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My Life with Cleopatra: The Making of a Hollywood Classic
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My Life with Cleopatra: The Making of a Hollywood Classic

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Cleopatra faced countless problems during its filming and production: passionate casting disputes, broken contracts, a costly re-location from London to Rome, an emergency tracheotomy for its star, Elizabeth Taylor, scandal-ridden gossip surrounding relationships on set, and a budget of $2 million that ballooned to final costs of $44 million. Legendary producer Walter Wang ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Vintage (first published 1963)
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  31 ratings  ·  6 reviews


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Victoria Frow
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good.Enjoyed reading about the behind the scenes of this epic film and all the dramas that happened whilst filming it. Recommend
Halley Sutton
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Chic cover. Clear attempt to capitalize on publicity of Cleopatra. Realized halfway through I just wanted an expose on Burton/Taylor, which this isn't. Interesting slice of Hollywood history.
Richard Kramer
Jul 13, 2014 rated it liked it
This interesting book is a mix of wild hype and keen observation. alter Wanger was a "legendary" producer whose career spanned almost 50 years, with more than a handful of classics along the way. This book is sometimes like a press release (he wanted to chronicle what, to him, would undoubtedly be the greatest movie ever made) and more often a fascinating depiction of a great, forgotten scandal (Liz and Dick) as it unfolds in front of him. The great companion piece to this -- the one that gets i ...more
Tara
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
The off-screen drama of Cleopatra tends to overshadow the film itself, though that may change when it's revived in cinemas this summer. Walter Wanger, one of Hollywood's few independent producers at the time, recorded his battle to get Cleopatra made in this wonderful diary. More than anything, Cleopatra reflects the demise of the old studio system and the dawning of modern celebrity culture. While many have blamed Cleopatra's excesses on the antics of its stars, Burton and Taylor, Wanger points ...more
Deodand
If you are interested in a producer's role in making movies this is a great primer. I knew the rough outline of what they do but Wanger really had to roll the boulder uphill to get this movie made.

I was taken aback by how much illness there was among the cast and crew - not just Ms. Taylor. There seemed to be a lot of phlebitis back then, which can be caused by irritation of the veins from too many injections.
Randall Smith
Sep 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading My Life with Cleopatra. I’m not sure what could be more unimportant than reading about the evolution of a financially-disastrous epic movie written by its producer, but I found it nostalgically satisfying. Fascinating insight into the lives of some of the most fabulous personalities of a different time.
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