Sidney Buchman

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Holiday Review


OK
Hit-and-miss Hepburn-Grant production, released the same year as Bringing Up Baby but to a considerably less receptive public. That's because many of the jokes in Holiday fall flat, and while Grant has his characteristic grace and charm, the story he's put into with Hepburn (more earnestly grating here than director George Cukor should have allowed) is on the tepid side (involving a love triangle with Grant and two rich sisters). It all comes off as very stagey (it's based on a play) and not very funny at all. Safely skippable unless you're a big fan of the leads.

Holiday Review


OK
Hit-and-miss Hepburn-Grant production, released the same year as Bringing Up Baby but to a considerably less receptive public. That's because many of the jokes in Holiday fall flat, and while Grant has his characteristic grace and charm, the story he's put into with Hepburn (more earnestly grating here than director George Cukor should have allowed) is on the tepid side (involving a love triangle with Grant and two rich sisters). It all comes off as very stagey (it's based on a play) and not very funny at all. Safely skippable unless you're a big fan of the leads.

Cleopatra (1963) Review


Weak
It is virtually impossible to separate Cleopatra the movie from Cleopatra the spectacle -- and that's because they are truly and rarely intertwined.

A legend of Hollywood, the 1963 production of Cleopatra has so much curiosity surrounding it I hardly know where to start. It was budgeted at $2 million and eventually cost (up to) $44 million to produce -- close to $300 million in today's dollars. Liz Taylor almost died during the filming and was given a tracheotomy to keep her alive. The production was forced to move from Rome to London and back to Rome again. Two of its stars fell in love (Taylor and Burton) on the set, ruining both of their marriages. 20th Century Fox essentially went bankrupt, leading to the ousting of its chief. The first director was fired after burning $7 million with nothing to show for it. The second director (Mankiewicz) was fired during editing, only to be rehired when no one else could finish the picture. Taylor threw up the first time she saw the finished product. Producer Walter Wanger never worked in Hollywood again. And the original six-hour epic was cut to a little over three.

Continue reading: Cleopatra (1963) Review

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