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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 »
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
Peter Ustinov first met Kirk Douglas shooting the scene when Lentulus Batiatus discovers Spartacus chained to a rock. Because Douglas was so ragged looking, he didn't recognize the man. See more »
A map of Italy can be seen in Spartacus' camp tent (it is prominently featured in the scenes involving the pirate emissary), which is far too accurate for the times of the movie. 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 »
"I do know that, as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves."
SPARTACUS is an adventurous drama in which an idea about freedom has resisted to strength of a glorious Roman Empire. A bloody and romantic tragedy is filled with historical inaccuracies.
A proud and gifted man named Spartacus, is so uncooperative in his servitude that he is sentenced to fight as a gladiator. He was transferred to a school for gladiators, led by a sly Roman businessman. Spartacus, despite harassment at school, forms a quiet relationship with a serving woman. A Roman senator, who aims to become dictator of Rome, has visited the businessman and his school. Two women from his entourage want to enjoy the fights to the death. Spartacus is one of the selected gladiators. This fight will change awareness among slaves...
The main protagonist is a kind of "trigger" , who has changed the political situation in Rome. An arrogant and uneducated slave has risen from the bottom through an immortal idea of freedom. Mr. Kubrick has very meticulously processed topics related to leadership, true love, politicking and dictatorship. He has, regardless of the historical inaccuracies, skilfully pointed out a ruin of the great empire. The ideas of eternity can be interpreted as a kind of paradox or fear. Unlike other epic films from that time, Christian motifs were replaced with determination and desire for freedom. Dealing with "tricky" issues is important in this film. Mr. Kubrick, in a very clear way, shows scenes of sexual desire, homosexuality, bisexuality, and even torture through scenes of crucifixion.
Scenery is impressive, especially in the final battle. Soundtrack is great. Characterization is reflected in a sort of rivalry. Rivalry in love and politics.
Kirk Douglas as Spartacus has offered a good performance. The tension in his face is a reflection of seriousness of his character. He is not overly romantic, but he has a remarkable sense of leadership and fellowship. Jean Simmons as Varinia is an attractive slave and a very strong woman, who shows her pride, love and character in almost every scene. Laurence Olivier as Crassus is the main antagonist and a very complex character. He is actually an unfortunate character, because he can not feel the love and the freedom.
There is always interesting and entertaining Charles Laughton as Gracchus. Peter Ustinov, in my view, did not deserve an Oscar for the role of a wily and manipulative Batiatus. Tony Curtis as Antoninus is a bit theatrical and unconvincing as an artist among the gladiators.
This is an exciting epic adventure in combination with the political drama. Some ideas are truly eternal.
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