- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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THE Sword and Sandal epic?
For younger audiences, it may be GLADIATOR or TROY but for us baby boomers the answer can ONLY be SPARTACUS! Stellar cast, compelling story and when they say "Cast of Thousands" they mean thousands of REAL PEOPLE. Not CGI gladiators, slaves & centurions!
No "Braveheart" without "Spartacus"
- Jeff Boston
"Spartacus" is a good movie that shall forever exist in the shadow of the great "Ben-Hur." A similar epic released shortly after the Heston classic won Best Picture, it plays second fiddle in terms of pageantry, pluck, and purpose. Speaking of fiddle, I enjoyed Ustinov's Batiatus even more than his Nero (in "Quo Vadis") nine years earlier.
Defines Classic Epic(1960)
Spartacus defines the term "Classic Epic. Filmed in Technirama it is Glorius in scale and depth. Spartacus(Kirk Douglas) is a slave that escapes the clutches of Rome , battles them for his life and freedom only to be recaptured. Varinia(Jean Simmons) another escaped slave is the female romantic counterpart.Crassus (Lawrence Olivier) is Spartacus' main combatant. Armed with some of Romes finest Legions he is on a mission to erase the legacy of Spartacus. Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, Tony Curtis all give fine performances that the sum is greater than the whole. Just Magnificent ! 5 stars out of 5. One of the Greatest Films ever made !
Last Refuge Of a Scoundrel
I guess you can say Hedda Hopper sumed it up, "A book written by a commie and a screen script written by a commie". We also have Kubrick who directed "Paths Of Glory" an anti-war film with that famous line: "Patriotism, the last refuge of a scoundrel". Please, America be ashamed for being patriotic. Our service men who fought and died for and because of there patriotic duty should be looked on with disdain. It is because of there blood shed that this fim was made under the free speech clause of the Constitution. Isn't amazing how screwed up Hollywood is when it comes to politics.
Small parts big impact
- O Cutshaw
Good film, has flaws. But I have always remembered the small but significant role of Woody Strode. His death give this film some emotional impact that words cannot quite express. The ruthless way Olivier kills him with a knife is such an eloquent depiction of Roman power and Roman cruelty. Ustinov is also magnificent. Witty corrupt.
- Dennis Bradley
Kirk Douglas, (now an American legend) provided us with one of the few first epic portrayals of the enslavement rebellion, created by the Roman Empire. Thus leading the way for such magnificent films as The Fall of the Roman Empire, Barabbus, Julius Caesar (1970) and even more recently, Gladiator. The painstaking bravery and complete determination to bring this magnificent film to fruition by Mr.Douglas is nothing short of revolutionary! Despite the fact of controversy and possible reprobation could ruin his career and reputation, he still forged through and delivered one of the grandest movie splendors of the '60's. One of my personal top 10 of all time, Spartacus still plays today as thrilling and captivating as it did when released over 60 years ago! Thank you to Kirk Douglas, Stanley Kubrick, all the cast & crew and particularly Mr. Dalton Trumbo for giving us a film classic that will continue to delight audiences for years to come!!
When writing a review it matters not weather you are eductated or uneducated, that includes weather one has the ability to either spell or write a complete sentence. Freedom of expression comes in all forms including that of the educated and to those who are without an education, it is truly a part of our Constitutional rights, unlike living in a communist state. Thank God.
Keep politics out of films?
If one want's politics kept out of reviews, then keep communiist influence out of films. There is an organization called "spartacus League", a marxist revoltionary movement---coincidence? I don't think so. As far as spelling errors are concerned blame the public school system. I enjoy the pointing out Hollywood's weakness as far as politics are concerned. Keep up the good work!
Kirk Douglas Classic
One of the best movies done by Kirk Douglas, and lets not forget about Tony Curtis and all the others. Did you see George Kennedy?
Keep politics off the reviews!
I STRONGLY object to the inclusion of politics in the reviews of this film, particularly by people who cannot even spell or write a complete sentence. (It shows ignorance!) These reviews are about the films and the casts, not your personal political affiliations. The above said, this is a truly spectacular film with outstanding performances, particularly by Lawrence Olivier and Peter Ustinov. The film is beautiful and great kudos belong to the cinematographer, Russell Metty, who went through a lot to get such magnificent footage. He justifiably won the Academy Award for his efforts. One cannot review this film without commenting on Kirk Douglas' performance. There are moments in this film when his performance is nothing short of brilliant; however, too often he lapses into that jaw-setting, teeth-clenching trademark of his and ruins the scene. Much of this film's basis is taken from ancient writings and we do know that a slave named Spartacus actually existed and he did lead a slave rebellion and became a fierce warrior. I admire Kirk Douglas immensely for bringing this story to the big screen. It was longing to be told and Mr. Douglas deserves a lot of praise for telling it so well.
