kendrajbean wrote:Rita Hayworth wrote:Ms Bean,
One of her films that she did - I did see this film in Vancouver Canada about 2 years ago and I was stunned to see her play Cleopatra - in Caesar and Cleopatra a 1945 film starring Claude Rains as Julius Caesar and Vivian Leigh as Cleopatra. I never knew that she did played Cleopatra in this epic movie that also starred Stewart Granger, Flora Robson, and others too.
On to the questions - actually three of them.
1) Of the two Cleopatra's lady attendants - Olga Edwardes and Harda Swanhilde - both of these actresses were stunning as Cleopatra's lady attendants and I was wondering can you tell me anything about them?
2) Was this role was a very difficult role for Vivian to play?
3) I was stunned to see Claude Rains as Julius Caesar and can you shed some light about how he got this starring role as Caesar?
I was hoping you could answer these three questions - and I appreciate any information on it. And, thanks for joining us in our humble forum.
I'm afraid I have no answer for the first question, but I can answer the second two.
Caesar and Cleopatra was the first film Vivien made in England following Gone With the Wind. Cleopatra was a role she was keen on playing (she would reprise it on stage in 1950 opposite Laurence Olivier), and the producer J. Arthur Rank was keen to have her in the film because she was now a big Hollywood star and that meant the film had a good chance of being a success in America. But making the film was difficult and unhappy for Vivien for a variety of reasons: George Bernard Shaw, who wrote the pay the film was based on and who also had full control over the script, forbade director Gabriel Pascal to make any changes. This meant that there was little room for interpretation on the actors' part, so it was more Shaw's character than Vivien's. The film was also made during the war and Britain was still being bombed by the Germans in 1944, so conditions at Denham Studios were dangerous. On top of this, Vivien suffered a miscarriage after a fall on the set. It is believed that this traumatic event was the catalyst for the emergence of her bipolar disorder.
Claude Rains seems like a natural choice to play the elderly Caesar. Like Vivien, he was considered valuable property because he was fairly well known in Hollywood - and he was available at the time. Rains was Pascal's first choice to play Caesar due to his classical theatre background.
Thanks so much about Vivian Leigh in this move Ms. Bean and I understand why the difficulties of Vivian working under those conditions and I know that George Bernard Shaw can be a very difficult person to work with. I just wanted to convey that and I do appreciate it very much about the sheer difficulties that Vivian had to endure.
About Claude Rains ... thanks for sharing your thoughts on him. I did not know that Mr. Pascal (the Director of the movie) was his first choice to play Julius Caesar. Interesting ... You taught me something new today about Claude Rains. I'm a big fan of Claude Rains - he is such a great actor and I was very impressed by his performance in this film.
No problems about Cleopatra's lady servants - I was hoping that you could answer them - but its doesn't hurt to ask.
Anyway, thanks for sharing these answers today and I appreciate your time with us ... and I understand that you will be back on Monday. I got another question - I will try to type it up tomorrow. Thanks again Ms. Bean.