|John Holmes Motherfucker |
These people look embarrassed..
Rodents of Unusual Size
Also, when I worked at the video store, there was this incredibly fussy gay guy I worked with who got really offended if I didn't like certain movies and this was one of them. I believe I said something like it really wasn't that great, especially when you compare it to the version HBO did with Rome.
He wouldn't talk to me for the rest of that day because I said Taylor was awful in a lot of movies, like Butterfield 8 of that fucking train wreck of a movie in some villa on the beach which someone posted here before. He got personally offended by it, and so I made it my mission to vocally discuss how I loved movies that he hated, and recommend them to people as much as possible.
I love and hate this film with equal measures. Let me count some of the ways:
- Roddy McDowell as Octavian, puking at the film's climax, pretty much a summation of the entire affair.
- Richard Burton's acid freak out on the royal barge. The guy in green body paint as Bacchus.
- Rex Harrison being Rex Harrison as Caesar.
- Martin Landau avoiding the standard "All Romans are British" accent and thereby being the only Roman with a Brooklyn accent.
- The harem girl getting poisoned.
- Charles Addams went to the premiere and was asked what his favorite part was. He said "The asp," and laughed ghoulishly.
John Holmes Motherfucker
In a recent biography that I happen to be reading right now: CLEOPATRA: A LIFE, by Stacy Schiff, the author remarks that, being Greek, Cleopatra was "approximately as Egyptian as Elizabeth Taylor"
Historical accuracy is sort of beside the point. If history is written by the winners, Cleopatra was a legendary loser, and a woman to boot. Everything that was written about her was a fiction at best, and propaganda at worst. The film saught to recreate Cleopatra for a new age. Unfortunately, the pre-Beatles 1960s was a dreary, ponderous, self-important age, so yeah, mission accomplished.
I loved reading about the making of the film in the Medved Brothers' book "Hollywood Hall of Shame" Taylor and Burton were both married to other people, and started their affair during filming. At end of shooting a love scene that Liz and Dick refused to end, Joseph L. Mankiewicz is supposed to have yelled "Cut... Cut! CUT!!! MY GOD, I FEEL LIKE I'M INTERRUPTING!"
According to Wikipedia, the four hour version seen here is the version shown at the premiere, but not the much shorter version that went into general release, and there is an attempt in the works to restore the six hour version that by Mankiewicz intended.
It's been a long time since I saw it., but Cecil B. DeMille made a much better version in the 30s starring an even more unlikely Cleopatra, Claudette Colbert. As I remember, it really moved along.
I wonder what they would have done if Taylor had died in the middle of shooting the picture, like she almost did.
I also want to add that for the movie "The Only Game in Town," they recreated Las Vegas on a sound stage in France, so Taylor could be with Burton while he acting in "Staircase."
If you want to find out if someone pretends to like things just to seem cultured, ask if they like this movie.
The parade scene alone seems to take four hours so imagine how long the whole film seems to take to slowly trudge by your eyes.
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