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Entries in Cleopatra (5)

Tuesday
Jun122018

Showbiz History: Anne & Ellen, Liz & Dick, Rosemary & Baby

Here's what was happening on this day in showbiz history...

1930 Jim Nabors (aka Gomer Pyle) born in Alabama

1942 Anne Frank receives a diary for her 13th birthday. The diary will become world famous and receive multiple stage and film adaptations, most famously in the Oscar nominated '59 version from director George Stevens.

1963 Cleopatra has its premiere in New York City after years of tabloid sensations during the making of courtesy of Liz & Dick. Ever courting controversy, Liz & Dick did not attend the premiere!

1965 Actress Cathy Tyson (niece of Cicely!) born in Liverpool. She'll make a big splash (and receive a Golden Globe nomination) for her film debut in Mona Lisa when she's just 21...

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Saturday
Sep022017

OTD: Madonna Mania and a Dangerous Release Date

On this day (Sept 2nd) in showbiz-related history...

31 BC Cleopatra loses the Battle of Actium to Octavian's troops in the final war of the Roman Republic. Liz is very upset but it turns out Dick is still alive and he leaves his men to drown to catch up with her and work on his thigh tan! Not great, Bob.

Madonna mania, September 1st movie releases and more after the jump...

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Saturday
Aug122017

On This Day: Basquiat, Last Temptation, Cleopatra

on this day in history as it relates to showbiz

30 BC  Cleopatra commits suicide, allegedly by purposeful snake bite. I don't remember that scene in Liz Taylor's Cleopatra but it might have been at the four hour mark and t'was possibly asleep

How to honor this day: play with someone's snake. In the absence of a suitable one, wink at someone as saucily as Liz

← 1915  "Of Human Bondage" by W Somerset Maugham published. 19 years later it becomes a movie and marks Bette Davis's ascent to superstar actress

How to honor this day: Let it all out like Bette in that performance that's pure 🔥

1927 Wings (1927) the first movie to win Best Picture has its NYC premiere. Five months later it will open in Los Angeles (things took longer to get around in those days) and four months after the LA premiere it will win the very first Oscars.

How to honor this day: Go see Dunkirk if you haven't which has good aerial sequences and be astounded that Wings set the bar so high for aerial sequences 90 years ago without the aid of current movie technology.

Jean-Michael Basquiat and Madonna in 1982, part of the East Village / Alphabet city scene that produced many legendary figures

1988 The modern artist Jean-Michael Basquiat dies of an overdose and Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ opens in theaters. 

How to honor this day: Watch either Scorsese's film or Julian Schnabel's Basquiat biopic starring a young Jeffrey Wright as the painter and David Bowie as Warhol (though sadly no one plays Madonna)

2016 Hell or High Water opens in theaters becoming a sleeper hit and eventually winning a Best Picture nomination.

How to honor this day: Read Daniel Walber's interesting column on its production design

Dana IveyHappy Birthday
Actors: LaKeith Stanfield, Cantinflas, Dana Ivey, George Hamilton, Dominique Swain, Cara Delevingne, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Krause, Jane Wyatt, John Cazale; Other crafts: director Ralph Nelson (Lilies of the Field), Bo-Derek-wrangler John Derek (Tarzan the Ape Man), writer William Goldman (The Princess Bride), rapper Sir Mix a Lot, and cinematographer Nelsson Lik-wai Yu (Still Life)

Oscar Winners Born on this Day:
Pioneer/producer/director/legend Cecil B DeMille (The Ten Commandments as epic finale to that career), actor/famous brother Casey Affleck, costume designer Ulla-Britt Söderlund (Barry Lyndon), and sound editor Mike Hopkins (King Kong

 

 

Thursday
Aug102017

Vintage '63

The Supporting Actress Smackdown 1963 Edition arrives on Monday so let's talk context since we haven't revisited as much of 1963 as we'd hoped to...

Great Big Box Office Hits: 1) Cleopatra 2) How the West Was Won 3) It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World 4) Tom Jones 4) Irma La Douce 6) Son of Flubber 7) The Birds 8) Dr No 9) The VIPs 10) McClintock!

Oscar's Best Pictures: Tom Jones (10 noms / 4 wins), Cleopatra (9 noms / 4 wins), How the West Was Won (8 noms / 3 wins), Lilies of the Field (5 noms / 1 win), America America (4 noms / 1 win) Our theory as to what was just outside the Best Picture shortlist plus more '63 goodies follow...

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Thursday
Sep172015

1963 Look Back: Liz Taylor's 10 Best Looks From "Cleopatra"

Abstew kicks off our celebration of 1963 as we countdown to the next Smackdown (date TBA but probably early October)...

There's epic film making and then there's Cleopatra. Certainly in a class all of its own, the film spanned different countries, directors, stars, budgets, an original run time that clocked in at over six hours, and one legendary love affair far more interesting than the one being portrayed in the final film. Thanks to audiences wanting to see if La Liz and Richard Burton's explosive relationship off screen was able to be captured on the 70 mm Todd-AO celluloid, Cleopatra ended up being the #1 box office champion of 1963...and still ended up nearly bankrupting 20th Century Fox. Originally budgeted at $2 million, the final budget ballooned into an unprecedented amount of $44 million (roughly over $300 million when judged for inflation today) including a million dollar contract for star Elizabeth Taylor, making her the highest paid performer at the time. (She ended up walking away with over $7 million due to delays and a percentage of the box office.)

And it feels like at least half of that inflated budget went toward Taylor's costumes alone. Setting a Guinness Book of World Record at the time, Taylor goes through 65 costume changes in the film and earned all 3 (yes, 3) of its Costume Designers the Oscar for their efforts. Renié was responsible for the women's costumes, Vittorio Nino Novarese created the men's, and thanks to Irene Sharaff, who was in charge of all of Elizabeth Taylor's looks, we have a sumptuous treasure trove of couture fit for a queen (or at least Hollywood royalty). Deciding on a more modern look and color palette than what would have actually been found in ancient Egypt at the time of the film's setting, Taylor's looks influenced early '60s fashion with an influx in Egyptian like jewelry and even inspired a Revlon "Syphinx" line of make-up. So in honor of the film's sartorial contributions to cinema, let's take a look at 10 of Elizabeth Taylor's best looks as the legendary Queen of the Nile...

10. Travel Rug Chic

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