ONE OF CINEMA'S FIRST SPECTACLES! A MOVIE CLASSIC FROM 1913.
40 - 30 B.C. Roman Republic war ruled by Triumvirate. Marc Antony (idolized war Chief and strongest member of the Triumvirate which ruled the Roman Republic) and Octavius (Antony's brother-in-law) were members. The Nile River was cradle of the civilization. Beyond Egypt lies primeval mystery. Antony, fresh from war, lands in Egypt to punish Cleopatra, the Pagan Queen of Egypt (whose fatal influence over the Roman General shaped the destiny of the empire and changed the boundaries of the Eastern world) for her assistance to the enemies of Rome. He summoned Cleopatra. Bound by pagan superstition - she consults an oracle to know what to do. The sacred flame reveals, "Go thou to Antony, O beautiful Queen and thy power over him shall be infinite." Cleopatra makes the trip down the Nile in pomp and barbaric splendor proceeded by the riches treasures of Egypt.
First filmed in France in 1903, William Shakespeare's ANTONY & CLEOPATRA was given a lavish screen treatment in this 1913 Italian adaptation. Though the name of the actress who played Cleopatra is not known, Antonio Novelli was prominently billed as Marc Antony. The actors perform operatically, their every gesture geared to the last row in the balcony. Even in her death throes, Cleopatra manages to perform a brief dance for the benefit of the "tired businessmen" in the audience. While the acting is hard to take seriously, the film itself is an impressive achievement, filled with spectacular crowd scenes and battle highlights (according to publicity, 7,500 "supernumeries" appeared in the picture). Running eight reels--approximately 110 minutes when projected at silent speed--ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA was released in the U.S. by George Kleine.