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BBC4 21:00 Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood


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Old 25-07-2013, 16:41
Doghouse Riley
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Deaf people are nocturnal.
Yes!
I too have often pointed it out when signing is mentioned on here.
But it can be amusing, there was a documentary on BBC 4 once on Al Jolson. The later scheduling was signed. I can still picture the "large woman in the corner" signing furiously as Al sang.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syz70OKRTQA

D-i-x-i-e gave her serious problems, I can't recall how she signed his whistling most of one chorus.
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Old 25-07-2013, 17:14
woot_whoo
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Yes!
I too have often pointed it out when signing is mentioned on here.
But it can be amusing, there was a documentary on BBC 4 once on Al Jolson. The later scheduling was signed. I can still picture the "large woman in the corner" signing furiously as Al sang.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syz70OKRTQA

D-i-x-i-e gave her serious problems, I can't recall how she signed his whistling most of one chorus.
That's brilliant! There used to be a music channel called 'The Box' which had a late night show called 'Signed by The Box'. It consisted entirely of people 'dancing for the deaf' in the corner of the screen.

I'd love to know the rationale behind it being a late night thing, though.
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Old 25-07-2013, 17:44
Dr. Otterbland
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It just shows that studios, like now, lacked any imagination at all.

Faced with near bankruptcy a studio puts all it's rancid eggs in one raggedly arsed basket and risks it all in a lavish Biblical sized epic, the type of film that was out of fashion years previously.

Why not make lots of small, cheap modest films that make a respectable profit than put it all on a risky blockbusteroonie ?

Fox deserved to die a death for producing such a lousy turkey of a movie.
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Old 25-07-2013, 18:01
Groundhogal
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I had no idea that Caesar, Anthony and Octavian were originally cast with different actors. I wonder what it would've looked like with them in the finished film if they'd stayed. The guy who played Octavian looks uncannily like Roddy McDowall. Strange seeing future well known tv stars like George Cole and Richard O'Sullivan in the finished film too.
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Old 25-07-2013, 22:52
Prince Monalulu
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Thanks. Came on here to ask if it's repeated again. Missed the start so decided to record the repeat at 2am. Just sat down to watch it now and as soon as the speaking started, the picture shrunk to reveal a woman doing sign language. I put up a bit of cardboard to stop her distracting me but when the talking stops, the picture expands again ffs. nb tv companies, it's not just deaf people that can't read subtitles who stay up late.
I find some of the signing women distracting for 'other' reasons.
I don't find them a problem on the whole, but I had years of practice watching signing on See Hear, I watched that for years.
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Old 25-07-2013, 23:15
Flanno
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Watching that programme it was the first time I'd ever seen it said that some thought she only got the Oscar for Butterfield 8 cos she'd recovered from her serious illness!
Like Hollywood rewarding her for her determination to get well when she nearly died!
Indeed! Shirley Maclaine, Elizabeth's fellow Oscar Best Actress nominee at the time, was rather bitter about this when she said: "I lost out to a trachentomy."
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Old 25-07-2013, 23:51
mike65
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Just watched this "off tape" (btw I knew to avoid the late night repeat!) absorbing 2 hours. Fascinating to see the aborted London Pinewood footage and so much else behind the scenes. I had no idea that so much material never made the final cut. The idea to release two separate linked dramas - Caesar/Cleo and then Anthony/Cleo made perfect sense to me I have to say. Its an approach that the Salkinds used to considerable effect later on with the Musketeers and Supermans.

Ironic that Richard Zanucks final independent production - The Longest Day saved 20ths bacon at the time. Also amusing in the summary to hear hits the company had after Cleo was released (1964-1968) as they'd end up on the edge of meltdown again sooner after - Star!, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Myra Breckinridge and a few others that flopped badly.
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Old 26-07-2013, 08:34
MikeySaint859
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It just shows that studios, like now, lacked any imagination at all.

Faced with near bankruptcy a studio puts all it's rancid eggs in one raggedly arsed basket and risks it all in a lavish Biblical sized epic, the type of film that was out of fashion years previously.

Why not make lots of small, cheap modest films that make a respectable profit than put it all on a risky blockbusteroonie ?

Fox deserved to die a death for producing such a lousy turkey of a movie.
I wouldn't go that far, but Cleopatra is indeed a godawful film. Also, considering all the lavish outdoor sets it employed it always felt very claustrophobic to me.

Carry on Cleo has stood the test of time far better, and the documentary about Cleopatra's production was also much better than the film. In fact, there are a heck of a lot of "making ofs" I would rather watch than the actual product.
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:04
MrGiles2
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I watched this documentary since I am a movie and TV buff. I found it interesting, although grossly overlong and struggled to sit through the final thirty minutes or so.

