Another horrible Shakespeare production!
rolling thunder | Paso Robles, CA | 06/11/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD was so bad that I really can't believe it's been unleashed on the general public (and for $.....). I have bought this production company's Shakespearean videos before, and every time I am disappointed. I just keep hoping one of them will be decent. This was the worst Antony and Cleopatra I have ever seen. The acting is so terrible that in places where a good actor would have you weeping, these actors make you laugh. Although Tomothy Dalton gives an okay performance, the rest of the cast stinks. This is wooden acting at its best. If these actors actually got paid for thier performances, someone should take their money back. To abuse the Shakespearean language as they did should be a crime! This is the kind of productions that make kids hate Shakespeare. Do not buy this video if you have any sense."
Ready for my Closeup, Mr. Shakespeare
Buce | Palookaville | 12/29/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Search Amazon DVD & VHS for "Antony and Cleopatra," and you come up with two titles: the 1975 Paul Scofield production, listed as out of stock, and the dreadfully misconceived 1981 number by Lawrence Carra (I pass in silenceover the "Cleopatras" of Elizabeth Taylor and Claudet Colbert). It is a pity because it means that Amazon is not offering the 1981 version by Jonathan Miller for BBC, and so you miss the chance to see my own favorite Cleopatra, Jane LaPotaire. The puzzle is that I know it is out in DVD - I have a copy - and Amazon does seem to be offering a couple of boxed sets comprising other entries from the same series.LaPotaire certainly puts her own stamp on this role, and it certainly won't be for everyone. If your idea of Cleopatra is along the lines of Tuesday Weld or Teri Garr, you won't be happy with this (we will not speak about Elizabeth Taylor a second time). But for my money, Lapotaire has the one essential requisite of a great Cleopatra: she's long in the tooth. No doubt she was dazzling in her day and she's not quite over the hill yet, but it has been a long time since the first Caesar swaggered through her bedchamber and this old queen is beginning to think about stretch marks. She's in love with Antony but more than that, she is love with herself and in love with love and she knows that this is her last big spin. She whines and she wheedles. She puts on all of her fading but still considerable charm. But then, when it comes time to die, it is she, the Egyptian, who knows how to "do it after the high Roman fashion, /And make death proud to take us."Opposite LaPotaire, Colin Blakely's Antony is a creature of appetitites, a bit clueless in the way men are clueless, and not quite certain that he is as, ahem, manly as his distinguished predecessor (one way that you know that Cleopatra has still got it is that Antony goes so squiggly giggly in her presence). It's easy to see his magnetism and his capacity for reckless bravery; you don't doubt that he "didst drink /The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle /Which beasts would cough at." But in the end, you can't quite believe that he could ever get to the top of the greasy pole. This is, after all, a contender who botches his own suicide. Jonathan Miller's production is eccentric in a way that one comes to expect from Jonathan Miller. The faux Renaissance style carries a certain kind of conviction but it does sacrifice the spaciousness that is so distinctive a feature of the play. The cast is a mixed bag, but good enough not to bog down the principals.Is LaPotaire the greates Cleopatra ever? Oh, I doubt that. There have been hundreds - three by Helen Mirren alone, and I'd give more than a nickel to see any one of those three. I believe there is even a Judith Dench; if I live long enough, maybe I will live to see a Cleopatra from Kevin Kline. But for the moment LaPotaire is my Cleopatra, and I hope Amazon finds a way to show her to the world. Meanwhile, steer clear of Lawrence Carra; it's a mess."
Dalton talent lost in terrible production
kinseyc | Montreal, Quebec Canada | 11/04/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I love Timothy Dalton. His performance offers what few enjoyable moments there are to be found in this version of Antony and Cleopatra, but it unfortunately cannot salvage this atrocious production. Seeing it is enough to turn someone off Shakespeare. (Should that happen, I highly recommend viewing Al Pacino's delightful LOOKING FOR RICHARD -- it is the perfect antidote to restore passion for the Bard). But I digress. I want to issue a warning to all who might assume this DVD would be superior to its VHS counterpart. In this instance, tape was simply transferred unto disk with no remastering or enhancements, and there are no extra features. The visual and audio quality is appalling. I regret buying this DVD when I already owned the VHS (..like I said, I love Timothy Dalton...) The only advantage is being able to skip the boring parts to get to the monologues. But that isn't saying much."
Lynn Redgrave and Timothy Dalton shine.
mnraft | Baltimore, Maryland United States | 08/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I give this a B, well worth seeing. Lynn Redgrave as Cleopatra, Timothy Dalton as Antony, and Barrie Ingram as Enobarbus are all excellent. The rest of the cast ranges from good to barely adequate. Redgrave and Dalton both bring excellent diction to their roles and convey their characters' impetuousness and charisma."