You cannot tell Cleopatra to sit down twice in an offhand manner unless you really are Caesar. Warren Williams is not Caesar and Cleopatra is not "Egypt" and there is not enough art used to make the audience forget that. If, however, the audience is willing to overlook the irregal appearance of Claudette Colbert and the small town chattiness of Roman teaparties, the picture is a good spectacle. For sheer sensual spectacularity it would be hand to beat the scene where Anthony is first seduced. Food and wine, ballet and flowers with a final crescendo of the music and the solemn beating of the chronandros as the galley puts out to sea is very hard to forget.
If Cleopatra is a gauge, the Romans were still somewhat "nouveau riche." They were also provincial, priggish as regards the women, crude as regards the men. On the other hand the Egyptians portrayed here are scarcely subtle. The humor in "Cleopatra" is sometimes excellent, but one never knows whether it was intended, and, therefore, whether to give the producer the credit or not. It would have been wiser to have less platinum blondes in the supporting cast, they seem a trifle anachronous when they predominate in the Egyptian population. Do not expect history, and go when feeling a little mellow and it will be an enjoyable evening.
The other movie, which presents Joan Blondell as virtually a loose woman, with an equally loose companion is supposed to be fast moving. It depicts the life of two opportunist gold diggers with hearts of "gold," a millionaire playboy, a divorce, and Paris. They all do pretty well.
Japan arms, in the news, and Harvard bites the dust of the Yale bowl, ho-hum!