Cleopatra (1963 film)

1963 film by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Cleopatra is a 1963 American epic historical drama film chronicling the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Ranald MacDougall, and Sidney Buchman.
The motion picture the world has been waiting for!


  • The corridors are dark, gentlemen… but you mustn't be afraid. I am with you.
  • We must not disappoint the mighty Caesar! The Romans tell fabulous tales of my baths and handmaidens... and my morals!
  • I will not be told where I can go and where I cannot go!
  • I am the Nile. I will have sons. Isis has told me… My breasts are full of love and life. My hips are rounded and well apart. Such women, they say, have sons.
  • How dare you and the rest of your barbarians set fire to my library? Play conqueror all you want, Mighty Caesar! Rape, murder, pillage thousands, millions of human beings! But neither you nor any other barbarian has the right to destroy one human thought!
  • There are never enough hours in the days of a queen, and her nights have too many.
  • We'll make this our beginning. Beginning with tonight... You must never envy Caesar, or anyone, anything else again.
  • How it hurts. How love can stab the heart.
  • That’s how Romans frighten little girls. They like to frighten little girls!
  • [On Antony's death] Strange, there has never been... such a silence.
  • Octavian, when I am ready to die, I will die.
  • [After the Asp has bitten her] How strangely awake I feel. As if living had been just a long dream. Someone else’s dream. Now finished at last...


  • [Speaking of the Grand Eunuc])... a position not acquired without certain, shall we say, sacrifice.
  • [After the execution of Pothinus] Flavius, return Apollodorus' dagger to him… but clean it first. It has Pothinus all over it.
  • I do not understand why the eyes of a statue should always lack life.
  • Remind him as always to keep his Legions intact, for they make the law legal.


  • How many have loved you since him? One? Ten? Anyone? No one? Have they kissed you with Caesar's lips? Touched you with his hands? Is it his name you cry out in the dark? And afterwards, alone, has he reproached you and have you begged forgiveness of his memory?
  • For so long now you have filled my a great noise that I hear everywhere in my heart. I want to be free of you. Of wanting you. Of being afraid. But I will free of you.
  • Lovers always want so much never to have loved before...It becomes a game. Who loved whom first?
  • From the first instant I saw you, entering Rome on that monstrous stone beast, shining in the sun like a little gold toy how I envied Caesar. Went suddenly sick with it. Not his conquests or his triumphs. Not his titles of the mob. I envied him you.
  • Everything that I shall ever want to hold or look upon or have or be is here now with you.
  • Why are you not dead? Why do you live? How do you live? Why do you not lie at the deepest hole of the sea, bloodless, and bloated, and at peace with honorable death?
  • [Dying in Cleopatra's arms] A take my breath away...


  • Antony is dead? You say that as if it were an everyday occurrence. The soup is hot, the soup is cold. Antony is alive, Antony is dead.
  • I am Caesar.


Julius Caesar: You all look so impressive. Any one of you could be king.
Pothinus: His Majesty King Ptolemy, kindred of Horus and Ra, beloved of Thoth...
Julius Caesar: Et cetera, et cetera; you welcome me. And I, Gaius Julius Caesar, Consul of the Roman Senate, Pontifex Maximus, et cetera, et cetera, thank you.

Julius Caesar: Ah, yes. I seem to recall some mention of an obsession you have about your divinity... Isis, is it not?
Cleopatra: I shall have to insist that you mind what you say. I am Isis. I am worshiped by millions who believe it. You are not to confuse what I am with the so-called divine origin which every Roman general seems to acquire together with his shield. It was, uh, Venus you chose to be descended from, wasn't it?

Agrippa: Well versed in the natural sciences and mathematics. She speaks seven languages proficiently. Were she not a woman one would consider her to be an intellectual. Nothing bores me so much as an intellectual!
Julius Caesar: Makes a better admiral of you, Agrippa.

Cleopatra: Catullus doesn't approve of you... why haven't you had him killed?
Caesar: Because I approve of him.

Cleopatra: [kicking a cushion off her dais for Caesar to kneel on during her coronation] You have such bony knees.
Caesar: Not only bony, but unaccustomed to this sort of thing.

Marc Antony: Your tongue is old, but sharp, Cicero. Be careful how you waggle it. One day it will cut off your head.
Cicero: 'Twill more likely be your sword, Antony: 'tis just as sharp, and quicker... and frightened of heads.

Marc Antony: Octavian... this son of Caesar, does it upset you?
Octavian: No.
Marc Antony: You were so shut at the mouth just now one would think your words were are precious to you as your gold.
Octavian: Like my gold, I used them where they are worth most.
Marc Antony: Ah! And your virtue? [Leans over to him] My friend has a friend.
Octavian: That too.
Marc Antony: You know, Octavian... it's possible that when you die, you will die without ever having been alive.

Antony: Queens. Queens. Strip them naked as any other woman, they are no longer queens.
Rufio: It is also difficult to tell the rank of a naked general. Generals without armies are naked indeed.

Germanicus: [in the Roman Senate] Antony! Stay not too long in Alexandria!
[General laughter]
Octavian: Germanicus, stay not too long in Rome.
{More laughter]

Cleopatra: Without you Antony, this is not a world I want to live in, much less conquer.Because for me there would be no love anywhere. Do you want me to die with you ? I will. Or do you want me to live with you ? Whatever you choose.
Antony: Are we too late, do you think, if we choose life ?
Cleopatra: Better too late than never.

Cleopatra: You will kneel.
Antony: I will what?
Cleopatra: On your knees.
Antony: [indignant] You dare ask the Proconsul of Rome-
Cleopatra: I asked it of Julius Caesar. I demand it of you!

Cleopatra: The way to prevent war is to be ready for it!
Sosigenes: Have 300 warships ever been built for war without war?

Agrippa: [After discovering Cleopatra's gold-clad body, with her servants Charmian and Eiras, who have been bitten by the asp that killed Cleopatra] Was this well done of your lady?
Charmian: Extremely well, befitting the last of so many noble rulers.


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