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Vivien Leigh, Ronald Colman, Kathryn Grayson, Arab Magicians on TCM: Arabs in Hollywood Movies

Turner Classic Movies' look at Arabs in Hollywood movies continues this evening with six movies. Why exactly Gabriel Pascal's film adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) is one of the six, I don't know. Caesar was a Roman-born emperor; Cleopatra, a descendant of Greek royalty, was an Egyptian queen long before the Arab conquest of Egypt. Now, I may be puzzled about its inclusion, but Caesar and Cleopatra is very much worth watching chiefly thanks to Claude Rains' brilliant performance as the first half of the title role and Vivien Leigh's highly theatrical but enjoyable star turn as the second half of the title role. Kismet (1944) would have been more enjoyable had it been directed by Henry Hathaway, Michael Curtiz, Frank Lloyd, or even Lloyd Bacon. William Dieterle, best known for several ponderous Warner Bros. biopics of the '30s, had a heavy hand

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