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
The 1991 version was restored by Robert A. Harris, who produced a new 65mm preservation negative from original color separations. The original camera negative had lost too much of its yellow layer to be usable. 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, ...
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 »
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.
A magnificent movie deserving of every accolade heaped upon it. Watch out, especially, for the credit sequence at the beginning. It is truly worthy of this epic.
Unless you are watching it at home (and can rewind), it might just pass you by before you are settled in. And that would be a pity. So get comfortable quickly before the movie starts. Be prepared for a real treat.
Whoever put the credit sequence together ought to be commended. Coincidentally, Alex North also composed the music of the other epic with a great credit sequence, Cleopatra.
10 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this