Continued from "The Restored Cleopatra", page 11 - The scene has just dissolved from Cleopatra's bedroom and Caesar's surrender to her "bewitchment", to Cleopatra's library. It is day. Cleopatra is posing for the sculptor, Archesilaus. With his back to the sculptor, conversing with Cleopatra in a low tone, is Apollodorus.
It seems that never before have the
ladies of Rome been of one mind about
Judging from the few I have been
privileged to meet - I am surprised
they add up to one mind.
The gossip comes from everywhere -
fantastic, incredible rumors...
They're the most effective - the
easiest to repeat - and travel
fastest. For instance...?
The reason for Caesar insisting that
groups of Senators meet here, at your
villa. So that you can drug them with
aphrodisiacs - that the meetings are
really orgies - that the Senators are
There is no drug capable of stimulating
a Senator. To Brutus, for instance, an
orgy is shaking hands...what else?
Caesar will soon insist that his
marriage to you be legally recognized -
and he will divorce Calpurnia...
The Roman people will believe that.
And resent it...
But it isn't true -
But is is believable. And should
Her attention is attracted by Eiras who enters...
Majesty. Sosigenes wishes to see you...
I can't remember his ever having asked
He has a Roman gentleman with him.
Yes. I will see them...
Eiras leaves. Cleopatra exchanges a brief look with Apollodorus - then turns to Archesilaus.
I have posed enough for today,
More time is necessary with Your
Majesty if I am to finish -
I understand that, Arch - I'm sorry,
I can't pronounce your name...
Are - KEY - ze - luss
In any case, no more today...
Sosigenes ushers Titus into the room. He is a venerable old man; he carries a folder of documents. He is fearful and nervous...
Will Her Majesty be in Rome for
Long enough for you to finish.
I hope Her Majesty enjoys her
He has been putting away his tools. Apollodorus now takes him out. Cleopatra is alone with Sosigenes and Titus. The old man places his folder on the table, bursts out agitatedly:
I have done all I can! I can make
no more loans, whatever terms I offer -
some of the Senators are even redeeming
Where do they get the money?
Where? Well...that's hardly
important - to me, at any rate.
The point is, I can no longer serve
as your banker here in Rome...
Someone has told you not to. Who?
I am over seventy years old. I have
only a few more years in any case -
but I want them. I want them...
Caesar will punish those who have
Caesar? Today I sacrificed a sheep
to the gods - I haven't done that
for many years - if you could have
seen how it bled...
Men are also sacrificed - and not
always to the gods. They bleed, too...
Tell her, Sosigenes! I served her
father well for many years - and her,
too! But I cannot any longer - I beg
her not to press me - money means
nothing any more - I beg her to
let me go!
Shaking, Titus buries his face in his hands. Cleopatra and Sosigenes exchange somber looks. [With this scene, and Titus' obvious fear, we learn that apparent great pressure has been placed upon him from the Senators, who are outraged at Cleopatra's intrusion into their financial affairs, and, perhaps even more, at Titus' role in facilitating the arrangements. The "somber looks" exchanged between Cleopatra and Sosigenes, let us know they, too, are concerned about possible ramifications. This will make the next appearance of Titus crystal clear.]
Go then, Titus. And thank you...
Titus looks up, gets to his feet and bows. He hurries out, leaving behind him his papers. Cleopatra crosses to the folder. She leafs through it absently...
Today, a group of senators approached
Caesar as he sat in his golden chair.
He did not rise, as is the custom. He
merely stared at them - with an ivory
scepter in his hand - as if he were
If they find such behavior unusual -
let them make him truly king. It
will then become commonplace...
There are those who think Caesar
wanted to rise, but could not. That
it was - as it has been, increasingly
of late - his sickness...
I know the cure for this sickness.
It sits upon the head, made of gold
and precious stones, shaped - like a
Decisions made, decisions unmade -
in an instant he will order the Tiber
changed in its course, and for hours
debate a petty trifle...
Caesar is loved by his people - he
can do no wrong!
They've begun to fear him...
The worship him as a god - !
Like a god. There is a difference.
He is a god!
By your decree, only. Forgive me,
Caesar is a man.
He has his legions! Overnight he
could take Rome!
In a matter of hours. Do you think he
(Cleopatra is silent)
Caesar has taken so much, conquered so
much - for Rome. What he wants in
return he will not take - and Rome
will not give...
Must we stay - until the statue is done?
