Cleopatra is a 1963 British-American-Swiss epic drama film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The screenplay was adapted by Sidney Buchman, Ben Hecht, Ranald MacDougall, and Mankiewicz from a book by Carlo Maria Franzero. The film starred Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Roddy McDowall, and Martin Landau. The music score was by Alex North. It was photographed in 70 mm Todd-AO by Leon Shamroy and an uncredited Jack Hildyard. Cleopatra chronicles the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperialist ambitions of Rome. In all of cinema history, Cleopatra is one of the most expensive films ever made. It received mixed reviews from critics, although critics and audiences alike generally praised Taylor and Burton's performances. It was the highest grossing film of 1963, earning US $26 million, yet made a loss due to its cost of $44 million, making it the only film ever to be the highest grossing film of the year yet to run at a loss; for this, the film has been considered a moderate box office failure. The film later won four Academy Awards, and was nominated for five more, including Best Picture.
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