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Cleopatra (1963)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Chris Mankiewicz and Tom Mankiewicz, actor Martin Landau and producer Jack Brodsky Rating:7.0/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Uniblab on August 6th, 2009:Find all reviews by Uniblab
While suffering from the usual maladies typical from overcrowded/overedited commentaries, this one manages to be worth listening to.
The commentators' various voices come back and forth in the weirdest fashion. Martin Landau starts the commentary (5 minutes into the movie...). He tells mostly reminiscences and anecdotes from the production, but they are extremely interesting and in-depth and he talks in a very clear and nice voice. Then, after about 1 hour and a half, comes Tom Mankiewicz, director's son and an assistant director of the movie. He tells some reminiscences too, and talks a little bit about the troubles involved in the movie; but then goes on for a disproportionate amount of time talking about the issue of the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton affair, and even seems to defend the two and downplay or relativize the gravity of the issue. About 40 minutes after, Tom's brother Chris Mankiewicz takes the lead. He starts by telling some of the same stuff covered by his brother, but in a much more comprehensive, clear and candid way ("My father was not at all proud of the movie. It was a movie that he should never have made"). Then Landau comes back for about ten minutes to talk about his character, and is followed by Jack Brodsky, who worked on the movie as a publicist and wrote a book about his involvement on it. He tells some interesting reminiscences, but talks mostly about the part of the movie he was most involved on: the Taylor-Burton affair. After about about half an hour, Tom Mankiewicz comes back and praises the movie's production values for a few minutes, until the end of the movie.
I can't help wondering how great it would be to have only Landau and Chris Mankiewicz, separate or together, on a full-length commentary.