You may go when you like...
I know that.
It cannot be bought - it will not be
given - and he hesitates to take it
by force. He hesitates, literally,
between having all of the world -
The world - or nothing. Quite a
spread of hesitation...
Caesarion bursts in, followed by Charmian. He bows low to his mother.
Your Majesty. It is time to teach
me to swim.
My son believes in keeping open his
escape to the sea. He gets that from
She takes Caesarion by the hand and goes out with him. Sosigenes crosses to the statue of Cleopatra. He eyes it somberly.
The scene dissolves to the Atrium of Cleopatra's villa at night. Cleopatra is hostess to a meeting between a dozen Roman Senators, Caesar, and Antony. Caesar presents his desire to no longer require the approval of the Senate for every decision he makes. He is tired of, "...coming before the Senate each day, like a schoolboy with his lessons - now passing, now failing...". [During this scene, in defending his need for making decisions without the need of approval from the Senate, Caesar reminds Brutus that, "...Antony was hot to separate you from your head - with just cause. It was by my command - my dictate, if you will - that you stand here tonight dribbling virtue out of the corners of your mouth!" This is a reference to a situation discussed in the original first scene of the film. See page 1 for that dialog. After being rewritten and refilmed, the scene that opens the film as we see it, does not include this reference to Brutus.] He concludes the meeting by stating, "And now I want you to do as I say. You will appoint me Emperor of Rome." The Senators rise in anger. Caesar tells them there is no need to resume their seats, and the leave. Antony addresses Cleopatra. They have a brief discussion, then he leaves. Cleopatra enters her bedroom, with a replica of the Temple of Isis adjoining it. Eiras is waiting to undress her. Cleopatra requests Eiras to have the High Priestess come at once. Eiras leaves and Cleopatra removes her ornamentation. She crosses to open the doors of the temple and enters. She kneels before Isis and awaits the coming of the High Priestess. [To date, the Trivette Collection has not acquired photographic evidence this portion of the scene was filmed. It is entirely possible this segment was scratched.] The scene dissolves to the Temple of Venus Genetrix at day. There, standing beneath the completed statue of Cleopatra are Cassius, Brutus, Decimus and Cimber. They make note that an empty space has been left beside the statue of Cleopatra. Cassius warns, "When the God Caesar stands beside the Goddess Cleopatra, then Rome will crawl before them both." Decimus adds that Caesar's sickness grows worse. Cassius reminds Brutus that when Rome thinks upon the honor of Rome, they think of Brutus. Then pleads with him to, "...save Rome from Caesar!" The scene dissolves to the garden of Cleopatra's villa where Caesar is instructing Caesarion on the finer points of being a ruler. Cleopatra is watching from her library, and is touched by Caesar's adoration of his son.
[The order of the scenes on this page are as they are written in the script. When we watch the film as it is, there is a very odd edit for this portion of the story. As we see the film, it dissolves from the end of Cleopatra's procession to the garden of her villa, where Caesar is spending time with Caesarion; it is day. From there we go to the Senate meeting in Cleopatra's villa (which, according to the script, is on a previous night), then BACK to resume the garden scene with Antony's arrival!?! The reason for this strange edit is not clear.]
Antony arrives and Caesar enters the villa with him. They join Cleopatra and enter into a discussion about the empty gesture the Senate has offered Caesar. Caesar wants to refuse the "title", but Cleopatra urges him to take it, and then, "...take a little, then a little more, until finally you have it all!" Antony agrees with the strategy. Caesar comes to see it himself. Suddenly, Charmian screams from the garden. The dead body of Titus has been thrown over the wall. When Caesar asks why would anyone kill him, Cleopatra says only, "Obviously I am being warned. Perhaps I am next." [Without knowing of Cleopatra's arrangements with Titus, the resultant outrage of the Senators, and Titus' great fear of retribution, this scene makes little, if any, sense. We are left to wonder, "warned"?, about what? Why? Without this sub-plot, we only know the animosity much of the Senate had toward Cleopatra was due to her liason with Caesar.] The threat to Cleopatra and his son acts as a wake-up call to Caesar. He inquires of Antony about the size of Lepidus' army, and concludes that they shall dine with him that night. He will talk of armies and battlefields and, "...lists of men to die." The scene dissolves to a fearsome thunderstorm at night, and then to the house of Brutus. The conspirators listen to Metellus Cimber, who reports to them about the dinner with Lepidus.
