Stanley Kubrick (1960)

PG Certificate


Our Score
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.


A slave trained to fight as a gladiator turns against his masters and leads an army of rebels in a fight for freedom against the Roman state. But as the rebellion gathers momentum, two senators do all they can to exploit the uprising for their own political ends. Stanley Kubrick's Oscar-winning epic, with Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton and Peter Ustinov.

Cast & Crew

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
Director Stanley Kubrick
Director Anthony Mann
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Violence.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray