Walter Wanger

Walter Wanger

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Queen Christina Review


Good
Widely (and strangely) considered one of Garbo's best films, Queen Christina is a loosely historical romance about a Scandinavian woman who becomes queen at age five. As an adult (as Garbo), Christina becomes jaded with ruling the country and escapes to the countryside in the guise of a man (which Garbo achieves by wearing a hat and lowering her voice). The funniest moment comes when a disguised Garbo is given a coin... with her face on it. Ha! Unfortunately, once the film turns into a romance, the movie degenerates into a snoozy Catholic vs. Protestant melodrama as Christina is wooed by a Spanish noble.

Cleopatra (1963) Review


OK
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.

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Walter Wanger Movies

Cleopatra (1963) Movie Review

Cleopatra (1963) Movie Review

It is virtually impossible to separate Cleopatra the movie from Cleopatra the spectacle -- and...

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