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Spartacus Review

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by AVForums May 1, 2004

  • Movies review


    Spartacus Review
    In Imperial Rome, slave Spartacus (Kirk
    Douglas) is sent to the gladiator training
    school, where he is taught to kill or be
    killed. But the bonds of fellowship can
    overcome the harshest of conditions,
    and the refusal of another slave (Woody
    Strode) to kill Spartacus in the arena
    sparks a revolt. While the Roman senators
    (Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter
    Ustinov) use the rebellion as an opportunity
    to grab for power, the slave army masses
    for a final battle - one it cannot possibly
    come away from with anything left
    except its honour.
    Nominally a Stanley Kubrick film, this is
    actually nothing of the sort - he took over
    direction from a floundering Anthony Mann
    and had nothing to do with the script.
    Certainly, there are traces of his precision
    in the battle scenes, but Kubrick would
    probably not have approved of the
    sentimentality of the ending.
    At 189 minutes, this edition includes
    the prelude, intermission and the
    notorious (and originally censored) bathhouse
    scene between Antoninus (Tony
    Curtis) and Crassus (Olivier), with Olivier's
    part dubbed by Anthony Hopkins. The first
    106 minutes is on the first disc and the
    remaining 83 on the second.