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38 user 6 critic

Spartacus (2004)

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

Director:

Robert Dornhelm

Writers:

Howard Fast (novel), Robert Schenkkan (teleplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,819 ( 318)

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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 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:

Espartaco 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 the Stanley Kubrick 1960 version; however, this adaptation follows Howard Fast's novel more closely than does Kubrick's film. (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 miniseries is shown as a story as a woman narrates to her son, who are later revealed to be Spartacus's wife and son. See more »

Goofs

In the final battle, the Roman army is shown marching downhill. The grass ahead of them is already trampled from previous takes. See more »

Quotes

Spartacus: Live Draba - that is what life is for.
See more »

Connections

Version of Spartacus: War of the Damned (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A worthy successor to the original
26 September 2005 | by stevec-35See all my reviews

The 1960 version of Spartacus remains one of the best historical epics ever made but this new film rates very well beside it. It is more historically accurate and much more faithful to the original Howard Fast novel on which both films were based.

All the actors did a good job. Goran Visnvjic was an effective Spartacus and Rhona Mitra a feisty Varinia very much in keeping with the book. Alan Bates is at his best in the role of a senator playing a behind the scenes role in trying to stop Crassus in his drive for power over the Roman state. I was least impressed by Angas Macfadyen in the role of Crassus although it's still a competent performance. I guess that Lawrence Olivier who played Crassus in the 1960 movie is a hard act to follow.

The battle scenes are competently performed but the armies look much smaller than the historical record said they were. I guess the original Spartacus had more money to spend on extras. A long standing wish of mine is for a Roman epic to get the armor right. The Roman soldier of this period wore short mail shirts and used oval shields. The segmented armor wasn't introduced until about a century later.

I couldn't fault the history. Everything seems to be done right, from the first battle when the slaves abseiled down the cliffs of Vesuvius to attack the Roman camp to the splitting up of the slave army when Crixus and Spartacus had a falling out. The gladiator scenes are just as good as the original too.

All in all, a great movie that even die-hard fans of the Kirk Douglas version should enjoy.


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