An all-region British Bluray of Joseph L. Mankiewicz‘s tediously talky Cleopatra (’63) will be available in three weeks. The 20th Century Fox release opened in June ’63 so where do they get off calling it a 50th anniversary edition?

I hate to admit it but I’ll be buying this damn thing because it was shot by Leon Shamroy in 70mm Todd-AO and will therefore almost certainly look immaculate on Bluray. I can watch stodgy big-studio films if they were shot by seasoned pros on expensive large-format stock. I have that skill, that knack. I shut my mind off and meditate on the resolution and the tonalities and push the other stuff aside.

Update: It turns out the British version is good for regions A, B and C. The Amazon page says it’s only Region 2.

Here’s my best Cleopatra piece, called “20 Brilliant Seconds.”

What New York critic called Cleopatra a “monumental mouse” in her review? Not Kael.