Cleopatra review

F amed as one of Hollywood's largest, loveliest follies, Cleopatra continues to frustrate 50 years on.  

Clocking in at an eye-watering four hours, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s historical epic is so busy bombarding us with huge, gilded sets that the plot is left to flounder in soapy melodrama and oddly stilted performances from Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton; you’d think there’d be more of a spark given the pair began their relationship on-set. 

Still, every cent of the colossal $44m budget is up there to see; as a monument to pre-CGI pageantry, it doesn’t get much bigger than this.


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