A 1963 American epic historical drama film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with a screenplay adapted by Mankiewicz, Ranald MacDougall and Sidney Buchman from the book The Life and Times of Cleopatra by Carlo Maria Franzero, and from histories by Plutarch, Suetonius, and Appian. It stars Elizabeth Taylor in the eponymous role.
Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Roddy McDowall, and Martin Landau are featured in supporting roles. It chronicles the struggles of Cleopatra, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.
At the Cinecittà Studios, thousands of Artists, artisans and workmen were retained to re-invent the extravagant sets that were to represent Cleopatra’s world in all of its gold leafed splendor. The sets were complete with majestic temples, golden hieroglyph covered walls, and immense statues of mythological animals flanking promenades, balconies and grand squares. Cleopatra and her son, in their grand entrance into Rome, perched atop a black marble sphinx, pulled by over 300 slaves. The Sphinx, constructed of fiberglass, upon which Cleopatra and her son perched, was over 11 meters tall and 21 meters long
The scene is introduced by numerous troves of dancing girls, elephants, archers, chariots, trumpet players and the release of hundreds of doves all as a prelude to the beautifully synchronized march of an army of slaves pulling the queens sphinx topped golden throne.