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Spartacus (1960)

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Reviews: 260 user | 114 critic

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

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(screenplay), (based on the novel by), 2 more credits »
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Title: Spartacus (1960)

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Won 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gracchus
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Draba
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Storyline

In 73 BCE, a Thracian slave leads a revolt at a gladiatorial school run by Lentulus Batiatus. The uprising soon spreads across the Italian Peninsula involving thousand of slaves. The plan is to acquire sufficient funds to acquire ships from Silesian pirates who could then transport them to other lands from Brandisium in the south. The Roman Senator Gracchus schemes to have Marcus Publius Glabrus, Commander of the garrison of Rome, lead an army against the slaves who are living on Vesuvius. When Glabrus is defeated his mentor, Senator and General Marcus Licinius Crassus is greatly embarrassed and leads his own army against the slaves. Spartacus and the thousands of freed slaves successfully make their way to Brandisium only to find that the Silesians have abandoned them. They then turn north and must face the might of Rome. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They trained him to kill for their pleasure. . .but they trained him a little too well. . . See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spartacus: Rebel Against Rome  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(premiere) | (1968 re-release) | (1967 re-release) | (1991 restored) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm prints, original release)| (1991 restoration)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although some reviews noted the story's unreliable correlation to history, many of the film's characters were derived from real figures, including Spartacus (d. 71 B.C.), Marcus Licinius Crassus (d. 53 B.C.) and Caius Sempronius Gracchus (d. 121 B.C.). As accurately depicted in the film, Spartacus was a Thracian slave who broke out of a Capuan gladiators' school to lead a revolt that was eventually suppressed by Crassus, who then crucified his captives by the hundreds. Spartacus was killed in battle - not, as stated in the film, captured and then crucified - after which Crassus ruled Rome in a triumvirate with Pompey and Julius Caesar. Gracchus lived decades earlier, and helped organize a social reform movement that lasted only a few years before its reforms were repealed. He was killed in a series of riots protesting the repeals. General Crassus was reported to have been put to death by the Parthians after losing the battle of Carrhae, by being forced to drink a goblet of molten gold, symbolic of his great wealth. See more »

Goofs

During the final battle sequences the slaves drag down burning hay rollers. One of the slaves in Sparacus's army overshoots the end of the run and a Roman soldier generously drops his sword in order to catch him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: In the last century before the birth of the new faith called Christianity, which was destined to overthrow the pagan tyranny of Rome and bring about a new society, the Roman Republic stood at the very center of the civilized world. "Of all things fairest," sang the poet, "first among cities and home of the gods is golden Rome." Yet, even at the zenith of her pride and power, the Republic lay fatally stricken with a disease called human slavery. The age of the dictator was at hand, ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening titles appear in a montage of silhouetted Roman sculptures and tablets, which according to title designer Saul Bass is meant to evoke the strength and power of the Roman Empire. The montage ends with a zoom into the eye of a crumbling Roman bust, which hints at the Empire's coming decline and fall. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Doctor Who: The Fires of Pompeii (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Great Movie Due To Its Romantic Ideals
19 June 2005 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Did you know that Karl Marx hero was Spartacus ? There's something deeply ironic about this because the film version of SPARTACUS has so many Marxist ideals it could have been subtitled " THE STORY OF AN ENLIGHTENED PROLETERIAN HERO " As film buffs may know the screenwriter of SPARTACUS Dalton Trumbo was blacklisted by the Hollywood studio system because of alleged communist sympathies and it's impossible not to notice that Trumbo has done a sort of leftist inversion of John Ford's " Always make the legend " mantra . As a history lesson SPARTACUS is rather poor , if you look up the goofs on this page you'll notice that no one has really bothered to their home work as to the history , politics and machinations of ancient Rome with perhaps the most striking piece of speculation is the myth that Spartacus was from a Greek province sold into slavery when it's far more likely he was a Roman legionnaire who was sent to gladiator school but I guess the being sold into slavery makes for a better story

But this very simplistic black and white view of history can be forgiven because it's what makes SPARTACUS a great movie , we know who the bad guys are and why they're bad guys ( They're rich and cruel ) and we know who the good guys are and why they're good guys ( They're poor but noble ) and therefore the audience know instantly whose side they're on SPARTACUS is also a film famous because its director Stanley Kubrick supposedly hated it mainly down to the fact that he didn't have any involvement in the screenplay . What ? A director dislikes a movie of this standard ? I'm certain Spielberg or Scorsese would have killed to make a movie this good . It contains fine performances from all the cast but the stand outs are Douglas , Simmons , Laughton ( Someone else alleged to have had leftist sympathies ) Olivier and Ustinov , so many fine actors in one movie and you don't notice how many different accents used until it's pointed out to you . Check out those battle scenes at the end and remember this was long before CGI so these were real people making up the slave and Roman armies but for me the greatest scene of the film and one of the most haunting scenes I have ever seen is where Woody Strode and Kirk Douglas sit facing each other waiting to go into the arena . What makes it even more spellbinding is that there's no dialogue at all , we only hear the sounds of the previous contestants fighting to the death

Without doubt a movie that deserves to be in the IMDb Top 250 Movies list and possibly Kubrick's best film , he certainly didn't make anything as good as this ever again . But it's a movie that was ignored for most of the major awards at that years Oscar nominations . I guess that because the Oscars are a celebration of American film making talent they didn't want to give awards to movies celebrating communist heroes


23 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Please explain why I, a 17 year old, didn't like it. greenfairways
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Hard to watch after Spartacus the series miausquirrel
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