Picture from Cleopatra
Overall C+

This epic 1963 film brings to life the story of Cleopatra (played by Elizabeth Taylor), the Egyptian ruler who attempted to secure her right to reign by engaging in affairs with Roman ruler Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and his successor Marc Anthony (Richard Burton).

Violence C+
Sexual Content C
Profanity B
Substance Use C+

MPAA Rating: G - after it was re-issued in 1971

Talk to your kids about…


What motivates Cleopatra to seek power even at the cost of others’ lives? Did she see her two love interests as more than a way to achieve greatness? How did rulers use marriage and other relationships to build their empires?

How does this film showcase the different techniques used in moviemaking?

Although Marc Anthony and Cleopatra’s relationship ends tragically, it is still considered one of the most famous love stories of all time. Does this film give sufficient reasons for that to be so? Are relationships considered more genuine if they end in tragedy? How does the story of Romeo and Juliet compare with this one?

Check here for a brief look at the history of Cleopatra’s time:

Here is a list of the Academy Awards Cleopatra either won or was nominated for: Best Art Direction (won); Best Cinematography (won); Best Costume Design (won); Best Visual Effects (won); Best Picture (nominated); Best Actor (Rex Harrison) (nominated); Best Film Editing (nominated); Best Original Score (nominated); Best Sound Mixing (nominated)

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