I have a copy of the four hour version of Cleopatra which I bought last year for a fiver. It is worth a view, but not at one sitting though. Bit too slow and ponderous in places. Still, the lavish sets, costumes, and some scenes are worth seeing. I wonder though if the six hour version will ever materialise, it would make interesting viewing, preferably over three sittings though.
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:06
MrGiles2
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Carry on Cleo has stood the test of time far better, and the documentary about Cleopatra's production was also much better than the film. In fact, there are a heck of a lot of "making ofs" I would rather watch than the actual product.[/quote]

Carry On Cleo is a classic. Using some of the abandoned sets from the Cleopatra movie was a masterstroke of production values.

It still quite funny today, even the "Marcius and Spencious" scene is hilarious.
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:41
ftv
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Watching that programme it was the first time I'd ever seen it said that some thought she only got the Oscar for Butterfield 8 cos she'd recovered from her serious illness!
Like Hollywood rewarding her for her determination to get well when she nearly died!
John Wayne only got his Oscar because Hollywood knew he was dying of cancer.
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:44
woot_whoo
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I wouldn't go that far, but Cleopatra is indeed a godawful film. Also, considering all the lavish outdoor sets it employed it always felt very claustrophobic to me.

Carry on Cleo has stood the test of time far better, and the documentary about Cleopatra's production was also much better than the film. In fact, there are a heck of a lot of "making ofs" I would rather watch than the actual product.
Infamy, infamy! ... They've all got it in for me!
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Old 26-07-2013, 13:34
Groundhogal
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John Wayne only got his Oscar because Hollywood knew he was dying of cancer.
Considering it took him another 11 years to die, they must have felt a bit conned then.
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Old 26-07-2013, 13:50
Groundhogal
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Just watched this "off tape" (btw I knew to avoid the late night repeat!) absorbing 2 hours. Fascinating to see the aborted London Pinewood footage and so much else behind the scenes. I had no idea that so much material never made the final cut. The idea to release two separate linked dramas - Caesar/Cleo and then Anthony/Cleo made perfect sense to me I have to say. Its an approach that the Salkinds used to considerable effect later on with the Musketeers and Supermans.

Ironic that Richard Zanucks final independent production - The Longest Day saved 20ths bacon at the time. Also amusing in the summary to hear hits the company had after Cleo was released (1964-1968) as they'd end up on the edge of meltdown again sooner after - Star!, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Myra Breckinridge and a few others that flopped badly.
Didn't the Musketeers films end up in a lengthy legal battle as the cast thought they were making one film and were only paid for one film?
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Old 26-07-2013, 14:47
mike65
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Director Richard Lester was one of them, ironic that he ended up working uncredited (his choice) on Superman as a producer and directed much of Superman 2 basically so he could get what he thought he was was owed from the Four Musketeers.
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Old 28-07-2013, 10:19
ntscuser
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I'm not a fan of the movie but I enjoyed the documentary.

Did anyone else notice - during the segment on Liz Taylor's illness - the clip of a Boeing 737 flying overhead several years before it was ever built?
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Old 28-07-2013, 11:28
Doghouse Riley
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I'm not a fan of the movie but I enjoyed the documentary.

Did anyone else notice - during the segment on Liz Taylor's illness - the clip of a Boeing 737 flying overhead several years before it was ever built?
Yes I noticed that, because in old news footage and films of the late fifties, I look for rare glimpses of what I think was the most beautiful passenger airplane ever built, the Lockheed "Connie."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05Gk_1RpPCs
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Old 28-07-2013, 15:22
jerseyporter
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Can I just say I can't believe people care complaining about having 'to put up with' the BSL (British Sign Language) version of repeated programmes such as this one. One of my best friends is deaf, and I am trying to learn BSL to communicate with her in her own language. People seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that subtitles are the be all and end all of provision for Deaf viewers (Deaf with a capital 'D' to denote deaf culture, rather than deaf with a lower case 'd' which denotes those who only become deaf in old age). BSL is a language on its own terms, with its own grammar rules and sentence construction. Many who have BSL as their first language would not understand the sentence construction, or (in some cases) be able to read the English words on the screen in subtitles and make sense of them. BSL translators 'in vision' is their only way of watching, and understanding, TV programmes.

When you think that only a tiny percentage of programmes are even given the additional benefit of a BSL translation, and those that are are mostly all in the middle of the night (and therefore have to be recorded for viewing the next day) it seems very churlish for some to complain. How would you like it if you couldn't watch programmes you enjoyed at their time of transmission EVERY time they were transmitted? That's the reality of Deaf culture for many people - they have to wait for the pitiful few programmes to be signed, and they are all late at night or in the early hours.

I'd almost think people were joking with their complaints, except that this isn't the only thread I've seen recently with the same complaints. I had lunch with my Deaf friend yesterday and she was horrified when I told her about the comments on this thread, and others. She despairs that the Deaf community will ever be accepted at this rate.

Instead of complaining, why don't you learn some BSL and learn about Deaf culture? You might understand how lucky you are to have CHOICE about what you watch in TV without even thinking about it most of the time.
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