Spartacus

( 12 )

Overview

Spartacus Kirk Douglas is a rebellious slave purchased by Lentulus Batiatus Peter Ustinov, owner of a school for gladiators. For the entertainment of corrupt Roman senator Marcus Licinius Crassus Laurence Olivier, Batiatus' gladiators are to stage a fight to the death. On the night before the event, the enslaved trainees are "rewarded" with female companionship. Spartacus' companion for the evening is Varinia Jean Simmons, a slave from Brittania. When Spartacus later learns that Varinia has been sold to Crassus, ...
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Overview

Spartacus Kirk Douglas is a rebellious slave purchased by Lentulus Batiatus Peter Ustinov, owner of a school for gladiators. For the entertainment of corrupt Roman senator Marcus Licinius Crassus Laurence Olivier, Batiatus' gladiators are to stage a fight to the death. On the night before the event, the enslaved trainees are "rewarded" with female companionship. Spartacus' companion for the evening is Varinia Jean Simmons, a slave from Brittania. When Spartacus later learns that Varinia has been sold to Crassus, he leads 78 fellow gladiators in revolt. Word of the rebellion spreads like wildfire, and soon Spartacus' army numbers in the hundreds. Escaping to join his cause is Varinia, who has fallen in love with Spartacus, and another of Crassus' house slaves, the sensitive Antoninus Tony Curtis. The revolt becomes the principal cog in the wheel of a political struggle between Crassus and a more temperate senator named Gracchus Charles Laughton. Anthony Mann was the original director of Spartacus, eventually replaced by Stanley Kubrick, who'd previously guided Douglas through Paths of Glory. The film received 4 Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Ustinov. A crucial scene between Olivier and Curtis, removed from the 1967 reissue because of its subtle homosexual implications, was restored in 1991, with a newly recorded soundtrack featuring Curtis as his younger self and Anthony Hopkins standing in for the deceased Olivier.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Stanley Kubrick's first big-budget movie, a rousing testament to the unquenchable human thirst for freedom, was phenomenally successful when first released in 1960 and is today regarded -- rightfully so -- as one of the truly great cinematic spectacles. It was certainly a career highpoint for Kirk Douglas, who is superbly stoic as Spartacus, the former gladiator who led an army of fellow slaves against their Roman oppressors. But his was only one of many vivid characterizations. Equally memorable are Laurence Olivier's deliciously sly aristocrat, Peter Ustinov's conniving promoter, Jean Simmons's adoring maiden, Tony Curtis's rebellious slave, and Charles Laughton's wily senator. Kubrick's legendary perfectionism which sparked repeated on-set clashes with producer/star Douglas manifested itself in astonishingly intricate period re-creations and large-scale stagings of battle scenes. He added his own flourishes to the script, written by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, and never allowed spectacle, action, or pageantry to overshadow human emotion. An enormous influence on Gladiator, this sprawling epic has consistently thrilled moviegoers.
Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Stanley Kubrick's first big-budget movie, a rousing testament to the unquenchable human thirst for freedom, was phenomenally successful when first released in 1960 and is today regarded -- rightfully so -- as one of the truly great cinematic spectacles. It was certainly a career highpoint for Kirk Douglas, who is superbly stoic as Spartacus, the former gladiator who led an army of fellow slaves against their Roman oppressors. But his was only one of many vivid characterizations. Equally memorable are Laurence Olivier's deliciously sly aristocrat, Peter Ustinov's conniving promoter, Jean Simmons's adoring maiden, Tony Curtis's rebellious slave, and Charles Laughton's wily senator. Kubrick's legendary perfectionism which sparked repeated on-set clashes with producer/star Douglas manifested itself in astonishingly intricate period re-creations and large-scale stagings of battle scenes. He added his own flourishes to the script, written by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, and never allowed spectacle, action, or pageantry to overshadow human emotion. An enormous influence on Gladiator, this sprawling epic has consistently thrilled moviegoers.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
A remarkably expensive production for the time ($12m) that took 167 days to film, Spartacus has been lauded as the "thinking man's" epic because it lacks a happy ending and places as much emphasis on oration as action. The slave revolt storyline, penned in part by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, is clearly meant to parallel contemporary American political reality. The decadent Romans are grotesquely shaped versions of the Hollywood movie moguls gleefully leeching the talent, who come in the form of noble battling gladiators in the film. The optimistic liberal message is delivered with a heavy handed via speech spouting slaves, and led director Stanley Kubrick, who was not a big fan of the final product, to complain that the film "had everything but a good story." Kubrick was brought aboard after Kirk Douglas and the film's original director Anthony Mann clashed very early in the production. Although Douglas gives a strident and muscular performance, it is the supporting cast, led by Academy Award winner Peter Ustinov and Laurence Olivier who steal the picture. While it suffers from some of the flaws of epics of this era-such as an overly sanitized portrait of life at the time, and anachronistic visions of fashion and lifestyle-Spartacus also boasts some stirring action and intelligent dialogue. The final scenes of crucified rebel slaves lining the roads to Rome are unforgettably powerful. Propelled by Alex North's triumphant score and filmed in glorious "Super Technirama" 70mm, the wide screen format serves the stirring and spectacular action sequences, some of which used up to 8500 extras, very well. Oscars went to Ustinov, for best supporting actor, art direction, costume design and cinematography.

