CLEOPATRA (1934)
1934, Paramount (Universal), 100 min, USA, Dir: Cecil B. DeMille

Mogul and architect of epics Cecil B. DeMille weaves a historical tapestry poised somewhere between high camp and outlandish spectacle, directing the scintillating Claudette Colbert in her youthful prime as the wily Egyptian queen. A naughty pre-Code product, the film boasts an array of scandalous costumes. With Warren William as Julius Caesar and Henry Wilcoxon as Marc Antony.


SAMSON AND DELILAH
1949, Paramount, 131 min, USA, Dir: Cecil B. DeMille

No one brought the Bible to the big screen with more gusto than director Cecil B. DeMille, who initially tried to adapt the tragic love story of the strongman and his Philistine temptress in the mid-1930s. Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr smolder in the title roles, with strong support from George Sanders, Angela Lansbury and Henry Wilcoxon. A huge box office hit, this Technicolor epic picked up Oscars for Best Art Direction and Costume Design.


LAND OF THE PHARAOHS
1955, Warner Bros., 144 min, USA, Dir: Howard Hawks

This truly phenomenal CinemaScope fantasia of ancient Egypt features pharaoh Jack Hawkins, who is obsessed with building an eternal monument to his glory, while nympho wife Joan Collins (at her slinky, scheming best) tries to orchestrate his murder. Stunning technical credits all around, with a script co-written by William Faulkner (!), and sumptuous art direction by the legendary Alexander Trauner. "When I first saw it as a kid, LAND OF THE PHAROAHS became my favorite film." - Martin Scorsese


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