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  • #6230010
  • Manufacturer: Universal Studios
  • UPC #025192046841
  • Model #MHV61112069BR



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    Detail Description
    Detailed Description
    (Manufacturer # MHV61112069BR )

      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
    Movie Type
      Epic, Historical Film
    Movie Level Themes
      Class Differences, Heroic Mission, Righting the Wronged, Social Injustice
    Movie Level Tones
      Forceful, Lavish, Rousing, Earnest, Poignant, Deliberate, Sweeping

    DVD Features

    • Deleted Scenes
    • Archival Interviews with Peter Ustinov and Jean Simmons
    • Behind-The-Scenes Footage
    • 5 Vintage Newsreels
    • Image Galleries, including Production Stills, Concept Art, Costume Designs, Storyboards, Posters and Print Ads
    • 1960--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Robert Lawrence-Nominee
    • 1960--Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Stanley Kubrick-Nominee
    • 1960--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Peter Ustinov-Winner
    • 1960--Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Alexander Golitzen-Winner
    AMG Rating


      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. ~ Dan Jardine, Rovi


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