Due notti con Cleopatra

by Mario Mattoli





FOREIGN TITLES & RELEASE DATES

Italy - February 4, 1954 - Due notti con Cleopatra - 80'
West Germany - October 14, 1956
- Zwei Nächte mit Cleopatra - 87'
France (Paris) - December 16, 1955 - Deux nuits avec Cléopâtre -
Belgium - 1955 - Deux nuits avec Cléopâtre / Twee nachten met Cleopatre -
Spain (Madrid, Cine Tivoli and Cine Progreso) - July 18, 1960 - Noches de Cleopatra - 80'
USA - April 4, 1964 - Two Nights with Cleopatra -



Italian poster Belgian poster German poster


PLOT

Each night Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, gives herself to the officer who guards her door, but the following day she has him poisoned. For this reason no one wants to do guard duty anymore. But Cesarino, a naive officer who has just arrived from abroad, considers the assignment an honor. That night Cleopatra leaves her quarters and has a slave girl, Nisca - who bears a striking resemblance to her - take her place. Cesarino unaware of the switch, and after having spent the night in innocent gallantries, reappears the following day among his fellow soldiers who cannot believe their eyes. Someone prepares an attack against the queen and Cesarino, victim of a mix-up, is incriminated. But in the end he succeeds in proving his innocence and marries the beautiful Nisca, with whom he is in love. (Enrico Lancia)
Story and screenplay by Ruggero Maccari and Ettore Scola
.


FILMING LOCATIONS

Ponti-De Laurentiis Studios, Rome (Italy)

 Filming dates: 1953

MAIN CAST

Sophia Loren (Cleopatra/Nisca)
Alberto Sordi (Cesarino)
Ettore Manni (Marco Antonio)
Paul Muller (Tortul)


CREDITS

Photography (Ferraniacolor):
Karl Strauss, Riccardo Pallottini
Music:
Armando Trovajoli
Costume design:
Gaia Romanini
Costumes:
Giuseppe Peruzzi (Casa d'Arte di Firenze)
Makeup Artist:
Otello-Fava
Hair Stylist:
Mara Rocchetti
Still Photographer:
Georg Michalke
Production:
Ponti-De Laurentiis for Excelsa Films / Rosa Films (Rome)

NOTES

Sophia darkens her complexion again for this movie. For the foreign release version, she again agrees to bare her breasts, which are brushed with "Egyptian 24" to match the rest of her body.

"According to Stella Bruzzi in Undressing Cinema, the classic attributes of screen sirens include self-conscious, exaggerated femininity; extreme artificiality; frequent wardrobe changes (unmotivated by action); and the use of distinctive, often anachronistic garments or accessories. All these are present in Due notti con Cleopatra, in which Cleopatra and the blonde slave Nisca are look-alikes but complete opposites in terms of temperament." (Donohue)

One of the first Italian films to be shot in full color.

The film was never released in the UK.

QUOTES AND REVIEWS 

"Such simple themes and a humor so impromptu and superficial would condemn the film to drab mediocrity were it not for Sophia Loren's performance in the dual role of Cleopatra and her double: beautiful and sensitive, she shows herself to be an actress possessing  a lively talent, of wide-ranging possibilities and subtle nuances."
Gian Luigi Rondi, Il Tempo, 11 feb 1954

"...we come upon a performance which bravely sustains the fragility of the film, that of Sophia Loren who is sensitive and sure of herself, besides being seductive."
Piero Virgintino, Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno.

"According to Stella Bruzzi in Undressing Cinema, the classic attributes of screen sirens include self-conscious, exaggerated femininity; extreme artificiality; frequent wardrobe changes (unmotivated by action); and the use of distinctive, often anachronistic garments or accessories. All these are present in Due notti con Cleopatra, in which Cleopatra and the blonde slave Nisca are look-alikes but complete opposites in terms of temperament."
Deirdre Donohue, Sophia Style.




Copyrights for all photos belong to their respective owners.
© Excelsior Communication - 2007


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