Spartacus Overview:

Spartacus (1960) was a Action - Adventure Film directed by Stanley Kubrick and produced by Kirk Douglas and Edward Lewis.

The film was based on the novel of the same name written by Howard Fast published in 1951.

SYNOPSIS

Director Kubrick marshals the proverbial cast of thousands in an early example of his celebrated concern for authenticity. The result is one of the finest movie depictions of the ancient Roman world. Douglas gives a muscular, emotional performance as a slave brought to the Roman gladiator school by its master, Ustinov. There he befriends and then bests Strode in an unwanted contest to the death staged for the pleasure of senator Olivier. When guards taunt Douglas with the news that Olivier has taken away Simmons, the slave girl with whom he's in love, Douglas leads a slave rebellion that shakes the foundations of the empire. Though the epic struggle ends with Douglas's crucifixion, Simmons lifts up to him his free son before he dies. Director Anthony Mann was replaced with Kubrick by executive producer Douglas after the first scenes. Trumbo's compelling script was his first after being blacklisted. The film's stunning music score was composed by Alex North.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).

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Academy Awards 1960 --- Ceremony Number 33 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best Supporting ActorPeter UstinovWon
Best Art DirectionArt Direction: Alexander Golitzen, Eric Orbom; Set Decoration: Russell A. Gausman, Julia HeronWon
Best CinematographyRussell MettyWon
Best Costume DesignValles, Bill ThomasWon
Best Film EditingRobert LawrenceNominated
Best Music - ScoringAlex NorthNominated
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BlogHub Articles:

Spartacus (1960)

By Beatrice on Mar 8, 2017 From Flickers in Time

Spartacus Directed by Stanley Kubrick Written by Dalton Trumbo from a novel by Howard Fast 1960/USA Bryna Productions Repeat viewing/Netflix rental One of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die I am not big on 3 1/2 hour sword-and-sandal epics. ?This one is so grand, however, that it keeps my i... Read full article


Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier Blogathon: Spartacus

By Virginie Pronovost on Nov 3, 2015 From The Wonderful World of Cinema

On November 5, 2015, Vivien Leigh, my 8th favourite actress would have celebrated her 102nd birthday. Even if she has left us since the very young age of 53, that’s not a reason why my friend Joey from Wolffian Classic Movies Digest wouldn’t honour her with a blogathon! Vivien Leigh is a... Read full article


Spartacus (1960)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 4, 2014 From 4 Star Films

In this epic film starring Kirk Douglas and directed by Stanley Kubrick, a slave turned gladiator leads a revolt against the Roman empire. Spartacus leads his fellow?plebeians?in a sacking and burning of the countryside while slowly gaining followers. Along the way he is reunited with his love (Jean... Read full article


Spartacus (1960)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 4, 2014 From 4 Star Films

In this epic film starring Kirk Douglas and directed by Stanley Kubrick, a slave turned gladiator leads a revolt against the Roman empire. Spartacus leads his fellow?plebeians?in a sacking and burning of the countryside while slowly gaining followers. Along the way he is reunited with his love (Jean... Read full article


Spartacus

By Alyson on Jul 9, 2013 From The Best Picture Project

1960?s Spartacus was a laborious film for all involved. ?After one week of filming under Anthony Mann?s direction, Stanley Kubrick took over as director. ?Working with a script by blacklisted Dalton Trumbo that feels pulled between political views of the time and a main character paralleling Moses, ... Read full article


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Quotes from

Tigranes Levantus: If you looked into a magic crystal, you saw your army destroyed and yourself dead. If you saw that in the future, as I'm sure you're seeing it now, would you continue to fight?
Spartacus: Yes.
Tigranes Levantus: Knowing that you must lose?
Spartacus: Knowing we can. All men lose when they die and all men die. But a slave and a free man lose different things.
Tigranes Levantus: They both lose life.
Spartacus: When a free man dies, he loses the pleasure of life. A slave loses his pain. Death is the only freedom a slave knows. That's why he's not afraid of it. That's why we'll win.


[Crassus, as the new Consul, addresses the legions and the Senate]
Marcus Licinius Crassus: I promise you, a new Rome. A new Italy, and a new Empire.
[pause]
Marcus Licinius Crassus: This, I have sworn by the spirits of my ancestors. This I have sworn, in the temple that guards their bones.


Spartacus: And maybe there's no peace in this world, for us or for anyone else, I don't know. But I do know that, as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves.


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Facts about

Stanley Kubrick spent $40,000 on the over-ten-acre gladiator camp set. On the side of the set that bordered the freeway, a 125-foot asbestos curtain was erected in order to film the burning of the camp, which was organized with collaboration from the Los Angeles Fire and Police Departments. Studio press materials state that 5,000 uniforms and seven tons of armor were borrowed from Italian museums, and that every one of Hollywood's 187 stunt men was trained in the gladiatorial rituals of combat to the death. Modern sources note that production utilized approximately 10,500 people.
Although some reviews noted the story's unreliable correlation to history, many of the film's characters were derived from real figures, including Spartacus (d. 71 B.C.), Marcus Licinius Crassus (d. 53 B.C.) and Caius Sempronius Gracchus (d. 121 B.C.). As accurately depicted in the film, Spartacus was a Thracian slave who broke out of a Capuan gladiators' school to lead a revolt that was eventually suppressed by Crassus, who then crucified his captives by the hundreds. Spartacus was killed in battle - not, as stated in the film, captured and then crucified - after which Crassus ruled Rome in a triumvirate with Pompey and Gaius Julius Caesar. Gracchus lived decades earlier, and helped organize a social reform movement that lasted only a few years before its reforms were repealed. He was killed in a series of riots protesting the repeals. General Crassus was reported to have been put to death by the Parthians after losing the battle of Carrhae, by being forced to drink a goblet of molten gold, symbolic of his great wealth.
Hedda Hopper and John Wayne, both leaders in Hollywood's powerful right-wing element, publicly condemned the film as "Marxist propaganda" prior to its release. This was partly because the movie marked the first time screenwriter Dalton Trumbo had been credited under his own name (as opposed to a "Front," or a pseudonym) since he had been blacklisted for his membership in the Communist Party USA a decade earlier.
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