The 1963 film, Cleopatra, with Elizabeth Taylor, was a disaster by all measures. It was over budget, overproduced, and overacted and is considered one of the biggest flops in American film history and almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox. Still, it has its moments and can be a great pick for movie night.
Elizabeth’s beauty knew no bounds. Those piercing eyes, the stories of her love life, the diamonds, the divorces, the marriages…Elizabeth Taylor was a star’s star and the fans couldn’t get enough of her. Now one of her fans owns the very dressing trailer she used while filming Cleopatra. It’s all original, too, minus the round bed that was in it while filming.
This bed replaced the original round bed Elizabeth had.
Through an auction run by iconic memorabilia dealer, Profiles in History, the trailer (and I’m only using the word trailer because it was never lived in as a home) was offered in 2011 and sold for $42,000 (some sites are reporting $51,660).
Here’s What the Auction Catalog Had to Say About the Trailer:
It is widely known that Twentieth Century Fox’s 1963 epic Cleopatra was both a troubled and devastatingly expensive production. The film is infamous for nearly bankrupting the studio with its budget swelling to $44 million (equivalent to $320 million in 2010 dollars). Star Elizabeth Taylor was awarded a record-setting contract of $1 million that rose to $7 million due to the delays of the production (equivalent to over $47 million today). The studio was in particular trouble when Taylor became very ill during the early filming and was rushed to the hospital where a life-saving tracheotomy had to be performed. The production was moved to Rome after six months as the English weather proved detrimental to her recovery, as well as being responsible for the constant deterioration of the costly sets required for the production. During the filming Elizabeth met Richard Burton and the two began a very public affair which made the headlines worldwide. To help Taylor remain focused and stay in character, Twentieth Century Fox spent a rumored $75,000 (in 1960s dollars!) to build a heavily customized 36-foot dressing room/trailer for the star, staying true to the theme of the Egyptian/Roman epic. The Aljo trailer is decorated with opulence, through the talent and expertise of the studio set construction crew. It features rose colored carpeting, hand-painted ceilings, hand-painted murals in the bedroom, detailed crown moldings, custom makeup dresser and vanity, half columns mounted on the walls and other columned furniture and decorative pieces. Silky curtains hang from a semicircular runner to separate the bedroom from the rest of the living area. This special hideaway was designed to make the star feel like the Queen of Egypt.
The LA based website Curbed goes even further to explain the history of the trailer:
Millionaire financer, Nicolas Salgo is best known for developing the Watergate Complex in Washington D.C. For the 1963 epic movie Cleopatra, he helped arrange the finances. Once the producers-Fox Studio- had finished shooting for the movie, Salgo negotiated with the former to keep Liz Taylor’s dressing room trailer. The piece of cinematic history thereafter found a place in Nicolas Salgo’s ZX Ranch where it remained parked through the 1960s and 1980s. Guests visiting the Oregon ranch would make a beeline for a night’s stay at the trailer. After Salgo decided to unload his ranch, the trailer was handed over to his neighbor from the adjacent ranch, under whose ownership it remains till date. The second or technically speaking, the third owner of the trailer also owned a Museum-The Lakeview Fantastic Museum- where Cleopatra’s dressing room was put on display.
Movie stars have always had the best of everything and it just goes to show that mobile home trailers are good enough for us regular people, too!
What do you think about this? Beautiful? Tacky? Too much or just enough?