A remarkably expensive production for the time ($12m) that took 167 days to film, Spartacus has been lauded as the "thinking man's" epic because it lacks a happy ending and places as much emphasis on oration as action. The slave revolt storyline, penned in part by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, is clearly meant to parallel contemporary American political reality. The decadent Romans are grotesquely shaped versions of the Hollywood movie moguls gleefully leeching the talent, who come in the form of noble battling gladiators in the film. The optimistic liberal message is delivered with a heavy handed via speech spouting slaves, and led director Stanley Kubrick, who was not a big fan of the final product, to complain that the film "had everything but a good story." Kubrick was brought aboard after Kirk Douglas and the film's original director Anthony Mann clashed very early in the production. Although Douglas gives a strident and muscular performance, it is the supporting cast, led by Academy Award winner Peter Ustinov and Laurence Olivier who steal the picture. While it suffers from some of the flaws of epics of this era-such as an overly sanitized portrait of life at the time, and anachronistic visions of fashion and lifestyle-Spartacus also boasts some stirring action and intelligent dialogue. The final scenes of crucified rebel slaves lining the roads to Rome are unforgettably powerful. Propelled by Alex North's triumphant score and filmed in glorious "Super Technirama" 70mm, the wide screen format serves the stirring and spectacular action sequences, some of which used up to 8500 extras, very well. Oscars went to Ustinov, for best supporting actor, art direction, costume design and cinematography.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/9/2013
  • UPC: 025192184109
  • Original Release: 1960
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kirk Douglas Spartacus
Laurence Olivier Marcus Licinius Crassus
Jean Simmons Varinia
Charles Laughton Sempronius Gracchus
Peter Ustinov Lentulus Batiatus
Tony Curtis Antoninus
John Gavin Julius Caesar
Nina Foch Helena Glabrus
Herbert Lom Tigranes
John Ireland Crixus
John Dall Glabrus
Joanna Barnes Claudia Marius
Harold J. Stone David
Woody Strode Draba
Peter Brocco Ramon
Paul Lambert Gannicus
Robert J. Wilke Guard Captain
Nick Dennis Dionysius
John Hoyt Caius
Dayton Lummis Symmachus
Arthur Batanides
Buff Brady
Jerry Brown
Bob Burns
Paul E. Burns Fimbria
Joe Canutt
Chuck Courtney
Dick Crockett
Ted de Corsia
Terence de Marney Major Domo
Seamon Glass
Harold Goodwin
Sol (Saul) Gorss
James Griffith Otho
Brad Harris
Harry Harvey Jr.
Joe Haworth Marius
Vinton Haworth Metallius
Chuck Hayward
Hallene Hill Beggar Woman
Charles Horvath
Jill Jarmyn Julia
Harold Kruger Pirate
Carey Loftin Guard
Cliff Lyons
Bob Morgan
Eddie Parker
Harvey Parry
Regis Parton
Leonard Penn Garrison Officer
Gil Perkins Slave Leader
Larry Perron
Chuck Roberson Slave
George Robotham
Wally Rose Gladiator
Autumn Russell
Russell Saunders
Aaron Saxon
Rube Schaffer Soldier
Tom Steele
Bob Stevenson Legionnaire
Kay Stewart
Ken Terrell
Lili Valenty Old Crone
Wayne Van Horn
Dale Van Sickel Trainer
Louise Vincent Slave Girl
Carleton Young Herald
Jo Summers
Tap Canutt
Charles McGraw Marcellus
Frederic Worlock Laelius
Anthony Hopkins Marcus Licinius Crassus (some scenes, 1991 restoratio
Alex North Conductor
Technical Credits
Stanley Kubrick Director
Alexander Golitzen Production Designer
Fred A. Chulack Editor
Kirk Douglas Executive Producer
Edward Lewis Producer
Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
Joseph E. Gershenson Musical Direction/Supervision
Marshall Green Asst. Director
Julia Heron Set Decoration/Design
Joe Lapis Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Lawrence Editor
Russell Metty Cinematographer
Alex North Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Vittorio Nino Novarese Consultant/advisor
Robert Sculte Editor
Clifford Stine Cinematographer
Bill Thomas Costumes/Costume Designer
Dalton Trumbo Screenwriter
Arlington F. Valles Costumes/Costume Designer
Irene Valles Costumes/Costume Designer
Waldon O. Watson Sound/Sound Designer
Bud Westmore Makeup
Harry L. Wolf Camera Operator
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the most Powerful Epic Films ever made!

