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Spartacus (1960)

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



(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
1,704 ( 162)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


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


More titanic than any story ever told! 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?


Stanley Kubrick was not given control of the script, which he felt was full of stupid moralizing. After he finished this film he always kept full control over all aspects of his films. See more »


Referring to leaving Italy by sea, several characters, including Antoninus, refer to the port of Brundusium. The actual port, in ancient times, was known as Brundisium. The discrepancy could be regarded as a variation in pronunciation, until the midpoint of the film, when the pirate emissary points to a map of Southern Italy in Spartacus's camp tent, clearly showing the misspelled city of Brundusium. The other cities on the map - Metapontum, Capua, Tarentum, for example - are historically correct in the Latin spelling of their names. 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, ...
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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 In & Out (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Still relevant after all these years
26 December 2005 | by (High on a Plane) – See all my reviews

A very moving and compelling story of epic proportions. The plot is relentless, propelled by a dazzling screenplay. Kubrick draws some of the greatest performances of the cast, and fills the screen with images that fascinate throughout. Well paced for a movie of this magnitude.

To those who complain of anachronisms and poetic license with historical events, I say to them, 'Remember, it is a movie.' To be truly accurate, the cast would be delivering their lines in Latin and ancient Greek, with English subtitles. Whatever Kubrick might lose with historical inaccuracies, he gains far more in his ability to convey the story to the viewer. Even though it is over forty years old, the film tells us more of the present day than it does of the past.

35 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Spartacus must be the worst Kubrick movie Der_Blaue_Reiter
"I'll take the big black one" Pervy_Grin
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
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