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Spartacus (1960)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  7 October 1960 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 93,075 users  
Reviews: 272 user | 124 critic

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



(screenplay), (based on the novel by), 2 more credits »
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Won 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Brocco ...


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


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


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spartacus: Rebel Against Rome  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(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)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Charles Laughton's prima donna behaviour aggravated everyone, storming off the set and threatening to sue Kirk Douglas for trimming his part. See more »


During the gladiatorial battle between Spartacus and the black gladiator, the sword Spartacus is using is clearly shown as a prop sword with a retractable blade. See more »


[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 »


Spoofed in The Critic: I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spartacus or How I learnt to live away from Hollywood
5 February 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is Kubrick's farewell to Hollywood. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall. I don't believe for a minute that it was a cordial parting of the ways. I mean, Kubrick never returned, never! With "Paths of Glory" Kubrick gave Kirk Douglas, not just his best part as an actor, but his best movie. By the time Douglas called Kubrick to "take over" "Spartacus" Douglas was already a huge star with too much saying in the matter. Look at it, it's clear. "Spartacus" is more Douglas than Kubrick. Great fun to watch, yes, absolutely. A terrific script by black listed Dalton Trumbo. Some fight sequences unequalled in the history of film. Look at the fight between Douglas and Woody Strode and compare it to the ones in "Troy" or "Gladiator" for that matter. It is sad an embarrassing to realise how low we've fallen. Computer generated images or not. The cast is unbelievable but it's clearly not Kubrick's. The casting of his movies was part of his master plan. He would cast a Ryan O'Neil as Barry Lyndon for instance so he can blend perfectly with the magnificent tapestry, without adding any colours of his own. The same can be said of Keir Dullea, in 2001, a robotic non entity in a showdown with a voice. When he needed actors to be at the very pinnacle of his universe he went to Peter Sellers, Malcolm McDowell or James Mason. Even the casting of Tom Cruise made a lot of sense. He used the star and his wife to talk about the dreamlike powers of betrayal. In "Spartacus" Tony Curtis, plays Antoninus, a teacher of the classics. A campy idea never seen in a Kubrick film, before or since. To be fair, there are some spot on, brilliant pieces of casting. Charles Laughton is, as usual, superb. Peter Ustinov, terrific. Laurence Olivier manages to give a multifaceted portrait of weakness, fear and greed. Jean Simmons makes the reason to survive totally believable. But the cutesy love scene between her and a shiny muscular, coiffed Spartacus is truly terrible. As a final blow, the scene is enveloped in a sticky, corny music theme. Having said all that. Don't you dare missing this epic. I'ts Kubrick's goodbye to Hollywood and like everything else that the master said or do, he really meant it.

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Please explain why I, a 17 year old, didn't like it. WhyNotTheJackal
Jean Simmons was too old susan685
Hard to watch after Spartacus the series miausquirrel
Spartacus must be the worst Kubrick movie Der_Blaue_Reiter
Best Performance - Laughton? Olivier? Ustinov? JazzyBee04
George Kennedy Rueiro
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