7.9/10
120,142
315 user 124 critic

Spartacus (1960)

Trailer
2:43 | Trailer
The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Dalton Trumbo (screenplay), Howard Fast (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
1,580 ( 443)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Spartacus
Laurence Olivier ... Crassus
Jean Simmons ... Varinia
Charles Laughton ... Gracchus
Peter Ustinov ... Batiatus
John Gavin ... Julius Caesar
Nina Foch ... Helena Glabrus
John Ireland ... Crixus
Herbert Lom ... Tigranes Levantus
John Dall ... Marcus Publius Glabrus
Charles McGraw ... Marcellus
Joanna Barnes ... Claudia Marius
Harold J. Stone ... David
Woody Strode ... Draba
Peter Brocco ... Ramon
Learn more

More Like This 

Lolita (1962)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon
The Killing (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Crook Johnny Clay assembles a five man team to plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou
Killer's Kiss (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Ready to catch a train to his hometown, a washed-up boxer tells us about the strange and twisty events that happened to him the past couple of days.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A New York City doctor embarks on a harrowing, night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife reveals a painful secret to him.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines must confront their fears and desires.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Frank Silvera, Kenneth Harp, Paul Mazursky
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
Ben-Hur (1959)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
Flying Padre (1951)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Two days in the life of priest Father Fred Stadtmuller whose New Mexico parish is so large he can only spread goodness and light among his flock with the aid of a monoplane. The priestly ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Fred Stadtmueller, Bob Hite, Pedro
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio
Edit

Storyline

In 73 B.C., a Thracian slave leads a revolt at a gladiatorial school run by Lentulus Batiatus (Sir Peter Ustinov). 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 (Charles Laughton) schemes to have Marcus Publius Glabrus (John Dall), 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 (Sir Laurence Olivier) 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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir David Lean was considered to direct, but declined. Sir Laurence Olivier was then asked to direct, but he had relinquished the directing assignment, as he felt the dual role of actor and director would prove to be too demanding. See more »

Goofs

Referring to leaving Italy by sea, several characters, including Antoninus, refer to the port of Brundusium. The actual port, in ancient times, was known as Brundisium. The discrepancy could be regarded as a variation in pronunciation, until the midpoint of the film, when the pirate emissary points to a map of Southern Italy in Spartacus's camp tent, clearly showing the misspelled city of Brundusium. The other cities on the map - Metapontum, Capua, Tarentum, for example - are historically correct in the Latin spelling of their names. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 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, ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 3 (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
Controlling Stanley: The Spartacus Experience
29 July 2004 | by Arriflex1See all my reviews

As most are undoubtedly aware this is the film that the director virtually expunged from his repertoire. But why did Stanley Kubrick really disown SPARTACUS (1960)? The answer can be summed up in two words: absolute control. Kubrick wanted total administrative as well as artistic authority over the making of the film about a revolt of gladiators and slaves in ancient Rome.

But you will notice that Bryna Productions not only financed SPARTACUS but also an earlier film directed by Kubrick, PATHS OF GLORY (1958). Bryna was Kirk Douglas' film company and, as most filmgoers know, he was the star of both films. Besides having all the money to make the films, Douglas had artistic vision as well. Only three weeks into what would prove to be an incredibly complex and arduous production, Douglas fired venerable director Anthony Mann (RAW DEAL, RAILROADED,THE FURIES, THE NAKED SPUR, THE MAN FROM LARAMIE, MAN OF THE WEST, etc.) from SPARTACUS. With only two days notice, Kubrick was hired to replace him.

Shooting PATHS OF GLORY, Douglas had confined his criticisms and objections to Kubrick's failed rewriting of the script (they went with the original screenplay). Douglas' complaints and artistic influence were far greater on SPARTACUS, much to Kubrick's chagrin. Though the director craved autonomy over every aspect of the film, Douglas would not budge. A tense compromise was reached but ultimately Douglas had the last word. Kubrick saw himself as just a hired gun. And he would never allow himself to be placed in this position again.

Later, both men would complain about the film's outcome and each other. They never made another movie together.

But SPARTACUS is no uneven patchwork of divergent ideas. The film is cohesive and arresting. At the restored version of three hours and eighteen minutes, there is practically no dead footage in the film. Dalton Trumbo's screenplay is surprisingly economical, with sharply drawn characters placed against the sweeping historical majesty and violent sociological tumult of ancient Rome. Quite plainly, the gloriously inventive music by Alex North is among the greatest scores ever written for a motion picture. And despite Kubrick's bad experience, he managed to guide the actors towards creating outstanding work (a best supporting actor Oscar for Peter Ustinov). He even transformed the very real enmity between Laughton and Olivier into an on-screen asset. His other contributions were considerable also (the large scale and power of the battle sequence, for example). In the end, for the film at least, the clash of giant egos proved fortuitous. Recommendations: for greater insight and detail on this and Kubrick's other films I urge you to seek out Jan Harlan's excellent documentary, STANLEY KUBRICK: A LIFE IN PICTURES, and Vincent LoBrutto's exhaustive, highly informative biography, STANLEY KUBRICK. For the producer's views on SPARTACUS and its director, take a gander at Kirk Douglas' very candid autobiography, THE RAGMAN'S SON.


134 of 166 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 315 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1960 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Spartacus: Rebel Against Rome See more »

Filming Locations:

Spain See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,162, 28 April 1991

Gross USA:

$1,830,650

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,836,351
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bryna Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere) | (1968 re-release) | (1967 re-release) | (1991 restored) | (theatrical) | (2015 restored)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (1991 restoration)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed