We decided to see this Claudette Colbert, C.B. De Mille epic before the Liz Taylor, Rex Harrison, Richard Burton one. It was filmed just as the horrible Hays Code was being introduced, and so it got away with scenes racier than anything which would be seen onscreen until well into the 1960s. Some of Colbert’s costumes are very sheer, and clearly show the outline of nipples. Gasp!
It is an epic, with some pretty big scenes, the largest of which is the seduction of Marc Antony on her legendary barge, just about big enough to use the Titanic as a lifeboat. I was not surprised at the poor quality of the acting, but what caught me by surprise was how shoddy some of the technical stuff was. The big fights near the end were spliced together with stock footage from earlier movies. I’m not kidding! And the big sets, which as supposed to have floors made of marble, clunk resoundingly when someone walks across them, revealing that they are actually plywood. Didn’t they have Foley artists back then? I guess not, I guess it was so early in the sound era that they had to go with what was recorded on the set. This one is not really worth your time except as an example of how pedestrian a director C.B. de M. really was.