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Caesar and Cleopatra (film): Wikis


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Caesar and Cleopatra

UK DVD cover
Directed by Gabriel Pascal
Produced by Gabriel Pascal
Written by George Bernard Shaw
Starring Claude Rains
Vivien Leigh
Release date(s) 1945
Running time 123 min
Country UK
Language English

Caesar and Cleopatra is a 1945 film starring Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh, produced and directed by Gabriel Pascal from the 1901 play by George Bernard Shaw. The film was nominated an Academy Award for Best Art Direction (John Bryan). [1]


Plot synopsis

In this philosophical coming-of-age play, aging Juslius Caesar takes possession of the Egyptian capital city of Alexandria, and tries to resolve a feud between young Princess Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy. During the resulting sometimes-murderous court-intriques, Caesar develops a special relationship with Cleopatra, and teaches her how to use her royal power.


Filmed in Technicolor with lavish sets, the production was reported to be the most expensive film ever made in Britain at the time. Pascal ordered sand from Egypt to get the right cinematic color. It was described as a "box office stinker" at the time, and virtually ended Pascal's career. It was the last film version of a Shaw play during his lifetime. After Shaw's death in 1950 Pascal went on to produce one more Shaw film, the 1952 version of Androcles and the Lion.



  • John Gielgud was Shaw's first choice for the role of Caesar but declined the offer after meeting with the director Gabriel Pascal and taking an instant dislike towards him.[2]
  • During filming, Vivien Leigh had a miscarriage, which delayed production for five weeks.
  • This movie was shot during World War II which resulted in production being halted repeatedly due to bombings on England. The war also hampered the production's ability to get necessary materials, so the crew had to do the best they could.
  • This was Peter Bayliss's first feature film.
  • First shown on television the same week as a live TV broadcast of Caesar and Cleopatra, which was telecast as part of the NBC anthology Producers Showcase.
  • A 17 year old Roger Moore appears uncredited in the film as a Roman soldier.


  1. ^ "NY Times: Caesar and Cleopatra". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  2. ^ Croall, Jonathan, Gielgud: A Theatrical Life 1904-2000, Continuum (2001) pg. 360


  • The Great British Films, pp 97-101, Jerry Vermilye, 1978, Citadel Press, ISBN 080650661X

External links



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