Spartacus (1960)

Spartacus
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Medium level violence

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Actors: Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis, Peter Ustinov, Kirk Douglas, Charles Laughton, Jean Simmons, John Gavin

This presentation of the powerful film classic features an additional five minutes of footage cut from the film's original release, plus the original overture and extended soundtrack. Director Stanley Kubrick tells the tale of Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), the bold gladiator slave and Varinia (Jean Simmons), the woman who believed in his cause. Challenged by the power-hungry General Crassus (Laurence Olivier), Spartacus is forced to face his convictions and the power of Imperial Rome at its glorious height. The inspirational tru account of man's eternal struggle for freedom, Spartacus combines history with spectacle to create a moving drama of love and commitment.

DVD
Status: Normal
Run time: 189mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio Formats: English Dolby Digital 5.1 French Dolby Digital 2.0 German Dolby Digital 2.0 Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish
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Run Time: 189mins
File Size (Approx): 1.7 GB
Spartacus
by Jess Lomas,

“I’m Spartacus!” It’s one of the greatest lines in cinema history and is spoken in a pivotal scene in Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 toga-fest Spartacus. When you talk of epic Hollywood films, few come close to trumping this 3-hour test of endurance. Packed with injustice, romance, action, and fights to the death, Kubrick tackles the life of Spartacus and the Third Servile War in grand fashion. Adapted by screenwriter Dalton Trumbo from the novel of the same name by Howard Fast, Kirk Douglas plays the slave named Spartacus; rebellious in nature and a natural born leader. Rescued from a death sentence by slave trader Lentulus Batiatus (Peter Ustinov,who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance), Spartacus enters gladiatorial training from which he will be sold and forced to fight for ...

“I’m Spartacus!” It’s one of the greatest lines in cinema history and is spoken in a pivotal scene in Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 toga-fest Spartacus. When you talk of epic Hollywood films, few come close to trumping this 3-hour test of endurance. Packed with injustice, romance, action, and fights to the death, Kubrick tackles the life of Spartacus and the Third Servile War in grand fashion.

Adapted by screenwriter Dalton Trumbo from the novel of the same name by Howard Fast, Kirk Douglas plays the slave named Spartacus; rebellious in nature and a natural born leader. Rescued from a death sentence by slave trader Lentulus Batiatus (Peter Ustinov,who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance), Spartacus enters gladiatorial training from which he will be sold and forced to fight for the wealthy citizen’s entertainment. It is during his training that he meets and falls in love with a slave woman, Varinia (Jean Simmons).

When Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus (Laurence Olivier) arrives with his small party and demands to be treated to a show, four gladiators - including Spartacus - are chosen to fight to the death in an exhibition of their skills. What follows this demoralising demand is a revolt and a chain of events that will not only alter the future of Spartacus and his fellow slaves, but the future of the Roman empire.

Interestingly, Kubrick was the replacement for director Anthony Mann, who was fired by Kirk Douglas after one week of shooting. Though many doubted Kubrick’s ability to helm such an ambitious picture, it would go on to become a classic and win four Academy Awards including Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design. Spartacus was also nominated for Best Film Editing and Best Music; with the haunting, and, at times, repetitious score lingering after the credits.

Tony Curtis also makes an appearance as the slave Antoninus, though it is Douglas’ performance that is iconic overall. A richly filmed and elaborate production, Spartacus is an epic undertaking for truly committed fans of cinema. Thankfully, the DVD includes a much-needed intermission for your respite.

4/5

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Member Reviews (15)

Josh
says
A fantastic epic. Kirk Douglas is great in his role as Spartacus and it really makes you wish that these clearly phoney yet lovable old sets would still be recreated in modern films, simply for the aesthetic appeal. The ending is excellent too. Despite it's goodness, this has nothing on many of Kubrick's other films and if you aren't familiar with his work then you have something to be excited for.
Posted Friday, 23 March 2012 See my other reviews
P Andrews
says
An old fashioned epic, complete with an overture and intermission, this story of of man's inhumanity to man has a touching conclusion that promises hope for the future.
Posted Saturday, 24 April 2010 See my other reviews
John F.
says
One of the screen's best epics. Wonderful production which couldn't be duplicated today without computers. A wonderful cast with Laughton and Ustinov as standouts. A personal favourite.
Posted Friday, 28 August 2009 See my other reviews
Barbara M.
says
Great movie and an all predictable end. Yet for an oldie it was well acted and had a good storyline. Actors like Kirk Douglas (Charlton Heston, Jimmy Stewart) etc, were all in a class of their own and had the talent, as there were very little in the way of Computer Graphics in those days. They could teach the younger actors more than a thing or two. Great film well worth watching.
Posted Thursday, 22 January 2009 See my other reviews
Chris J.
says
An epic film that has all the elements of an epic including being too long. At least now I can say I have see the "No I'm Spartacus!" scene.
Posted Wednesday, 7 May 2008 See my other reviews
Mary-Julia D.
says
Compelling story well acted (albeit in the style of the day) and with a truly epic feel. Probably best appreciated if you're in the mood for an older style film.
Posted Monday, 19 December 2005 See my other reviews
Zoe R.
says
A bit slow moving. Far too many deep and meaningful looks.
Posted Saturday, 15 October 2005 See my other reviews
Chris D
says
A true cinematic classic!
Posted Thursday, 9 December 2004 See my other reviews
Julie
says
I just love those old movies. There is something in them that modern ones dont have.
Posted Sunday, 21 November 2004 See my other reviews
Nils Johansson
says
Posted Thursday, 28 October 2004 See my other reviews
Loui Soravia
says
Posted Saturday, 16 October 2004 See my other reviews
Warwick Mcdonald
says
Perhaps the least interesting of Kubrick's films. No doubt a far-sighted sort of blockbuster when it was first released but strangely wooden and slow moving. Nowhere near as good as his earlier Paths of Glory.
Posted Monday, 11 October 2004 See my other reviews
Audrey Hughes
says
Typical 1960s movie with dramatic acting and music but worth watching
Posted Thursday, 30 September 2004 See my other reviews
Violet Fawkes
says
Posted Thursday, 2 September 2004 See my other reviews
Dan Brustur
says
Posted Tuesday, 27 April 2004 See my other reviews
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