|Claudette Colbert, "Cleopatra," 1934.|
Claudette Colbert actually made a great Cleopatra in the 1934 film, of the same name, directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It's a tough role. The Queen of the Nile has to be seductive and devious, thinking she is in control of her and Egypt's fate, while at the same time she's very naive about Roman politics. She leads both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony to their doom, in a way that seems utterly convincing. Warren William is familiar to many movie buffs as a smooth talking, somewhat duplicitous leading man in many early talkies; he seems too smart for his own good in this film as Caesar, thinking he controls Cleopatra when she is really controlling him. Henry Wilcoxon as Antony is less nuanced; he's just a drinker, fighter, and lover who seems honestly baffled when first his Roman generals desert him, and the Cleopatra flees to save her own skin at his expense.
|Randolph Scott, "Roberta," 1935.|
|Priscilla Lane, "The Roaring Twenties," 1939.|