Spartacus [DVD] [1960]

Universal's DVD release of Stanley Kubrick's restored classic Spartacus comes with a wealth of interesting information befitting a spectacle of its grandeur. The film, which has been painstakingly reassembled and restored, includes five minutes cut from its original release, notably the notorious "Snails and Oysters" scene between Laurence Olivier and Tony Curtis. Also included are the original overture and extended soundtrack. This DVD also boasts comprehensive biographies and extensive filmographies on the film's seven main actors and director Kubrick, as well as meticulously detailed production notes spanning the time from the original production to Universal's dedicated film restoration. The film can be viewed with either French or Spanish subtitles. It is presented in full Dolby Surround Sound and in its original 70 mm widescreen format. Notably missing is the film's original trailer (included are two later trailers) and any form of documentary or commentary from the film's surviving cast. Still, the wealth of information on the production notes and cast, as well as the deleted scenes and music, make up for what is lacking, making this edition the film's most definitive version.
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Spartacus (DVD)  (Enhanced Widescreen for 16x9 TV)  (English/French)  1960 - Larger Front
  • Spartacus (DVD) (Enhanced Widescreen for 16x9 TV) (English/French) 1960
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Synopsis

Spartacus
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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Kirk Douglas
    Kirk Douglas - Spartacus
  • Laurence Olivier
    Laurence Olivier - Marcus Licinius Crassus
  • Charles Laughton
    Charles Laughton - Sempronius Gracchus
  • Peter Ustinov
    Peter Ustinov - Lentulus Batiatus
  • Tony Curtis
    Tony Curtis - Antoninus

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