After he is bought by the owner of a Roman gladiator school and trained as an gladiator A slave leads a rebellion of slaves and gladiators into revolt against Rome.

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(novel), (teleplay)
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Agrippa
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James Frain ...
David
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Glabrus
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Nordo
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Helena
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Cornelius Lucius
Hristo Shopov ...
Maecenus
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Storyline

Sentenced to spend out the rest of his adult life laboring in the harsh deserts of Egypt, the Thracian slave Spartacus gets a new lease on life when he is purchased by the obese owner of a Roman gladiator school. Moved by the defiance of an Ethiopian warrior, Draba, Spartacus leads a slave uprising which threatens Rome's status quo. As Spartacus gains sympathy within the Roman Senate, he also makes a powerful enemy in form of Marcus Lucinius Crassus, who makes it a matter of personal honor to crush the rebellion. Written by Ronos

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Taglines:

Once a slave. Forever a legend.

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Action | Drama | History

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Release Date:

18 April 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Espartaco  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Trivia

The plot, setting and costumes are nearly identical to those of the Stanley Kubrick 1960 version; however, this adaptation follows Howard Fast's novel more closely than does Kubrick's film. (Two of the more noticeable omissions of the new adaptation are the "I am Spartacus!" scene and Spartacus and his wife's reunion after battle.) The miniseries is shown as a story as a woman narrates to her son, who are later revealed to be Spartacus's wife and son. See more »

Goofs

When Spartacus is about to cut Crixus's throat, the fillings in Crixus's mouth are visible. See more »

Quotes

Spartacus: Live Draba - that is what life is for.
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Connections

Version of Sins of Rome (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

Truer to the Howard Fast Novel - New take on great movie
18 July 2004 | by (West Hampstead, UK) – See all my reviews

The original Spartacus is a superior movie as movies go. However, this version has much to offer and won't disappoint. The depiction of the Gladiator fights has several authentic touches such as the branding on the neck of the losing fighter. The brand was to insure the gladiator wasn't faking death! They still got the thumbs-down crowd signal wrong. In the movies, the thumbs-down means the crowd wants the loser to die. In reality the thumbs-down meant to let the loser live and to signal the victor to put down their sword. The death signal was a thumb stabbing motion toward the heart. I suppose they can be forgiven because few people watching the movie would know that and it would probably confuse most people to change it. They likewise included the signal of the losing fighter to plead for mercy, but got that wrong slightly too because the signal is one finger, not two. Still, they obviously tried to get things more accurate. The gladiator characters were quite accurate as were their weaponry and armor. Very good job there. They obviously paid attention to the discoveries made since "Gladiator" came out in 2000.

But the gladitorial combat scenes are a very small part of this movie. This is primarily a war movie and the war is a fight for freedom by slaves against the Roman empire. The producers retained much of the social commentary from Howard Fast's book. It fact they hit you over the head with it in case you didn't read the book. Most important in this the Draba character, the black gladiator who fights Spartacus. His role, though small, is key to the story. Also pay attention to Agrippa, the Roman Senator who is constantly making Crassius' life miserable. He's not what he seems, so pay attention.

Watching the mini-series on USA Network over two separate nights days apart is unbearable. But when commercials are edited out and you can watch the whole thing without so many interruptions, the narrative is quite fluid. This would make a nice DVD because the photography is good, the costumes detailed, the acting/casting good, and the story excellent.

It is just not the same movie as the 1960 version. Don't expect a simple remake. The ending is different. Spartacus' fate is different. It's more like Howard Fast wrote it originally than what Hollywood made of it in 1960.

The 1960 version is superb, but it's not the same as this movie. It's a similar but different story. I highly recommend this version along with the original.


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