Long before Lindsay Lohan ever botched the portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor in Lifetime’s laughable Liz & Dick, Hollywood’s true superstar diva was embarking on a role that would define her career and establish her as a legend.
Everybody knows Cleopatra, both the historic lady pharaoh and the epic 1963 blockbuster about her, starring Taylor and Richard Burton, who would go on to become real-life lovers after their on-screen affair. Directed by Academy Award winner Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the production cost a then-record $42 million to make (that would be $300 million in today’s economy). And it took three years to film in Italy.
This week, the 50th anniversary edition of Cleopatra is out on Blu-ray, restored to the butt-numbing 243-minute theatrical version. But it’s worth every tingle. The two-disc set includes lost footage and behind-the-scenes making-of featurettes too, meaning Liz fans will be in movie paradise.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you’ll need at least that much time to watch everything this deluxe set has to offer.
Cleopatra (50th Anniversary 2-Disc Edition) [Blu-ray] (1963)
$16.99 at amazon.com