Theda Bara And The Depictions Of Cleopatra

534 Words3 Pages
Depictions of Cleopatra in film and TV series, focus more on the personal aspects of her life, with little excerpts of her political life being thrown in. Each depiction having undertones, of what is happening politically, at the time the film was made.
The 1917 Film starring Theda Bara, had all the themes of a contemporary vision of Egypt being, 'exotic and alluring, but also alien and threatening.' (Fear, 2008, AA100 DVD). Shown within its backdrop imagery, and in Bara's threatening portrayal of Cleopatra. Bara was reputable for her roles where, sex was used to manipulate men to her will. This being how Bara decided to depict Cleopatra, with great enthusiasm, the studio used this to promote the film. Politically, at the time of this film, women's liberation is at the forefront, promoting a strong woman, with her own mind, wealth and power.
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Gone is the threatening demeanour, instead using themes of a 'love story that changes history.' (Fear, 2008, AA100 DVD). Now the epic film, is being used as a promotion tool to market hair styles, clothes and jewellery. The production comes at a time when the working women were on the rise, having the vote and enjoying pleasures like pre-or extramarital sex. New production codes forced films to promote marriage and the home, with Catholic Church organisation the Legion of Decency, putting pressure on film makers, boycotting films that promoted immorality. The historical film could be used to avoid this, and in Colbert's Cleopatra, these themes can be contained by her death at the end of the
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