Cleopatra's Daugther (1960)
Starring: Debra Paget, Ettore Manni, Erno Crisa, Corrado Pani, Andreina Rossi, and Yvette Lebon
Director: Fernando Cerchio
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars
When Shila (Paget), Cleopatra's daughter, is forced to marry the mentally unstable Pharoh Nemorat (Pani) in order to unite Egypt's two kingdoms. But a scheming noble, Prince Kefren (Crisa), plans to eliminate both of them in order to take the throne himself. Will Shila's trule love, the Royal Physician (Manni) manage to save her?
"Cleopatra's Daughter" is an exciting fantasy film that probalby has as much to do with history as an average episode of "Xena: Warrior Princess", but it takes great advantage of its ancient Egyptian backdrop with great sets and gorgeous constumes. The acting is far above average for films of this type, with the voice actors who dubbed the film into English doing excellent jobs and the casting of the various parts being spot on. (Manni, as the heroic physician and Erno Crisa as the devious Kefren are paticularly excellent. Debra Paget, as the title character forced into the potentially lethal political marriage is also not great to look at, but performs with such charisma that one is constantly reminded of what film-lovers lost when she retired from acting in 1962 for married life with a Chinese millionaire..)
The film is also better paced than most of these Italian fantasy epics. Many of them tend to sag in the middle, or start to bukcle under the weight of too many subplots or bad comic relief. This one is solid from beginning to end, with just the right ratios of humor, action, suspense, and romance throughout to keep viewers engaged.