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
In July 1959, Hollywood Reporter announced that the budget had "spiralled" from five million dollars to nine million dollars, and according to studio press materials, the final budget was twelve million dollars. Some sources stated that the massive production was the most expensive in movie history to that point. However, the budget for Ben-Hur (1959) exceeded fifteen million dollars. The April 1991 New York Times article points out that this amount equalled more than Universal Pictures was worth at the time of the movie's production, when the studio was purchased by MCA for eleven million two hundred fifty thousand dollars. See more »
A truck drives along the hills behind a battle scene. 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, ...
See more »
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 »
One of those movies which somehow seems to improve as it ages (probably because, between viewings, we forget how many cliches it avoids), Spartacus is a terrific film, and one which, I think, would have been every bit as terrific even if Mr Douglas and Mr Mann hadn't had that little falling out which led to Mr Kubrick getting the phone call.
Don't get me wrong, I think Kubrick was a great director, perhaps even the best there has been, but not only had Spartacus been in pre-production for over a year by the time he was told to hop aboard, the actual shooting had already begun (that opening sequence in the quarry is all Mann's, I believe). On a project of this scale, made in the heart of the Hollywood machine, even the most tyrannous director would be hard pressed to shape it into something that reflected himself, and indeed, some sources suggest Kubrick all but disowned the film. He certainly wasn't involved with the '91 restoration.
The only conclusion is that, whatever contribution he made scene-by-scene, the film's many overall qualities (witty dialogue, an emphasis on intrigue, a political theme, very handsome look) were there regardless of Kubrick, not because of him.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this