A space-opera spanning the dawn of man to humanity reaching the stars, 2001: A Space Odyssey tells the story of the Black Monolith, humanity's evolution and the rise of A.I.'s ultimate supercomputer HAL 9000.
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
Of the one hundred sixty-seven days it took Stanley Kubrick to shoot this movie, six weeks were spent directing an elaborate battle sequence in which eight thousand five hundred extras re-created the clash between the Roman troops and Spartacus' slave army. Several scenes in the battle drew the ire of the Legion of Decency, and were therefore cut. These include shots of men being dismembered (dwarfs with false torsos and an actor with only one arm (Bill Raisch, the "One-Armed Man" of The Fugitive (1963) fame) with a phony breakaway limb as a Roman soldier who has his arm cut off in battle were used to give authenticity). Seven years later, when the Oscar-winning movie was re-issued, an additional twenty-two minutes were cut out, including a scene in which Varinia watches Spartacus writhe in agony on a cross. Her line, "Oh, please die, my darling" was excised, and the scene was cut to make it appear that Spartacus was already dead. See more »
When Spartacus confronts Marcus Glabrus after the latter has been captured, the formed tears off Glabrus' medallion (which is the symbol of his office as commander of the garrison of Rome), breaking its chain. In the next shot Glabrus is shown wearing the medallion on its intact chain. 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 »
European prints of the film contained a scene in which a nude Jean Simmons bathes in a pond. Stills and lobby cards exist, but the scene has not appeared in any re-issue. See more »
I've got to say that I'm not a massive admirer of Kubrick, but there's no denying that this is a very fine movie. Back in the days when extras weren't computer generated this is very much the film that Gladiator was based on.
Kirk Douglas plays the lead and the length of the film gives the actor and director plenty of time to develop the character. Spartacus starts the film as a slave, but is spotted and trained up to be a gladiator. During an uprising he becomes the leader of an army who simply want freedom from the roman empire.
Where this film wins over Gladiator is in the character development and dialogue. Olivier, Simmons, Laughton, Ustinov and Curtis all put in fine performances and the "I'm Spartacus" is probably one of the most memorable scenes in movie history. 10/10
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