Spartacus (PG)

Film

Epic films

spartacus_02.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jun 2 2009

Stanley Kubrick’s Oscar-winning Technicolor ’Scope sandal saga – centred on a Roman slave revolt headed by Kirk Douglas’s titular folklore hero – has aged amazingly well. If there are any reservations, it’s Douglas himself, who trades mostly on his chiselled, dimpled jawline and well-built pecs. That said, his stiltedness eases when in the company of Jean Simmons’s coy slave girl; their short moments of laughter are touching and naturally conveyed.

Needless to say, the film’s big Brit hitters – Peter Ustinov, Laurence Olivier and especially Charles Laughton – all make exceptional work of Dalton Trumbo’s reflective screenplay, while Kubrick himself handles the film’s mechanics of corruption with skill. This is widescreen, epic filmmaking on a massive scale: the final battle scene – punctuated by Alex North’s quaint but occasionally overwrought score – stretches as far as the eye can see, and its choreography from afar is remarkable given the lack of communication technology back then. To see it once again on the big screen, in all its expansive glory, is a treat.
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Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

Tue Jun 9, 2009

Duration:

196 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

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maxine bourne

Everytime this film is on television I watch it. I think it must be the greatest film of all time. It's got tension, action, laughter, oppression and I think I must have seen it about 100 times.

usman khawaja

Kubrick has portrayed the anti -slavery theme almost betraying the fact that slavery is essential to human civilized glory . the spectacle is symbolic almost of the circus that surrounds slavery itself,with the epic battle fields where roman legions fight the rebel slaves and the grand coliseums where gladiator slaves fight to the death forv the pleasure of degenerate roman aristocracy . The plot is about a failed roman slave revolt led by a Greek legend called spartacus who was a gladiator himself ,yet The bitter truth is surmounted by the sweet essence of humanity in most sequences ,but the superb emotional drama saves it from becoming a comic farce due to the sentimental approach to the sensitive issue of slavery and imperialism . The best sequence stars the afro american woody strobe in a gladiatorial fight to the death as an invincible gladiator who enshrines both nobility of spirit and human urge for equality in a metaphorical action piece which is an all-time great . The roman characters comprise typically arrogant bored aristocrats ,eloquent in a rancid manner and yet spirited sinners,while the slaves are led by the saintly Kirk Douglas as spartacus ,who has virtually no flaws almost as a man with a halo ,except lusting after Simmons ,this is slightly stereotyped as an honorific saintly and sacrificing man for a Kubrick movie . Laurence Olivier as a bisexual roman senator general Crassus is adequate as a corrupt roman proletarian while Tony Curtis as an escaped sicilian musician slave is quite affective in a spontaneous manner who acts as second to spartacus in the slave army ,but the movie is stolen by Jean Simmons as a slave -girl who is given as favours to the male gladiator slaves and also ends up as spouse of spartacus . Charles Laughton is a cynical delight as the other more crafty but humoresque rival roman senator in an equally brilliant portrayal . Peter Ustinov as the slave trader and roman gladiatorial impresario won an oscar but is strictly ADEQUATE and laughton and curtis are much better ,while john Gavin plays a very handsome but rather dull Julius Ceaser in a tiny role . the movie has it's great and shallow edges but the finale is se emotionally heart-wrenching that all flaws are forgiven . But essentially the movie is best when it is simple and sincere like in scenes where Simmons pledges to Spartacus on the Appian way or laughton pays a subtle token tribute to simmons for her beauty and character that almost destroyed rome . simmons is magnificent withy her dignified body language and her natural gift to make classic english sound emotionally natural and deserves a rousing applause . the initial scene in a namibian mine operated by slave labour was shot by another director [anthony mann -el cid ]and is spectacular in a surreal sense too with damped colours and aesthetic shots of the tyrannical labour itself . The controversy will always surround this intelligent epic ,whether this could have been better without kubrick,though it is serenely great art as it stands . The script was written by the blacklisted american writer under a pseudonym and is ironical as it smirks of modern day slavery in a self -proclaimed democracy ,NO WONDER IT IS filled with anti-imperial statements and odes to human liberty and slogans of personal freedom is fully comprehensible coming from an american enslaved by MCCARTHY WITCH-HUNTS .

usman khawaja

Kubrick has portrayed the anti -slavery theme almost betraying the fact that slavery is essential to human civilized glory . the spectacle is symbolic almost of the circus that surrounds slavery itself,with the epic battle fields where roman legions fight the rebel slaves and the grand coliseums where gladiator slaves fight to the death forv the pleasure of degenerate roman aristocracy . The plot is about a failed roman slave revolt led by a Greek legend called spartacus who was a gladiator himself ,yet The bitter truth is surmounted by the sweet essence of humanity in most sequences ,but the superb emotional drama saves it from becoming a comic farce due to the sentimental approach to the sensitive issue of slavery and imperialism . The best sequence stars the afro american woody strobe in a gladiatorial fight to the death as an invincible gladiator who enshrines both nobility of spirit and human urge for equality in a metaphorical action piece which is an all-time great . The roman characters comprise typically arrogant bored aristocrats ,eloquent in a rancid manner and yet spirited sinners,while the slaves are led by the saintly Kirk Douglas as spartacus ,who has virtually no flaws almost as a man with a halo ,except lusting after Simmons ,this is slightly stereotyped as an honorific saintly and sacrificing man for a Kubrick movie . Laurence Olivier as a bisexual roman senator general Crassus is adequate as a corrupt roman proletarian while Tony Curtis as an escaped sicilian musician slave is quite affective in a spontaneous manner who acts as second to spartacus in the slave army ,but the movie is stolen by Jean Simmons as a slave -girl who is given as favours to the male gladiator slaves and also ends up as spouse of spartacus . Charles Laughton is a cynical delight as the other more crafty but humoresque rival roman senator in an equally brilliant portrayal . Peter Ustinov as the slave trader and roman gladiatorial impresario won an oscar but is strictly ADEQUATE and laughton and curtis are much better ,while john Gavin plays a very handsome but rather dull Julius Ceaser in a tiny role . the movie has it's great and shallow edges but the finale is se emotionally heart-wrenching that all flaws are forgiven . But essentially the movie is best when it is simple and sincere like in scenes where Simmons pledges to Spartacus on the Appian way or laughton pays a subtle token tribute to simmons for her beauty and character that almost destroyed rome . simmons is magnificent withy her dignified body language and her natural gift to make classic english sound emotionally natural and deserves a rousing applause . the initial scene in a namibian mine operated by slave labour was shot by another director [anthony mann -el cid ]and is spectacular in a surreal sense too with damped colours and aesthetic shots of the tyrannical labour itself . The controversy will always surround this intelligent epic ,whether this could have been better without kubrick,though it is serenely great art as it stands . The script was written by the blacklisted american writer under a pseudonym and is ironical as it smirks of modern day slavery in a self -proclaimed democracy ,NO WONDER IT IS filled with anti-imperial statements and odes to human liberty and slogans of personal freedom is fully comprehensible coming from an american enslaved by MCCARTHY WITCH-HUNTS .