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Spartacus (1960)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  7 October 1960 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 91,416 users  
Reviews: 271 user | 119 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
Peter Brocco ...
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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

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spartacus: Rebel Against Rome  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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

Stanley Kubrick spent $40,000 on the over-ten-acre gladiator camp set. On the side of the set that bordered the freeway, a 125-foot asbestos curtain was erected in order to film the burning of the camp, which was organized with collaboration from the Los Angeles Fire and Police Departments. Studio press materials state that 5,000 uniforms and seven tons of armor were borrowed from Italian museums, and that every one of Hollywood's 187 stunt men was trained in the gladiatorial rituals of combat to the death. Modern sources note that production utilized approximately 10,500 people. See more »

Goofs

While in the senate house Julius Caesar is wearing the traditional white robe trimmed with a purple border, however when he walks out onto the steps with Gracchus he is wearing a gray robe trimmed with white vine leaves. 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

Spoofed in Killer Tomatoes Eat France! (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I Wish Stanley Had Won
2 August 2015 | by (Solipsistic Realm) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

This movie, oddly, parallels A.I. but for a different reason. It is a hybrid of Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kubrick. Young people, Kubrick, probably the greatest American director, wanted a deep penetrating analysis of war and slavery evocative of Paths Of Glory. He and Kirk had worked well together on that film; so Kirk got the studio to go for the project. During making this movie war broke out and not in front of the camera. Stanley went to the studio but he was just starting out; Kirk had a lot more pull. He won and the great movie that you can see traces of was obliterated and replaced with a prosaic action movie. Kirk also thought we should hear endless speeches and scenes of them wandering that would have made Ceil B. DeMille say,"Cut, that is enough wandering crap, we are boring people." It is clear Stanley did the best part of the movie, the training camp and revolt. I own all of Kubrick's movies and I can assure you he never has long boring scenes of magic shows, people going from place to place ad nauseum. Forgive me, the I Am Spartacus did not come from the pen of the darkest misanthropist who ever lived. He makes me look like Gene Roddenberry. Does this look like the man who has the general in Paths say,"The men died gloriously, sometimes some one does something that spoils the whole undertaking.."

When you are watching this movie, like A.I., you can see traces of the Kubrick movie that never got made. The first half is worth owning the movie for, the training camp and the revolt. Both are filed with the usual Stanley, man's boundless cruelty to each other, I assure you the scene where Strode could have killed Douglas but spares him and tries to kill the patrician slime: That is Quintessential Stanley. The weakness of the film is the eternal scenes of wandering and the Kirk Douglas what a man I am show. The one with I Am Spartacus may be remembered, yes it is good, but find me a parallel humanistic scene of human nobility in any other Stanley Kubrick film. That is all Kirk Douglas, and forgive me, it is not Spartacus that is being canonized. The battle scenes, leaving aside the sneakers on their feet, are way too drawn out and boring. Do we need to see the Roman formation for a half an hour as it creeps towards the slaves lines?

Douglas while a great actor was an incompetent director. You can see the damage; he has no grasp of pacing or relevancy to the plot. One or two wandering scenes are sufficient more is boring. However noble the I Am Spartacus is, coincidentally it is a tad self aggrandizing. Like A.I. the movie is a hybrid of a legendary director and an actor in over his head. I own the movie for the Kubrick parts believe me even half of a Stanley Kubrick movie is worth owning. Also, Douglas, while incompetent, does not wreck the movie like Stevie does to A.I. Despite this, you cannot but wish Stanley had won. Imagine if the rest of this classic, mirrored the first half. The wandering scenes can be done well compare these to the ones in DeMille's The Ten Commandments. Notice how we do not see eternal perambulation like we do here. He was a terrible director and he did real damage to Stanley's movie. I heard Kubrick fought to have his name taken off of the movie. His standards, 1000s of takes, were not even remotely met here. Half of a classic.


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Please explain why I, a 17 year old, didn't like it. WhyNotTheJackal
Hard to watch after Spartacus the series miausquirrel
Jean Simmons was too old susan685
Best Performance - Laughton? Olivier? Ustinov? JazzyBee04
George Kennedy Rueiro
'The pagan tyranny of Rome' raistlin-26
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