The second adaptation of Raffaello Giovagnoli's novel comes at a time when Italy really started pumping out their epic films with the longer running times, expensive sets and lavish production values. This film really doesn't stray too far from the source as we have our hero Spartacus being sold as a slave only to rise up and battle the evil Crassus. These Italian movies are certainly a far cry from the American ones coming out at the same time and this one here has so much going for it that I'm sure even the most jaded silent-hater would have to respect what's on display here. For starters, the set design here is incredibly well-done and I couldn't help but lose focus of the story at certain parts of the film while I just looked in great detail at the buildings. I thought all of the sets looked extremely real and they really made you feel as if you were in ancient Rome. Another major plus were the costumes, which yet again add a touch of realism to the film as they all look and feel as if they're in a real setting. The movie runs just over an hour and there's really not a dry or slow moment to be had. The movie has some terrific action scenes and we also get some nice drama. This can easily be seen towards the end when Spartacus is in jail accused of killing a man. The way director Vidali builds up the suspense was very impressive and the actors all fit their roles quite nicely. I'm not sure what the budget to this thing was but the realistic, mammoth sets make this a must-see for fans of classic cinema. The one minor problem with the film is that the editing could have been done a lot better and one can't help but thing that a "Griffith" touch would have cleaned up some of the minor technical issues.
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