Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Antony and Cleopatra (1980, Jonathan Miller)

TitleAntony and Cleopatra
Release LocationsUSA
DirectorJonathan Miller
MediumColor video
Length2 hrs, 57 mins
Audiencecollege and university
general public
Play ConnectionsAntony and Cleopatra (teleplay)
SeriesThe Shakespeare Plays


Although director Jonathan Miller sought to present the play as set down in the 1951 Peter Alexander edition of Shakespeare's plays, he did not hesitate to make alterations that he considered useful for pleasing the audience. As with his Taming of the Shrew, Miller also made bold casting decisions that in effect drastically revised traditional interpretations of the play. Colin Blakely and Jane Lapotaire in their middle-aged world weariness sharply contrast with the more glamorized, jet-set, Antony and Cleopatra portrayed, for example, by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in an earlier film (that owed as much or more to its scenarist than to Shakespeare and was only vaguely indebted to Shakespeare's play). Blakely himself was quoted as saying that by the time Antony met Cleopatra he was already "over the hill" and "physically past his prime" from the soft life at court. Director Miller embellished the image by presenting Antony then as a kind of "middle-aged psychological failure" (P.R. release)

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

VentidiusJonathan Adams
AlexasDarien Angadi
MessengerMichael Anthony
AntonyColin Blakely
ErosSimon Chandler
CaesarIan Charleson
SiliusRichard Clifford
DolabellaGeoffrey Collins
SoldierPat Connell
CastJohn Eastham
SoldierMichael Egan
ScarusChris Ettridge
OctaviaLynn Farleigh
ClownJimmy Gardner
SoothsayerHoward Goorney
EuphreniusGeorge Howe
Messenger OneKevin Huckstep
MenasGeorge Innes
EnobarbusEmrys James
CharmianJanet Key
MessengerDavid Kincaid
LepidusEsmond Knight
CleopatraJane Lapotaire
ServantsHugh Lund
IrasCassie McFarlane
ProculeiusDavid Neal
CanidiusJohn Paul
AgrippaAnthony Pedley
SoldierIain Rattray
CastJon Rumney
DecertasAlec Sabin
MardianMohammad Shamsi
MenecratesDesmond Stokes
PompeiusDonald Sumpter
SoldierFrederick Warder
ThyreasHarry Waters

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorJonathan Miller
Director's AssistantPatricia Preece
ProducerJonathan Miller
Literary ConsultantJohn Wilders
ComposerStephen Oliver
ChoreographySally Gilpin
Adaptor/TranslatorDavid Snodin
CostumesAlun Hughes
MakeupEileen Mair
LightingDennis Channon
SoundRay Angel
Production Unit ManagerFraser Lowden
ProductionColin Lowrey
Production AssistantPeter Stenning

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell