Spartacus

The rebellious Thracian Spartacus, born and raised a slave, is sold to Gladiator trainer Batiatus. After weeks of being trained to kill for the arena, Spartacus turns on his owners and leads the other slaves in rebellion. As the rebels move from town to town, their numbers swell as escaped slaves join their ranks. Under the leadership of Spartacus, they make their way to southern Italy, where they will cross the sea and return to their homes.
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Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Spartacus: Kirk Douglas
  • Marcus Licinius Crassus: Laurence Olivier
  • Varinia: Jean Simmons
  • Sempronius Gracchus: Charles Laughton
  • Lentulus Batiatus: Peter Ustinov
  • Julius Caesar: John Gavin
  • Helena Glabrus: Nina Foch
  • Crixus: John Ireland
  • Tigranes Levantus: Herbert Lom
  • Marcus Publius Glabrus: John Dall
  • Draba: Woody Strode
  • David: Harold J. Stone
  • Marcellus: Charles McGraw
  • Claudia Marius: Joanna Barnes
  • Ramon: Peter Brocco
  • Gannicus: Paul Lambert
  • Guard captain: Robert J. Wilke
  • Dionysius: Nick Dennis
  • Caius: John Hoyt
  • Laelius: Frederick Worlock
  • Antoninus: Tony Curtis
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Paul Baxley
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Louie Elias
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Brad Harris
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Hubie Kerns
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Gordon Mitchell
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Regis Parton
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Victor Paul
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Jack Perkins
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Wally Rose
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Aaron Saxon
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Tom Steele
  • Gladiator (uncredited): Jerry Summers
  • Little Girl (uncredited): Shari Lee Bernath
  • Prisoner (uncredited): Bill Blackburn
  • Slave (uncredited): David Bond
  • Slave (uncredited): Polly Burson
  • Slave Girl (uncredited): Carol Daniels
  • Slave (uncredited): Lila Finn
  • Slave (uncredited): Harold Goodwin
  • Slave Leader (uncredited): Sol Gorss
  • Slave (uncredited): Betty Harford
  • Slave (uncredited): Harry Harvey Jr.
  • Slave Guard (uncredited): Wayne Heffley
  • Slave (uncredited): Lars Hensen
  • Slave Leader (uncredited): Charles Horvath
  • Slave (uncredited): Shep Houghton
  • Slave (uncredited): Pete Kellett
  • Slave (uncredited): Joan McKellen
  • Slave (uncredited): Eddie Parker
  • Slave Leader (uncredited): Gil Perkins
  • Slave (uncredited): Chuck Roberson
  • Slave (uncredited): Frosty Royce
  • Slave Girl (uncredited): Autumn Russell
  • Slave Girl (uncredited): Kay Stewart
  • Slave (uncredited): Helen Thurston
  • Slave at Gracchus’ Home (uncredited): Louise Vincent
  • Soldier (uncredited): Joe Canutt
  • Soldier (uncredited): Bill Catching
  • Soldier (uncredited): Chuck Courtney
  • Soldier (uncredited): Chuck Hayward
  • Soldier (uncredited): Robert F. Hoy
  • Soldier (uncredited): Valley Keene
  • Rebel Soldier (uncredited): George Kennedy
  • Soldier (uncredited): Cliff Lyons
  • Soldier Whose Arm is Hacked Off (uncredited): Bill Raisch
  • Soldier (uncredited): Buddy Van Horn
  • Soldier (uncredited): Jack Williams
  • Fimbria (uncredited): Paul E. Burns
  • Guard (uncredited): Wayne Burson
  • Guard (uncredited): Dick Crockett
  • Capua Guard (uncredited): John Daheim
  • Guard (uncredited): Carey Loftin
  • Guard (uncredited): Harvey Parry
  • Guard (uncredited): Ronnie Rondell Jr.
  • Guard (uncredited): Don Turner
  • Guard (uncredited): Peter Virgo
  • Guard (uncredited): Fred Zendar
  • Legionnaire (uncredited): Ted de Corsia
  • Majordomo (uncredited): Terence de Marney
  • Beheaded Man (uncredited): Johnny Duncan
  • Roman Businessman (uncredited): Roy Engel
  • Roman Businessman (uncredited): Paul Keast
  • Roman Senator (uncredited): Kenner G. Kemp
  • Roman Senator (uncredited): Paul Kruger
  • Roman General (uncredited): Otto Malde
  • Roman Senator (uncredited): Scott Seaton
  • Salt Mine Slave / Gladiator / Slave General (uncredited): Richard Farnsworth
  • Centurion (uncredited): Logan Field
  • Centurion (uncredited): John Stephenson
  • Extra (uncredited): Robert Fuller
  • Woman Selling Chestnuts (uncredited): Jeanne Gerson
  • Pirate (uncredited): Seamon Glass
  • Pirate (uncredited): Preston Peterson
  • Pirate (uncredited): George Robotham
  • Otho (uncredited): James Griffith
  • Petitioner (uncredited): Jack Grinnage
  • Petitioner (uncredited): Anthony Jochim
  • Marius (uncredited): Joe Haworth
  • Metallius (uncredited): Vinton Hayworth
  • Salt Mine Slave / Gladiator / Slave General (uncredited): Loren Janes
  • Julia (uncredited): Jil Jarmyn
  • Crassus’ Standard-Bearer (uncredited): Aron Kincaid
  • Symmachus (uncredited): Dayton Lummis
  • Galeno (uncredited): Bob Morgan
  • Girl (uncredited): Tracy Olsen
  • Garrison Officer (uncredited): Leonard Penn
  • Narrator (voice) (uncredited): Vic Perrin
  • Staff Officer (uncredited): Larry Thor
  • Trainer (uncredited): Dale Van Sickel
  • Herald (uncredited): Carleton Young
  • Roman Senator (uncredited): Duke Fishman
  • Legionnaire (uncredited): Robert Stevenson
  • Slave (uncredited): John Barton
  • Soldier (uncredited): Jerry Brown
  • Guard (uncredited): John Benson

