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
Laurence OlivierMarcus Licinius Crassus
Charles LaughtonSempronius Gracchus
Peter UstinovLentulus Batiatus
John GavinJulius Caesar
Nina FochHelena Glabrus
Joanna BarnesClaudia Marius
Harold J. StoneDavid
Robert J. WilkeGuard Captain
Paul E. BurnsFimbria
Ted de Corsia
Terence de MarneyMajor Domo
Sol (Saul) Gorss
Harry Harvey, Jr.
Hallene HillBeggar Woman
Leonard PennGarrison Officer
Gil PerkinsSlave Leader
Lili ValentyOld Crone
Wayne Van Horn
Dale Van SickelTrainer
Louise VincentSlave Girl
Anthony HopkinsMarcus Licinius Crassus (some scenes, 1991 restoratio
This version of Spartacus is very good. I ordered this one recently after owning the criterion dvd version for the extras years ago. The video and audio are from a very good source transfer and the packaging is excellent. I gave it four stars only due to the criterion blu ray being available with more detail and for the work (restoration) that was done to clean up any debris from the gate / original source transfer (digitization) along with the abundance of extras. Enjoy Kirk Douglas in one of his best and most known / quotable roles.
Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by Dalton Trumbo, and based on the 1951 novel of the same title by Howard Fast. It is inspired by the life story of Spartacus, the leader of a slave revolt in the 1st century BC, and the events of the Third Servile War. It stars Kirk Douglas in the title role, Laurence Olivier as Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus, Peter Ustinov, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, as slave trader Lentulus Batiatus, John Gavin as Julius Caesar, Jean Simmons as Varinia, Charles Laughton as Sempronius Gracchus, and Tony Curtis as Antoninus. This is the restored version of the film and is 3 hours and 17 minutes long which removes any dead spots in the film which shortened versions contained. Well worth the time to enjoy a true Hollywood classic. Don't miss it.
There's really nothing new to be said about Spartacus - us old-timers love to revisit it, and for people who have yet to see it, I envy you the first-time experience! As for the steelbook, the image is taken from either a pre-production painting or one of the dozens of posters that were used around the world to advertise the movie. A very idealized look at the battle between Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) and Draba (Woody Strode) - it brings to life the majesty that you feel when watching this amazing spectacle of a movie! I bought it the day it was released and watched it again that night. I never get tired of it!
I’m not here to review the film “Spartacus” - at this point, it should be considered an undisputed classic. What I am reviewing, however, is the steelbook itself - It’s a beautiful, stunning red color with a great inlay of scenes from the film. The actual disc itself also comes
With extras that the previous Blu-ray version
It's easy to see why Spartacus is so influential and considered "genre-defining" - it's as grandiose and melodramatic as one could expect an event film of yesteryear can be. It's also the least Kubrickian of Kubrick's works I've so far enjoyed; one can spot his visual signature in certain set designs and shot compositions, otherwise it plays far more like the work of Cecil B. DeMille than the director of Dr. Strangelove or 2001. The restoration, without hyperbole, is PRISTINE, so really I couldn't have picked a better opportunity to finally watch this.
The transfer of this timeless film is amazing. The steelbook packaging is gorgeous. This is the restored version of the film, with the deleted scenes put back in and the film cleaned up and the sound enhanced. If you are a fan of the film and Kirk Douglas in particular, grab this movie!