The newly restored print of Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Cleopatra will have its world premiere as an official selection of Cannes Classics at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on May 21. The next day it will open for a limited theatrical engagement in more than 200 theaters around the world, followed by a Blu-ray release on May 28. Today a trailer has been released showing off the new restoration.
Back in 2011 I caught a screening of Cleopatra in its original 70mm format at Seattle's Cinerama and for all its flaws, it's a film I actually enjoy, perhaps just as much for what's on screen as for the story behind its making.
As I wrote in October of 2011:
The production, which cost a reported $44 million to produce (about $325.7 million today), is still considered the most expensive movie in history based on inflation (though, depending on what calculator you use, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End may actually have it beat). It took two-and-a-half years to make, ended the marriages of both Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, almost bankrupt 20th Century Fox and almost saw the death of Taylor who had to undergo an emergency tracheotomy after falling comatose in March of 1961, six months after the film began production under the direction of Rouben Mamoulian. When Taylor returned to the feature, she returned to a new director.
Detailing many of the issues with the production, I personally recommend reading David Kamp's 1998 Vanity Fair piece "When Liz Met Dick" for further insight.
Check out the new trailer below and, if you're interested, click here to preorder the new 2-disc Blu-ray.
Oddly enough, it plays a lot like my remixed trailer of Black Narcissus using the music from the Inception trailer, which I've also added below just because I love watching it.