Continued from "The Restored Cleopatra", page 3 - The film continues with Germanicus ordering a path to be cleared for Caesar and his guards. Caesar suggests a better plan - to "shop their way to the Palace steps". Pothinos states, "We shall now have the privilege of watching Mighty Caesar battle his way though our market place." Caesar and his men make their way through the market, stopping at vendors along the way. Flavius argues the price a wine-seller is asking. Caesar says, "Pay him." Caesar walks on. He is now surrounded by smiling, eager vendors and shoppers. He holds up a baby and kisses it.

Flavius comes up with a reaction of distaste. Caesar returns the baby to its mother, takes a piece of cheese from a vendor's tray, and moves on, telling Flavius to, "Give each of them a coin - and stop haggling!" Flavius gives a coin to the baby's mother and the cheese vendor, taking a piece of cheese for himself. He gags on it and takes the coin back. Ptolemy, watching this "schmoozing", is irritated that the Romans are, "... not doing what you (Pothinos) said they'd do!" Theodotus is amazed that there are, "...so few men." Caesar is near the palace steps, now. He stops at a Flower Seller, an aged crone, who stares at him antagonistically. Some young, pretty girls are nearby, smiling warmly.

CAESAR
Ah, the famous desert rose of
Alexandria...
(he scoops them all up...
to the crone...)
Surprised, mother? In the arms of
a Roman, but they haven't turned
black -

The young girls giggle. The crone remains stony-faced. Flavius comes up and Caesar hands him the roses.

CAESAR
(to Flavius)
If you don't wither them, nothing
will -

The girls laugh again. Caesar looks at them, smiles and winks at them. He pulls a single rose from Flavius' arms, smells it...

CAESAR
They should be sold only to young lovers...
(he bows to the old crone,
presents her with it)
...much too dangerous for you and
me, eh, mother?

The old crone takes the rose and slowly breaks into a toothless grin. In sudden shyness, she holds her hand to her face and turns away. The crowd roars with laughter and approval. Caesar starts up the Palace steps. Rufio, not far away, grins admiringly and says to himself, "Hail, Caesar." [How many of you have a smile on your face right now? There are several such charming scenes and touches that reveal fascinating facets and motivations to the characters in the film, most, unfortunately, left on the "cutting room floor". For the critics who bemoan "Cleopatra" to be a "ponderous" film, this is a good example why. Much of the lightness and humor was cut, diminishing the contrast between "light and dark". From this scene of a charming, even flirtatious, Caesar (light), we would have gone directly to his being presented with the head of Pompey (dark). A perfect emotional yin and yang. Cut the "yang", and we are left with only the "yin" - no balance or contrast.] Caesar continues up the Palace steps to greet King Ptolemy. The scene continues as we see it. Pothinos says, "Cleopatra has forfeited her right". Caesar says, "I shall try to decide justly."

PTOLEMY
(an outburst)
No, no, no!
(lividly - at his
advisors)
It never works out the way you say
it will! 'Oh, we'll welcome Caesar
nicely and let him get tired of
waiting for Cleopatra, and then he'll
recognize you as the true King and go
back to Rome' - don't you see he's
going to send for her? He's going to
bring Cleopatra back!

THEODOTUS
(quickly)
Surely it is obvious, Great Caesar,
how she has terrorized this poor boy -

CAESAR
It is true, your Majesty, that I
have, in fact, already summoned
Cleopatra. But General Achillas has
undoubtedly made sure she will
neither receive my summons nor be
able to answer it...

PTOLEMY
Cleopatra will find a way. She
knows witchcraft, she can assume
many forms - her favorite one is
the butterfly...
(half-rising from
his throne, calling
out:)
...are there any here now? Bring
them to me if there are!
(to Caesar, sadly)
I kill as many as I can - but it's
never the right one...

Pothinos (nervously) "The sun which sheds its grace upon the Ruler of the Two Lands burns too brightly perhaps." The scene continues as Ptolemy's gift to Caesar is indicated by a crock, sitting at hand. As Caesar looks at the crock, he says, "Most generous."

POTHINOS
You spoke so convincingly of your
reasons for visiting Egypt - it
quite escaped my mind that you were
omitting one further, more personal,
purpose for coming here...

CAESAR
(beginning to suspect)
Say what you have to say quickly
and simply, Pothinos...

Ptolemy interjects eagerly, "The ring! Give him Pompey's ring!" The scene continues as the head of Pompey is presented, and Pothinos offers to escort Caesar to his rooms. Caesar replies, "Anyone but you." Caesar looks at the ring and requests that Rufio take care of Pompey with "full honors". He turns to enter the Palace. Rufio sees that Pompey's head is taken to Caesar's galley.
 
 

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