    A compelling story of epic proportions. The plot is relentless, propelled by a astounding screenplay. Kubrick draws some of the greatest performances of the cast, and fills the screen with images that fascinate throughout. Well paced for a movie of this magnitude.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A classic costume epic.

    Just replacing my VCR version with a DVD, it's a classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Morituri te Saluant

    'Those who are about to die salute you!' was the traditional gladiator salute to audiences prior to commencing their spectacle of death. In this historical movie, Stanley Kubrik brings the audience into another epoch were life was nasty, brutish, and short for virtually everyone: especially for slaves and gladiators. The all-star cast of Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, and Peter Ustinov, more than makes up for Kirk Douglas' frequent forced acting. The love story could have been shorter and more interesting it covered Spartacus' actual historic lover instead; a wild woman who claimed to be a prophetess and practiced sorcery. The movie, being based on Howard Fast's novel, has a strong Communist undertone to it accentuated by Alex North's brilliant score. If one listen's carefully, many elements of the music are borrowed from the Internationale which was the Soviet national anthem. The film itself skews the social and cultural norms of ancient Rome to present a class conflict theme and plot structure that fits Fast's original communist message; the Romans are portrayes as corrupt MCarthyists/capitalists against the poor but dignified slaves/Bolsheviks sacrificing all their labor for their commarades. The truth is that most of Spartacus' followers were exactly the gang of thieves and brigands that Kirk Douglass doesn't want them to be in the movie; more interested in quick plunder and mayhem than fighting for a desperate cause that no one at the time cared for anyway. Spartacus himself, given his overwhelming familiarity with legionary tactics, was (as historical sources suggest) probably a former auxillary or legionnaire who was condemned to slavery. The movie also wants to suggest that slavery was a product of pagan ignorance that needed the salvation of Christianity to see its cruelty. The legitimacy of slavery (spoils of war mostly) was the dominant world view in antiquity. Actually, early Christians were even more ardent believers of slavery than their pagan counterparts: believing that it was an immutable condition imposed by God. The truth is that slavery was mainly a product of agrarian economics and its end had more to do with the politics of capitalist industrialism than religious beliefs alone: the U.S. Civil War perfectly demonstrates that fact. Much of the dialogue in the movie is exquisite; following exactly the type of intellectual wit and humor that the Romans cherished. The worst dialogue and acting seems to come from the method actors in the movie (Douglass, Curtis, and Simmons.) Kubrick's rendition of the battle is extremely well done and the movie is worth watching or owning for that scene alone. The legionary formations and tactics were meticulously researched even though the campaign against Spartacus depicted in the movie wasn't accurate. Actually, contrary to what is depicted in the movie, Crassus had confined the gladiator army near Rhegium by building a pallisade of several miles from north to south, sea to sea. It was only by desperation and attrition that Spartacus was able to break through and attempt a final push back north. Unlike the movie, there's no historical reference to suggest that the 'I'm Spartacus!' event ever occurred. All historical sources conclude that Spartacus was cut to pieces in the heat of battle. The character of Marcus Licinius Crassus played is brilliantly played Olivier but the movie again takes great poetic license to support its theme of class conflict. A patrician noble, Crassus was richest man in Rome who boasted that no man was rich unless he could maintain his own legions. Although he was extremely ambitious, he had no dictatorial aspirations as suggested in the movie. Crassus was a traditional republican politician whose politics were essentially no different than those of his nemesis in the movie, Graccus, played by Charles Laughton. The movie falsely portrays Crassus as a hard-line optimate to the likes of Cato Uticensis or Sulla which he was not

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Roman movie!

    Spartacus is another great movie about a roman slave purchased to fight. It has a great script and storyboard.It is about a gladiator who escapes with his fellow gladiatoral friends who form an army. They wander around Italy battling and conquering anyone who stands against them. Overall, It's a great classic!

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    Posted January 9, 2010

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    Posted August 15, 2010

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    Posted July 24, 2010

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    Posted July 19, 2009

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    Posted August 29, 2010

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