic was gobbling up land and peoples as fast as it could march their legions. Quite an amazing feat for a woman in ancient times. Not only did she capture the attention and favor of one powerful Roman general (Caesar), but two (Antony). Was this love? Or was it the maneuvering of a wise leader? Maybe it was both. I read the novel this movie was based on. It was excellent. This movie...was not."