Colosseum: A Gladiator's Story (2004)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary, Action, History  |  14 March 2004 (USA)
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Verus, a slave captured in the Balkans, sees a gladiatorial career in the arena as a preferable alternative to life in a rock quarry.


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Credited cast:
Jamel Aroui ...
Hichem Rostom ...
Dorra Zarrouk ...
Imperial Lady
Narrator (UK version) (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jeffrey Gibson ...
The Poet Martial (voice)
Verus (voice)
Himself - Narrator (voice)


A semi-documentary about the life of Verus, a captive from the Rome's Balkan province of Moesia, who is pressed into the harsh life of a slave in Italian rock quarry. He sees no long term future there, so when the owner of a gladiatorial school comes there to recruit prospective fighters for his school, he purposely picks a fight with another slave to attract attention. Both he and Priscus, the Celtic slave, join the school, become friends, and build careers as renowned gladiators, adored by the crowds in the arena and desired by women of the aristocratic class. The Emporer Titus completes his father Vespasian's pet project, the Colosseum, and wants the inaugural games worthy of his memory, so he specifically selects Verus to fight in them. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

14 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Colosseum - Arena des Todes  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


£2,169,571 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (video)


Aspect Ratio:

16: 9 Enhanced
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Did You Know?


According to the property master an entire warehouse of period Roman props was discovered during preproduction. Although some were in rough shape, they proved invaluable to the production. They were from a "James Mason movie" that had been shot fifteen years or seventeen years earlier. He was evidently referring to the miniseries "A.D." from 1985. Other Roman dramas that Mason appeared in were "The Fall of the Roman Empire" in 1964 and "Julius Caesar" in 1953. See more »


Verus: [Referring to life in the rock quarry] We had a saying. There are no old bones in the pit.
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User Reviews

If you liked "Pompeii:The Last Days", you'll like this one as well...
12 November 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

One of the best documentaries I've seen is "Pompeii: The Last Days". Based on historical records and artifacts, the film recreates the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii. What makes it exciting is that they filmmakers recreated the city and a small group of doomed residents. Through their lives, you learn what it was like to have lived during this harrowing event.

Here in "Colosseum: A Gladiator's Story" the filmmakers have once again used the same type of film making--though they also provided quite a bit of narration along with people acting out the story of a real life gladiator. Using some CGI and nice costumes, the folks from the BBC recreate this life in amazing detail. My only gripe is with the title of this show, as the Colosseum wasn't a big focus at all of the film--it was more the story of a gladiator, not the building. So, if you are looking for an in-depth discussion of the building--with its amazing basement, trap doors, etc., then this is not a film for you. Still, it's very well done and quite compelling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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