Spartacus (1960)

Description[from Freebase]

Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast. The life story of the historical figure Spartacus and the events of the Third Servile War were adapted by Dalton Trumbo as a screenplay. The film stars Kirk Douglas as rebellious slave Spartacus and Laurence Olivier as his foe, the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus. Co-starring are Peter Ustinov (who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as slave trader Lentulus Batiatus), John Gavin (as Julius Caesar), Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, John Ireland, Herbert Lom, Woody Strode, Tony Curtis, John Dall and Charles McGraw. The film won four Oscars in all. Anthony Mann, the film's original director, was replaced by Douglas with Kubrick after the first week of shooting. Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was blacklisted at the time as one of the Hollywood Ten. Kirk Douglas publicly announced that Trumbo was the screenwriter of Spartacus, and President-elect John F. Kennedy crossed picket lines to see the movie, helping to end blacklisting.

Review

The original movie about gladiators, with Kirk Douglas taking the starring role in Stanley Kubrick’s muddy epic (over three hours long) about slaves vs. Romans in the heyday of the Empire. Director Stanley Kubrick was obviously just collecting a paycheck for this one, though he stages some intricate battle scenes. Too bad he obviously couldn’t have cared less about the lame love story and political machinations behind the scenes. Kubrick reported disowned this film, the only movie in his repertoire to earn such a fate.

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