Film Crew:

  • Director: Stanley Kubrick
  • Executive Producer: Kirk Douglas
  • Sound Designer: Murray Spivack
  • Original Music Composer: Alex North
  • Producer: James C. Katz
  • Sound Designer: Waldon O. Watson
  • Unit Production Manager: Norman Deming
  • Screenplay: Dalton Trumbo
  • Screenplay: Peter Ustinov
  • Additional Photography: Clifford Stine
  • Production Design: Alexander Golitzen
  • Set Decoration: Russell A. Gausman
  • Set Decoration: Julia Heron
  • Director of Photography: Russell Metty
  • Novel: Howard Fast
  • Producer: Edward Lewis
  • Editor: Robert Lawrence
  • Art Direction: Eric Orbom
  • Costume Design: Bill Thomas
  • Costume Design: Valles
  • Hairstylist: Larry Germain
  • Makeup Artist: Bud Westmore
  • Sound Designer: Ronald Pierce
  • Scenario Writer: Calder Willingham
  • Sound Effects Editor: Frank E. Warner
  • Visual Effects Design Consultant: Saul Bass
  • Production Design: Roger K. Furse
  • Director: Anthony Mann
  • Editor: Irving Lerner
  • Stunts Coordinator: Yakima Canutt
  • Stunts: Jack Williams
  • Music Supervisor: Joseph Gershenson
  • Grip: Bob Rose
  • Stunts: Don Turner
  • Unit Production Manager: Eduardo García Maroto
  • Stunts: John Epper
  • Special Effects: Don Sahlin
  • Stunts: Preston Peterson
  • Special Effects: Wah Chang
  • Sound: Joe Lapis
  • Unit Manager: Tadeo Villalba
  • Stunts: Jerry Brown
  • Assistant Director: Marshall Green
  • Stunts: Tap Canutt

Movie Reviews:

  • John Chard: The sword and sandal epic that has everything.

    Spartacus is the Thracian slave who refused to be a Roman plaything, breaking out of their clutches he led the slave revolt that panicked the Roman Rebublic in circa BC 73, this film is based on that period in history.

    Spartacus got off to a troubled start, original director Anthony Mann was fired by leading man Kirk Douglas (Spartacus) after a falling out, some of Mann’s work does remain in the final picture, though, notably some of the early scenes in the desert are thought to be at Mann’s direction. In came then director for hire Stanley Kubrick, who along with Douglas crafted arguably the greatest sword and sandal epic to have ever been made. One that holds up today as the one any prospective new viewers to the genre should seek out. Adapted by Dalton Trumbo from Howard Fast’s novel (whilst also tapping from Arthur Koestler’s novel, The Gladiators), Spartacus is a stirring experience highlighting the power of unity when faced in opposition to a tyrannical force. It’s also boasting a number of intelligent and firmly engaging strands that are a credit to the excellent writing from the once blacklisted Trumbo. Politics figure prominently, whilst the story has a pulsing romantic heart beating amongst the blood and power struggles that are unfolding. Brotherhood bonds within the slave army are firmly established, and the love story axis between Spartacus and Varinia is very fully formed. We are in short set up perfectly for when the film shifts the emphasis in the second half.

    So many great sequences are in this picture, the gladiator training school as Spartacus and his fellow slaves find that they have dignity within themselves – forced through a tough regime designed to set them up for blood sport entertainment to the watching republic hierarchy. The break out itself is tremendous for its potency, but even that is playing second fiddle to the main battle sequence that Kubrick excellently puts together. The Roman legions forming in military precision is memorable in the extreme (this before CGI, with Kubrick’s directing of all those extras being worthy of extra praise from us). Then with the battle itself raging one can only say it’s breath taking and definitely a genre high point. Then of course there is the sentimental aspects of Spartacus. Kubrick of course was never known for his warmness, but with the aid of Douglas they get it right and manage to pull the heart strings whilst simultaneously stirring the blood via the action, right up to the incredibly poignant and classical ending that stands the test of time as being cinematic gold. The cast are wonderfully put together, Douglas is fabulous as Spartacus, big, lean and brooding with emotion, very much a career highlight as far as I’m concerned. Laurence Olivier takes up chief bad guy villainy duties as Marcus Crassus, just about the right amount of sneering camp required for such a dislikable character. Peter Ustinov (Best Supporting Actor Winner) is in his pomp as Batiatus, Jean Simmons (perfectly bone structured face) plays off Douglas expertly as Varinia, with Tony Curtis (Antoninus), John Gavin (Julius Caesar) and Charles Laughton (Graccus) adding impetus to this wonderful picture.

    Spartacus also won Academy Awards for Best Colour Cinematography, Best Art and Set Direction and Best Costume Design, with nominations rightly going to Alex North for his score and Robert Lawrence for his editing. It’s a special film is Spartacus, excellently put together and thematically dynamite. Which while also being technically adroit, it’s ultimately with the story itself that it truly wins out. Even allowing for some standard Hollywood additions to the real story (Spartacus most certainly didn’t meet his maker the way the film says), it’s emotionally charged and as inspiring as it is as sadly tragic. 10/10

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