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.
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