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“Cleopatra” Cut by 22 Minutes

June 18, 1963 - After critical and public disapproval of the record 4-hour-3-minute length of “Cleopatra,” the mammoth film has been cut by slightly more than 22 minutes. Questioned about the cuts, Darryl F. Zanuck (pictured right with actress Irina Demick at the film’s New York premiere), president of 20th Century-Fox, acknowledged that “it played so much better that Joseph Mankiewicz [the film’s director] and I agreed to release it that way from here on.” “It was a tremendously intricate problem,” Mr. Zanuck said, “requiring the cutting of each print individually. It was cut in seven different places, mainly in the last half of the picture.” None of the relatively few romantic scenes were cut, Mr. Zanuck added. The excisions were “mostly from political discussions.”


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