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Stanley Kubrick directed a cast of screen legends-including Kirk Douglas as the indomitable gladiator that led a Roman slave revolt-in the sweeping epic that defined a genre and ushered in a new Hollywood era. The assured acting, lush Technicolor cinematography, bold costumes and visceral fight sequences won Spartacus four Oscars©; the blend of politics and sexual suggestion scandalized audiences. Today Kubrick's controversial classic, the first film to openly defy Hollywood's blacklist, remains a landmark of cinematic artistry and history.
Stanley Kubrick was only 31 years old when Kirk Douglas (star of Kubrick's classic Paths of Glory) recruited the young director to pilot this epic saga, in which the rebellious slave Spartacus (played by Douglas) leads a freedom revolt against the decadent Roman Empire. Kubrick would later disown the film because it was not a personal project--he was merely a director-for-hire--but Spartacus remains one of the best of Hollywood's grand historical epics. With an intelligent screenplay by then-blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo (from a novel by Howard Fast), its message of moral integrity and courageous conviction is still quite powerful, and the all-star cast (including Charles Laughton in full toga) is full of entertaining surprises. Fully restored in 1991 to include scenes deleted from the original 1960 release, the full-length Spartacus is a grand-scale cinematic marvel, offering some of the most awesome battles ever filmed and a central performance by Douglas that's as sensitively emotional as it is intensely heroic. Jean Simmons plays the slave woman who becomes Spartacus's wife, and Peter Ustinov steals the show with his frequently hilarious, Oscar-winning performance as a slave trader who shamelessly curries favor with his Roman superiors. The restored version also includes a formerly deleted bathhouse scene in which Laurence Olivier plays a bisexual Roman senator (with restored dialogue dubbed by Anthony Hopkins) who gets hot and bothered over a slave servant played by Tony Curtis. These and other restored scenes expand the film to just over three hours in length. Despite some forgivable lulls, this is a rousing and substantial drama that grabs and holds your attention. Breaking tradition with sophisticated themes and a downbeat (yet eminently noble) conclusion, Spartacus is a thinking person's epic, rising above mere spectacle with a story as impressive as its widescreen action and Oscar-winning sets. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The beginning of the series of spartacus that would come later. Worth having
as a collector
DVD will not play !! Another faulty disc. Will not purchase DVDs thru Amazon again.Published 11 months ago by stavefalls
The movie is very good. Peter Ustinov and Charles Laughton, in particular, are great. It has some excellent epic scenes and a rousing Alex North score. So why only 2 stars? Read morePublished 12 months ago by Glenn M. Frost
It a great movie.. I watched this many times with my father as alittle girl. That is way i bought the dvd for my dad. Read morePublished 13 months ago by janette
A classic great movie with a great Actor Kirk Douglas. This movie will make you cry, cheer, thrill you and applaud it. it is full of action, suspense and terrific acting by all.Published 20 months ago by Sandy Noel
This review is for "Spartacus 50th Anniversary Edition" from Universal.
I thought this was an excellent movie with very good restoration and lots of excellent extras.
A must for any movie buff. superb acting,sets,costumes. They don't make movies like this anymore. Kirk Douglas
at his best, as usual.
In action he becomes a gladiator and helps free the slaves made into gladiators. It was a good movie but it did not end. Read morePublished on April 4 2013 by Remember Amer. Bandstand