Antony and Cleopatra [1974]

Part of a nine-play series produced in England, this production of Antony and Cleopatra was meant to offer a more conversational and less intimidating version of Shakespeare, to be used in classrooms where it would make Shakespeare more accessible to students. Still, it's hard to imagine students sitting still for this stiff, three-hour version. Using relatively bare-bones production values for the sets, this video offers Timothy Dalton as the lovestruck Mark Antony, smitten with the temptress Cleopatra (Lynn Redgrave). He's so caught up in his affair with the Queen of the Nile that he loses track of politics at home and winds up fighting for his life against former comrades. The acting is serviceable at best. Shot in 1981, the kicky cast for this play includes Anthony Geary (General Hospital), Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek fame, and even the late John Carradine. --Marshall Fine

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