"Gladiators dont make friends. If were
ever matched in the arena together, I have to kill you."
Draba (Woody Strode)
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles
Laughton, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin, Tony Curtis
Director: Stanley Kubrick
- Spartacus was based on a 1952 novel by Howard Fast, detailing
a true account of a gladiator who led a slave uprising against Rome
in 73 BC.
- The script was written by Dalton Trumbo, an Academy Award®-winning
screenwriter who had been jailed and blacklisted for refusing to testify
before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the late 1940s.
- Trumbo had written several films using pseudonyms or "fronts"
while under the blacklist, but by putting Trumbos name on Spartacus,
Kirk Douglas and Universal effectively ended the blacklisting practice.
- Stanley Kubrick replaced director Anthony Mann (El Cid) after
only one weeks shooting.
- The film cost $12 million, was shot in 167 days and employed over
- The battle scenes were filmed in Spain, using thousands of soldiers
from the Spanish army. However, their battle cries and shouts were
actually the sounds of the rooting section at Michigan State University.
- The film was nominated for six Academy Awards®, winning
for Cinematography, Costume Design, Art Direction and Supporting Actor
- In 1992, Spartacus was restored by acclaimed film restorer
Robert A. Harris (with backing from Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick
and Universal) at a cost of nearly $1 million.
- Harris restored five minutes of footage that had been cut from the
initial release print (including the bath scene between Tony Curtis
and Laurence Olivier), along with the original overture, entracte
and exit music.
- When Harris restored the famous bath scene between Olivier and Curtis,
the sound had to be rerecorded. Since Olivier was dead by then, Oscar®
winner Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs), known for
his dead-on Olivier impersonation, recorded the scene opposite Tony
This presentation of the powerful film classic features an additional
five minutes of footage cut from the films original release, plus
the original overture and extended soundtrack. Director Stanley Kubrick
tells the tale of Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), the bold gladiator slave,
and Varinia (Jean Simmons), the woman who believed in his cause. Challenged
by the power-hungry General Crassus (Laurence Olivier), Spartacus is
forced to face his convictions and the power of Imperial Rome at its
The inspirational true account of mans eternal struggle for freedom,
Spartacus combines history with spectacle to create a moving
drama of love and commitment.
Copyright © 2000 Warner
Bros. All Rights Reserved.
Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered
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marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.