Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra (1945)

Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 23a

The third post in my ‘Egypt in Vintage Film’ series is theĀ 1945 version of Cleopatra, starring Vivien Leigh (last week was Claudette Colbert in Cleopatra of 1934).

I love how even though each of the movies I have shown so far is depicting the same character in history, the styles of each decade come through so strongly – particularly with the make-up (and we haven’t even got onto Liz Taylor’s blue eye-shadow yet). Vivien as Cleopatra has the natural mouth shape of the 40s, but done with a precise edge. Similarly her eyebrows are in a fairly natural shape, although well groomed – in contrast to Claudette in the 30s with her pencil-thin eyebrows and defined cupids-bow lip shape.

The most exciting thing for me though was finding a scan of an old newspaper competition where you could win the shoes that Vivien Leigh actually wore in the film! They are in a typical 40s wedge sandal style (ie, rather clumpy), but with Egyptian motifs as decoration. I wonder what ever happened to them, and if the lucky winner wore them or just kept them as a keepsake.

The film was shot in Technicolor, but most of the images I could find were only in black and white. All the more reason for hunting down a copy to actually watch!

Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 1 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 3 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 7 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 9 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 13 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 14 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 15 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 16 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 16a Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 17 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 19 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 21 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 20 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 22 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie poster Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie poster 1 Vivien Leight Caesar-and-Cleopatra 1945 movie 26