Tag Archives: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – Cleopatra (1963)

Synopsis:
In 48 B.C., Caesar pursues Pompey from Pharsalia to Egypt. Ptolemy, now supreme ruler after deposing his older sister, Cleopatra, attempts to gain favor with Caesar by presenting the conquerer with the head of Pompey, borne by his governors, Pothinos and Achillas. To win Caesar’s support from her brother, Cleopatra hides herself in a rug, which Apollodorus, her servant, presents to Caesar. The Roman is immediately infatuated; banishing Ptolemy, he declares Cleopatra Egypt’s sole ruler and takes her as his mistress. A son, Caesarion, is born of their union. Caesar, however, must return to Italy. Although he is briefly reunited with Cleopatra during a magnificent reception for the queen in Rome, Caesar is assassinated shortly thereafter, and Cleopatra returns to Egypt. Read More »

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

Synopsis:
At Maria Vargas’ funeral, several people recall who she was and the impact she had on them. Harry Dawes was a not very successful writer/director when he and movie producer Kirk Edwards scouted her at a shabby nightclub where she worked as a flamenco dancer. He convinces her to take a chance on acting and her first film is a huge hit. PR man Oscar Muldoon remembers when Maria was in court supporting her father who was accused of murdering her mother. It was Maria’s testimony that got him off and she was a bigger star than ever. Alberto Bravano, one of the richest men in South America, sets his sights on Maria and she goes off with him – as much to make Edwards angry as anything – but he treats her badly. When she meets Count Vincenzo Torlato-Favrini they fall deeply in love. They are married but theirs is not to be a happy life. Read More »

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – Guys and Dolls (1955)

Synopsis:
All the hot gamblers are in town, and they’re all depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week’s incarnation of “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York”; the only problem is, he needs $1000 to get the place. Throw in Sarah Brown, who’s short on sinners at the mission she runs; Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan’s $1000 bet that he can’t get Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana; Miss Adelaide, who wants Nathan to marry her; Police Lieutenant Brannigan, who always seems to appear at the wrong time; and the music/lyrics of Frank Loesser, and you’ve got quite a musical. Includes the songs: Fugue for Tinhorns, “Luck Be a Lady”, “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat”. Read More »

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – All About Eve (1950)

Synopsis : “Eve. Eve, the golden girl. The cover girl. The girl next door. The girl on the moon. Time has been good to Eve. Life goes where she goes. She’s been profiled, covered, revealed, reported — what she eats and what she wears, whom she knows and where she was, and when and where she’s going. Eve. You all know all about Eve. What can there be to know that you don’t know?”
-Addison DeWitt, Theatre critic Read More »