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March 03, 2009


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It was at the Cosmo Theater on 116th Street between Third and Second Avenues in Manhattan, a.k.a. New York City a.k.a. The Big Apple, that I first saw the 1934 version of "Cleopatra" sometime in the early 1950's when I was somewhere between five and seven years old, and I fell in love with Claudette Colbert, who struck me as beautiful and delightful and eminently huggable, although at the time I had not the slightest notion of eros as opposed to love. I have seen the movie any number of times on TV since then, and I have come to regard Colbert as the perfect Cleopatra. I am going to be 62 years old on May 5th of this year (2009) and I still wish Colbert was alive and costumed as Cleo so I could have one simple warm hug, and to hell with sex. (Of course, Cleo herself was Greek of the lineage of Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great's generals, and that ethnic connection, too, has added to my being a fan of the real Cleo as well as the actress who played her so convincingly--namely, Claudette Colbert!) As for the accuracy or lack thereof of the film, I dinna give a hoot! I enjoyed it as a child and I still enjoy it as an adult--well, an aging adult! (Mind you, I have nothing bad to say about the other actresses who have portrayed Cleo; it's just that as far as I'm concerned, Colbert was the best cinematic Cleo ever!)

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