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Spartacus (2004)

After he is bought by the owner of a Roman gladiator school and trained as a gladiator, a slave leads a rebellion of slaves and gladiators into revolt against Rome.

Director:

Robert Dornhelm

Writers:

Howard Fast (novel), Robert Schenkkan (teleplay)
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Goran Visnjic ... Spartacus
Alan Bates ... Agrippa
Angus Macfadyen ... Crassus
Rhona Mitra ... Varinia
Ian McNeice ... Batiatus
James Frain ... David
Henry Simmons ... Draba
Ross Kemp ... Cinna
Ben Cross ... Glabrus
Paul Kynman ... Crixus
Paul Telfer ... Gannicus
Chris Jarman ... Nordo
Georgina Rylance ... Helena
Stuart Bunce ... Cornelius Lucius
Hristo Shopov Hristo Shopov ... Maecenus
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Storyline

Sentenced to spend out the rest of his adult life laboring in the harsh deserts of Egypt, the Thracian slave Spartacus gets a new lease on life when he is purchased by the obese owner of a Roman gladiator school. Moved by the defiance of an Ethiopian warrior, Draba, Spartacus leads a slave uprising which threatens Rome's status quo. As Spartacus gains sympathy within the Roman Senate, he also makes a powerful enemy in the form of Marcus Lucinius Crassus, who makes it a matter of personal honor to crush the rebellion. Written by Ronos

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Once a slave. Forever a legend.

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spartacus See more »

Filming Locations:

Sofia, Bulgaria

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plot, setting and costumes are nearly identical to those of Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960). However, this adaptation follows Howard Fast's novel more closely than does Kubrick's movie. (Two of the more noticeable omissions of the new adaptation are the "I am Spartacus!" scene, and Spartacus and his wife's reunion after battle.) The mini-series is shown as a story as a woman narrates to her son, who are later revealed to be Spartacus' wife and son. See more »

Goofs

In the charge that precipitates the climactic battle, the legionaries of the Roman front line are shown advancing with shields in the left hand, swords in the right. Except for one in the lower foreground: his right hand is empty, he is advancing into combat with only a shield. As soon as he makes contact with a member of the rebel army, he falls on his back even though he hasn't actually been attacked yet. See more »

Quotes

David: I will be back...
David: ...and I will be millions!
See more »

Connections

Version of Spartaco (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Miniseries
7 November 2004 | by LBytesSee all my reviews

There's some confusion about this Spartacus miniseries and the 1960 epic movie Spartacus. The stories are very similar because they both use the Howard Fast novel as a basis. The Kirk Douglas movie had another mission though as it was one of a group of movies made to regain the public's interest in the cinema with lavish spectacle. The scale of its production is much higher than the miniseries. What the miniseries has going for it is more historical accuracy; the gladiator/rebel army marched up Italy, got to the Alps and changed its mind (very puzzling), marched down to Italy's toe hoping to escape by boat but was foiled and was trapped for a time. They broke out only to quarrel amongst themselves and break up into at least two groups. This proved their undoing as the Romans first massacred the smaller group of Gauls and then defeated Spartacus in turn. Spartacus' body was never identified, but many were crucified along the road all the way to Rome. Spartacus and his army made the Romans pay in much blood and defeat leading up to his and their ultimate defeat, though, requiring 15 or 16 legions to chase them down. Spartacus is a favorite hero of the Communists, BTW, being the working stiff rising up against the ruling class, etc...

The 1960 epic is short on accuracy, instead showing the rebel army defeating the garrison of Rome and another legion or 3 along the way to Brundusium, only to turn back and get overwhelmed by multiple Roman armies. It was a closer match to the actual scale of events, as the rebels numbered around 90-100,000. But they both have the same love story tacked on along with treachery in the Roman Senate by ahistorical Roman Senators, and a Crassus obsessed with possessing the strength of Spartacus by possesing his woman.

The 1960 remains my favorite version simply because its a well-done big movie (I wouldn't want to be the one to reprise Olivier's Crassus!)although it was good to see a more accurate portrayal of the course of events shown in the miniseries. The acting was pretty good, with Spartacus' Visnjic a good choice for the title role.


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