Starring Ida Carloni Talli, Matilde Di Marzio, Ruffo Geri, Elsa Lenard,
Amleto Novelli, Gianna Terribli-Gonzales
Directed by Enrico Guazzoni
Runtime: 110 min.
Print Quality: B
First filmed in France in 1903, William Shakespeare's Antony and
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.