One has to question the word "courage" for hiring black listed writers, actors, etc. In Hollywood you are not condemened for hiring the extreme left but praised instead. Real courage comes from hiring a conservative writer or actor, etc. Actually, we have blacklisting in reverse today in Hollywood, from the same cry babies who condemned it in the first place. hypocrisy at it's best.
Great movie, awful TCM print
- Biff Baxter
Stanley Kubrick must be spinning in his grave over the seriously deteriorated "Spartacus" print TCM broadcasts (ditto for his "2001: A Space Odyssey"). The colors are bleached, the images fuzzy, skin tones a sickly green, blemishes on every frame of battered celluloid. It's downright disprespectful to an artist whose very trademark was an obsessive insistence on visual perfection. When one considers that the film was painstakingly, meticulously restored to the pristine state of its original master negative 20 years ago, there is no excuse for TCM to still be airing the washed-out, unwatchable version it purchased in the late '80s. Do the right thing, TCM, and show the majestic restoration, even if you have to spring for a few extra bucks.
Dalton Trumbo's Deserved Credit
- Bruce Reber
I read the previous review, and I assume that "Communist friends" is a reference to Dalton Trumbo, one of Hollywood's finest screenwriters who became one of the most visible casualties of McCarthyism in the 50's. Trumbo was blacklisted when he refused to name names before HUAC, but continued to write under various pseudonyms and having others take credit for his work. Trumbo was hired by Kirk Douglas to write the screenplay for the 1960 epic "Spartacus", and Douglas's insistance that Trumbo receive on-screen credit was instrumental in breaking the Blacklist and making possible for other blacklisted actors, writers and directors to start working in Hollywood again. Trumbo was one "friend"; I don't know who the others were. Besides, HUAC's real agenda was to purge Hollywood of liberals and anyone with leftist leanings, although in most cases there was no proof of any one of them actually being a Communist. Anyway, "Spartacus" is a spectacular and entertaining film about slave and gladiator Spartacus leading a revolt against Rome, with a superb cast (Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov and many others). The first great epic of the 60's, it set the stage for "King of Kings", "Lawrence of Arabia", "Fall of the Roman Empire", etc.
God bless our communist friends in Hollywood
- Jack The Hat
Where do I start, well lets say congradulations to Mr. Kubrick and Mr. Duglas for the return of there Hollywood communist friends (black listed)as being a part of this film. Did you know that there is a communist organization called "Spartacus". The love of communision in Hollywood is very much like a religion. It's mentioned that Mr. Kubrick and Mr. Duglas were courgeous in bringing back there black listed friends well, what would have been more courgeous is to see a film coming out of Hollywood that promotes the American way?
- ALEXANDER PEREZ
Spartacus is one of my all time favorite movies. when my mother and i first saw it, my mother cried at the ending scene where Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) is dying crucified and Varinia (Jean Simmons) presents him their son, born into freedom like Spartacus had wished. the film truly shows Spartacus in a way he really must've been: a strong, caring leader of a Slave revolt in 73 B.C., and a martyr who would die so that others might live (a fine example being the scene where he is forced to fight Antoninus, played by Tony Curtis). the film was quite a different epic from the other ones at the time, introducing great spectacle while balancing a powerful human story. ALL the actors do a fine job, Kirk Douglas at his best playing the passionate gladiator rebel, the beautiful Jean Simmons making a fine Varinia, Laurence Olivier's Crassus being a cruel, power hungry general bent on crushing Spartacus and his slave rebellion, both Peter Ustinov and Charles Laughton balancing humor and seriousness quite well, and John Gavin a young Julius Ceasar.
I am Spartacus!
Great movie! Kirk Douglas does a fantastic job as Spartacus. It is historically accurate and great to any Roman history buff.
BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY
I FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS MOVIE AS YOUNG GIRL BECAUSE OF THE TRUE LOVE THAT IS FELT THROUGH THE WHOLE MOVIE BETWEEN JEAN SIMMONS AND KIRK DOUGLAS...NO MATTER WHAT THEY WENT THROUGH THERE WAS THAT SPECIAL BOND AND I ALSO LOVED THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT OF THIS MOVIE.I NEVER HAVE WATCHED IT AND NOT CRIED AT THE END ITS LIKE SEEING IT THE FIRST TIME EVERY TIME..I WASN'T SURPRISED WHEN I HEARD MICHAEL DOUGLAS, KIRK'S SON, SAY THATS HIS FAVORITE MOVIE HIS DAD DOES BECAUSE ITS MINE TOO.