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
Human Desires so Strong they changed the course of History...of a Rebellion that shook a Civilization in a Pagan era, 71 B.C....the grandeur and might of Rome and the challenge of an immortal gladiator...of a love that changed the world. See more »
When Spartacus is scored by the trident in the gladiatorial battle the three steaks of 'blood' are already on his chest. See more »
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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The six main cast members are accompanied by an item that represents their character (a chain, a Roman eagle, a wine jug, a couple of hands - one wielding a snake, and a sword). See more »
The film premiered at 202 minutes. However, the prints from the premiere were lost in the 1970s when Universal threw out all the film's tracks, outtakes, additional prints etc. (This was parallel to 'John Landis'' claim during his work on creating the director's cut of The Blues Brothers). The Criterion Collection has 4 minutes of lost scenes involving the Gracchus subplot:
1.) After the first senatorial meeting scene, Gracchus and Caesar walk around the market discussing the dirty tactic of fishing votes. (Shown in production-still form)
2.) Gracchus commits suicide by slitting his wrist in the bathtub. This occurred immediately after he closes the curtain near the end of the film. Only the audio track was found in the studio vault.
Based on a historical slave revolt in areas controlled by Republican Rome, it is a story of both tragedy and triumph.
If you saw the movie, read the book (by Howard Fast) and if you have read the book, see the movie and see that they fit seamlessly together without major deviations.
The most memorable scenes are of course those of the final battle with the eerie and chilling sound of the clink, clink, clink of armor as the Roman infantry marches into intricate battle positions. I believe soldiers of the Spanish army were used as extras for this movie.
The most memorable line is that of Crassus (Olivier) as he impresses upon Antoninus, the slave (Tony Curtis), the strength of the Roman Republic. He gazes at a cohort of soldiers with their massive pilae (spears or spikes)and their bronze shields marching pass his villa at night. "There Antoninus, goes the might and power of Rome. Nothing can withstand it...........how much more a mere boy?" And at that point Antoninus, whom he had been trying to seduce into a homosexual tryst with oblique erotic talk referring to "snails and oysters," escaped to join the rebelling army of slaves led by Spartacus.
Made just as the various civil rights organizations were starting to cohere, one wonders if this epic movie which highlighted the injustice of slavery, had an impact on American society which finally acknowledged and did something about its gross violations of human rights based on skin color.
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