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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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    Overview

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    91% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (28 out of 31)

    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



    Customer rating

    Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars with 31 reviews

    90%
    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

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    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Kirk Douglas IS Spartacus

      Posted
      Cinerama70mm
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      And this is the way to see this classic made back in an age when epic films were made for real and not on a studio computer. Kirk Douglas is in the role that cemented him as a Hollywood star plays in the title role As a slave turned gladiator, turned freedom fighter. Kubrick film comes To life even more in this remastered edition which is best version yet. Features include a new interview with Douglas and a featurette on the Remastering process and original trailer.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      “This is Spartacus”

      Posted
      Cinerama70mm
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      Wow what a difference a decade makes since criterion’s release of this definitive version of the Kubrick classic. And hats off to the guys in the Remastering dept. the visual / audio cleanup of the film is astonishing. Like watching it for the first time. And it’s also great to see Hollywood’s last great golden age actor Kirk Douglas in an included interviewed.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Classic finally on Blu-ray

      Posted
      dld412
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      This classic epic film is finally on Blu-ray. Spartacus has a stellar ensemble cast that includes: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis, Peter Ustinov and Stanley Kubrick as the director. This film is extremely well done and now it comes with the added features that come with the Blu-ray format. I love that I can now see this film finally on Blu-ray.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Outstanding Film and Dvd

      Posted
      kevman79

      Initially directed by Anthony Mann, and finished by famed director Stanley Kubrick, 'Spartacus' is an exceptional film that can be appreciated in so many ways. Awesome Criterion release here, featuring loads of bonus material that was not available on the initial dvd release. Worth every penny for those who love this film. Highly Recommended!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

      Great Film. Poor Presentation on a Poor Disc.

      Posted
      Borlerline
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Where are the extras from the Criterion DVD? Why is the video so lacking in detail? Why is it acceptable for the Blu-Ray release of this film to be bested by both an earlier DVD (better overall presentation of film and extras) and an HD-DVD (better video)? Why would any manufacturer expect anyone to buy something this poor?

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great If you love Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kubrick

      Posted
      xxplosiive
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I was 14 when I first saw this film in high school. Today I am 22. I love Kirk Douglas and everything Stanley Kubrick has directed. This is one of the most epic and most anticipated film I have ever seen in my entire life and beautifully restored in 1080p HD picture. This is one that must be owned on Blu Ray!

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Outstanding Film

      Posted
      kevman79

      Initially directed by Anthony Mann, and finished by famed director Stanley Kubrick, 'Spartacus' is an exceptional film that can be appreciated in so many ways. Widescreen transfer here, but nothing in terms of bonus, so big fans may want to opt for the more lucrative, but also more expensive, special Criterion edition.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      One of the best restoration jobs from Universal

      Posted
      BKELLEY3rd
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      Pervious Blu-ray version from Universal was unwatchable, but his 70mm restoration from the original camera negative is breathtaking. Don't miss this one. It features a HD interview with 98 year-old Kirk Douglas who says, "I am Spartacus," who's going to argue?

      I would recommend this to a friend



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