This week 20th Century Fox released the 50th Anniversary Blue-ray/DVD of Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor. The film cost $42 million to make (adjusted for inflation is roughly $300 million today), earning it the title of most expensive movie for over 30 years.
The budget for Elizabeth Taylor's costumes alone was $194,00, which calculates to roughly $1,440,000 today. From elaborate ceremonial robes, to form fitting gowns (the costume designers took creative license with the period to emphasis the star's famous waist and bust), Taylor wore 65 separate complete looks for the film.
With detailed royal headwear, braided wigs, dramatic cat eye make-up, and exquisite jewels, the designers made good use of their budget to draw focus to Taylor's face (and décolletage).
Taylor's floor sweeping costumes took advantage of a wide array of pleating, beading, and metallics, some fabrics even made of 24k gold. With no shortage of coin-necklaces, gold bangles, and jewel encrusted snakes, Cleopatra glistened in every jaw-dropping look.
Costume design by Renie Conley, Vittorio Nino Novarese and Irene Sharaff.