The most expensive movie ever made in Britain at the time, this breathtaking adaptation of Shaw-’s epic was notoriously lavish. Shot in Technicolor and directed by Gabriel Pascal, the film was so extravagant that the director even took sand to Egypt to get the right cinematic colour.
As Rome invades Egypt, Julius Caesar (Rains) stumbles across the young and unrefined princess Cleopatra (Leigh), sheltering in the Sphinx. Impressed by her spirit and intelligence, seduced by her charm he determines to make her Queen. Cleopatra learns about power and politics at the feet of a master but her downfall begins when she is seduced by Mark Antony. This witty, brilliantly designed movie features a memorable cast including Stewart Granger (The Prisoner of Zenda), Flora Robson (Wuthering Heights), Stanley Holloway (My Fair Lady) and a very young Jean Simmons (Great Expectations) as the harpist.