Archive for May 28th, 2009

Guess the pic

Jenny’s at it again…


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cleopatra 1 copy

by Allan Fish

(USA 1934 101m) DVD1/2 (France only)

I am dressed to lure you

p  Cecil B.de Mille, Adolph Zukor  d  Cecil B.de Mille  w  Waldemar Young, Vincent Lawrence  ph  Victor Milner  ed  Anne Bauchens  m  Rudolph Kopp  art  Hans Dreier  cos  Travis Banton

Claudette Colbert (Cleopatra), Warren William (Caesar), Henry Wilcoxon (Antony), Ian Keith (Octavian), C.Aubrey Smith (Enobarbus), Joseph Schildkraut (Herod), Gertrude Michael (Calpurnia), Leonard Mudie (Pothinos), Irving Pichel (Apollodorus), Arthur Hohl (Brutus), Ian McLaren (Cassius), Edwin Maxwell (Casca), Eleanor Phelps (Charmion), Claudia Dell (Octavia), Robert Warwick (Achillas), Harry Beresford,

Here, quite literally, is the queen of guilty pleasures.  After years of ridicule, de Mille’s films can be retrieved from the Room 101 they were unfairly sent to and emerge as among the most entertaining of their day.  He was a master of artifice, though unlike say Von Sternberg, who revelled in artifice for its own sake, de Mille allied this to spectacle for its own sake.  Cleopatra isn’t his best film – that’s The Sign of the Cross – but it was perhaps the last of real interest because it was the last made before the Hays Code enforcement of the summer of 1934.  His later spectaculars, Samson and Delilah and The Ten Commandments, since reclaimed by numerous filmmakers and critics, lack the opulent extravagance of his earlier films, perhaps because his favourite subject – sex – was forbidden after the Code crackdown.  Those later films, for all their camp value, are rather stolid affairs, and lack the moments of genius that punctuate the earlier work.  (more…)

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