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Spartacus (1960)

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The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

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(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Won 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Spartacus
... Crassus
... Varinia
... Gracchus
... Batiatus
... Julius Caesar
... Helena Glabrus
... Crixus
... Tigranes Levantus
... Marcus Publius Glabrus
... Marcellus
... Claudia Marius
... David
... Draba
... Ramon
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Storyline

In 73 BCE, a Thracian slave leads a revolt at a gladiatorial school run by Lentulus Batiatus. The uprising soon spreads across the Italian Peninsula involving thousand of slaves. The plan is to acquire sufficient funds to acquire ships from Silesian pirates who could then transport them to other lands from Brandisium in the south. The Roman Senator Gracchus schemes to have Marcus Publius Glabrus, Commander of the garrison of Rome, lead an army against the slaves who are living on Vesuvius. When Glabrus is defeated his mentor, Senator and General Marcus Licinius Crassus is greatly embarrassed and leads his own army against the slaves. Spartacus and the thousands of freed slaves successfully make their way to Brandisium only to find that the Silesians have abandoned them. They then turn north and must face the might of Rome. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Electrifying Excitement! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

17 November 1960 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Spartacus: Rebel Against Rome  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$30,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,000,000, 1 January 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(premiere) | (1968 re-release) | (1967 re-release) | (1991 restored) | (theatrical) | (2015 restored)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm prints, original release)| (1991 restoration)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original version included a scene where Marcus Licinius Crassus (Laurence Olivier) attempts to seduce Antoninus (Tony Curtis). The Production Code Administration and the Legion of Decency both objected. At one point Geoffrey Shurlock, representing the censors, suggested it would help if the reference in the scene to a preference for oysters or snails was changed to truffles and artichokes. In the end the scene was cut, but it was put back in for the 1991 restoration. However, the soundtrack had been lost in the meantime and the dialogue had to be dubbed. Curtis was able to redo his lines, but Olivier had died. Joan Plowright, his widow, remembered that Anthony Hopkins had done a dead-on impression of Olivier and she mentioned this to the restoration team. They approached Hopkins and he agreed to voice Olivier's lines in that scene. Hopkins is thanked in the credits for the restored version. See more »

Goofs

The trainer blows a pea-whistle to call in the slaves. The first pea-whistle wasn't invented until the 19th century, although the Romans are known to use other whistles on board slave-galleys in order to keep the correct pace. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: In the last century before the birth of the new faith called Christianity, which was destined to overthrow the pagan tyranny of Rome and bring about a new society, the Roman Republic stood at the very center of the civilized world. "Of all things fairest," sang the poet, "first among cities and home of the gods is golden Rome." Yet, even at the zenith of her pride and power, the Republic lay fatally stricken with a disease called human slavery. The age of the dictator was at hand, ...
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Crazy Credits

The six main cast members are accompanied by an item that represents their character (a chain, a Roman eagle, a wine jug, a couple of hands - one wielding a snake, and a sword). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Home Improvement: Mow Better Blues (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"I do know that, as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves."
11 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

SPARTACUS is an adventurous drama in which an idea about freedom has resisted to strength of a glorious Roman Empire. A bloody and romantic tragedy is filled with historical inaccuracies.

A proud and gifted man named Spartacus, is so uncooperative in his servitude that he is sentenced to fight as a gladiator. He was transferred to a school for gladiators, led by a sly Roman businessman. Spartacus, despite harassment at school, forms a quiet relationship with a serving woman. A Roman senator, who aims to become dictator of Rome, has visited the businessman and his school. Two women from his entourage want to enjoy the fights to the death. Spartacus is one of the selected gladiators. This fight will change awareness among slaves...

The main protagonist is a kind of "trigger" , who has changed the political situation in Rome. An arrogant and uneducated slave has risen from the bottom through an immortal idea of freedom. Mr. Kubrick has very meticulously processed topics related to leadership, true love, politicking and dictatorship. He has, regardless of the historical inaccuracies, skilfully pointed out a ruin of the great empire. The ideas of eternity can be interpreted as a kind of paradox or fear. Unlike other epic films from that time, Christian motifs were replaced with determination and desire for freedom. Dealing with "tricky" issues is important in this film. Mr. Kubrick, in a very clear way, shows scenes of sexual desire, homosexuality, bisexuality, and even torture through scenes of crucifixion.

Scenery is impressive, especially in the final battle. Soundtrack is great. Characterization is reflected in a sort of rivalry. Rivalry in love and politics.

Kirk Douglas as Spartacus has offered a good performance. The tension in his face is a reflection of seriousness of his character. He is not overly romantic, but he has a remarkable sense of leadership and fellowship. Jean Simmons as Varinia is an attractive slave and a very strong woman, who shows her pride, love and character in almost every scene. Laurence Olivier as Crassus is the main antagonist and a very complex character. He is actually an unfortunate character, because he can not feel the love and the freedom.

There is always interesting and entertaining Charles Laughton as Gracchus. Peter Ustinov, in my view, did not deserve an Oscar for the role of a wily and manipulative Batiatus. Tony Curtis as Antoninus is a bit theatrical and unconvincing as an artist among the gladiators.

This is an exciting epic adventure in combination with the political drama. Some ideas are truly eternal.


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