Spartacus

  • PG
  • Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Mann (1960)
  • US
  • 196 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Director Stanley Kubrick's much-lauded historical epic, starring Kirk Douglas as the slave-turned-gladiator who leads a revolt against the might of the Romans, has come to be regarded as a classic of its genre. Despite the film's length and overemphasis in the latter half on wordy speeches from Douglas (the film's executive producer), the action leading up to the revolt of the gladiators is brilliantly re-created, with Peter Ustinov, Charles Laughton and Laurence Olivier (as the Romans) addictively greedy scene-stealers. The early sequences, set in the Libyan desert, were directed by Anthony Mann, who was fired by Douglas and replaced by the 31-year-old Kubrick. Sadly, Kubrick later disowned the picture because he regarded himself as a hired hand. For several years Spartacus held the record as the most expensive picture ever made in America; it also made history as one of two films that finally broke the Hollywood communist blacklist by giving Dalton Trumbo credit as the screenwriter. In 1991, a restored version was released that contained cuts made from the original, including more lingering death agonies of Kirk Douglas on the cross and a risible bath scene with Olivier and Tony Curtis, which was originally removed because of its alleged homosexual innuendo.

Plot Summary

Historical epic starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier and Tony Curtis. Born into slavery, the gladiator Spartacus longs for freedom and soon finds himself at the head of an army of slaves in revolt against the might of the Romans.

Cast and crew

Cast

Spartacus
Kirk Douglas
Marcus Crassus
Laurence Olivier
Antoninus
Tony Curtis
Varinia
Jean Simmons
Gracchus
Charles Laughton
Batiatus
Peter Ustinov
Julius Caesar
John Gavin
Helena Glabrus
Nina Foch
Tigranes
Herbert Lom
Draba
Woody Strode
Crixus
John Ireland
Glabrus
John Dall
Marcellus
Charles McGraw
Dionysius
Nick Dennis
Rebel soldier
George Kennedy

Crew

Director
Stanley Kubrick
Director
Anthony Mann

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Guidance: 
Violence.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate PG
Distributor:
Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd
Categories
Drama

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