The film that almost led 20th Century Fox to bankruptcy , was shot in the 60s, after passing through a series of incidents that prolonged its premiere in theatres.
In 1960 started the pre-production in London. However, after the resignation of the director Rouben Mamoulian and actress Elizabeth Taylor were diagnosed with pneumonia, for which she underwent a tracheotomy, filming moved to Rome in search of a climate that would not affect the recovery of the actress.
With Joseph L. Mankiewicz in command the shooting was resumed at Cinecittà Studios, rebuilding the expensive sets, including the reconstruction of Alexandria. Rex Harrison and Richard Burton took up their roles. The recording was extended to two more years.
It was in this set of the film where love was born between Hollywood diva, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
The original version had a duration of six hours, but Fox forced the director to reduce it to 192 minutes despite Mankiewicz’s request to do two parts entitled: “Caesar and Cleopatra” and “Antony and Cleopatra”. Fox declined and took advantage of the romance of the two actors for the promotion and launching of the film.
The legendary film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, becoming a creditor of four Oscars: Art Direction, photography, costume design and visual effects.
The production spent $ 200,000 on 65 different dresses worn by Taylor (including one piece made of 24 carat gold).
The romance between Taylor and Burton ended their respective marriages then. They married in 1964 and divorce a decade later. Thet got married again in 1975 and divorced for the second time in 1976.