A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.
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
According to producer Edward Lewis, Charles McGraw (Marcellus) had his jaw broken in the scene where Kirk Douglas viciously jams his head into a large vat of soup. In spite of the pain of the injury, McGraw finished the scene. See more »
At the beginning of the major battle between the legions of Rome and Spartacus's army, one shot shows the Roman standard in centre-frame, with another at the extreme left of the screen. The Roman standard would contain the letters, SPQR - Senatus Populusque Romanus - but the one in centre-frame here clearly shows SPOR. There is no mistake of this in the restoration released on Blu-ray. Strangely, the standard seen at the extreme left has SPQR, with a small mark at the lower right of the Q which may have been a prop-master's afterthought. One is tempted to believe that all the props were manufactured with SPOR, and some changed at the last minute. But not the one in centre-frame as the battle begins. 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 opening titles appear in a montage of silhouetted Roman sculptures and tablets, which evokes 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 »
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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