Cicero is still there - at the
house of Lepidus - he can tell you
that every word I say is the truth...
We do not doubt you, Cimber...
Not for a long time have I seen
or heard Caesar like this. Cold.
Whether from the storm or him,
I cannot stop shaking...
Caesar said only that he would be
content to be King of all the
Provinces outside Rome - is that
'Content'? Did I say 'content'? No,
he never said 'content'. He would be
King of all but Rome, he said, to
begin with! Then he spoke with
Antony of Antony's legions - and with
Lepidus of his - and then of a great
expedition he would make...
To capture Parthia. Then a march
around the Black Sea, to take
Scythia. Then along the Danube to
conquer the tribes of Germany...
And then, with an army such as the
world has never known - against Rome!
To be crowned Emperor - and to name
He said all this, do you swear?
And more - upon my life!
This vast army. Caesar could not
support it! Who would feed and
pay his troops?
When Lepidus asked this, Caesar
laughed and said -
Egypt! He is King of Egypt - have
you forgotten, Brutus? And his
successor - shall I name for you
Tomorrow - what did he say of
That he will be whatever king we
name - but that then he will demand
of the people of Rome - and this
they will not deny him - a public
An instant of silence. All eyes are now on Brutus. Slowly he sinks to a chair, covers his face with his hands...
Caesar...Caesar, you leave me
[With this scene, we learn exactly why the Senators conspire to assassinate Caesar. With the information that he will march upon Rome with, "...an army such as the world has never known", they feel justified, even duty-bound, to, "...save Rome from Caesar." Without this information, we are left with a feeling that Caesar's ego, and his demand to be crowned Emperor of Rome, was the reason he was killed.]
Is Caesar still at Lepidus' house?
One might think the gods had sent
this holocaust for just our purpose.
There are enough of us, and more -
Caesar could be struck down swiftly
in the dark -
(to his feet)
No! That is the one way in which it
must not be done! This is not the
haphazard victim of an anonymous
assassin! This is Great Caesar,
beloved of Rome - and at least one
of us - who must die so that Rome
The film continues uncut. Caesar stops by to see Cleopatra on his way to the Senate on the "Ides of March". When he leaves, she enters her villa and sees the High Priestess standing at the temple. Entering the temple, Cleopatra kneels before Isis and the High Priestess begins her divination. In the fire, and through the High Priestess' incantations, Cleopatra "sees" the assassination of Caesar as it happens. Seeing Caesar assassinated, she collapses to the floor. [This is the third use of the "fire incantation", and this time we are shown its power and magic are crystal clear.] There is a long dissolve to Caesar's funeral and Antony's eulogy. Here, Mankiewicz writes in the script: "In my opinion we simply cannot risk composing a funeral oration for Antony. It would not only make a critic out of every schoolboy in the English-speaking world, [a possible concern of a comparison to Shakespeare's, "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears..."], but threaten the very climax of the first half of our film. Therefore, we open this scene just after Antony has swayed the crowd over to Caesar."
For Antony's last words - which we do not hear over the roar of the mob - the following:
- then burst his mighty heart! And
even at the base of Pompey's statue,
which all the while ran blood,
great Caesar fell. O, what a fall
was there, my countrymen! Then I,
and you, and all of us fell down -
whilst bloody treason flourished
With his sword, he snatches the robe from Caesar's body.
Here was a Caesar! When comes such
The crowd's roar drowns out his voice. All alone, high above the Forum and the flames that cremate Caesar, sagged against a wooden girder, gazing dully down at the scene - is Flavius. The lonely little figure sinks to his knees. He sobs as though his heart would break.
With Caesar, and Cleopatra's plans with him, dead, she knows it would be death to her and her son if they remained in Rome. As her scuttle boat is being loaded for her trip back to Egypt, Antony arrives and promises to present Caesarion's case as being heir to Caesar before the Roman Senate. Cleopatra knows the Senate will see the gesture as nothing but a joke, but thanks him for his offer. Antony offers to come to Alexandria and talk more with her, "...tonight if I could...". Cleopatra boards her boat and he watches it move off into the water. The script adds: "This silent farewell should recall sharply Caesar's departure from Alexandria." On her boat, Cleopatra adjusts Pompey's ring, hanging around Caesarion's neck since Caesar gave it to him, and smiles faintly. [Perhaps her dream isn't dead, after all?] The boat fades into the darkness.