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Spartacus Movie Review

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"The disadvantage of being a patrician is that you are occasionally required to act like one." 
    When it was released, Spartacus was praised as the first "intellectual epic" since silent film days, as much about ideas as spectacle, based on a best seller by Howard Fast. Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), a Roman slave since birth, has not been beaten down enough to have no hopes for an end to slavery and a decent life. When provoked, he bites into the achilles tendon of a guard, crippling him. He is sentenced to death but a man who trains gladiators for the arena (Peter Ustinov) buys him and takes him to his training school. One day, two high-born Romans visit the school with female companions who want to see a combat to the death. When a gladiator (Woody Strode) refuses to kill Spartacus, he is himself killed. This outrages Spartacus and the other gladiators, who mutiny and burst out into the countryside, where they are joined by other slaves. Soon, Spartacus has a sizable slave army and easily defeats the first Roman forces hastily sent against him.
  But, inevitably, Rome can assemble a far larger force and the slave revolt is crushed. The revolt has been played out against a backdrop of Roman decadence, corruption and power politics. The multi-star cast includes Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Jean Simmons, Tony Curtis, John Gavin, Nina Foch and Herbert Lom. Peter Ustinov received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and the film was awarded three other Oscars.

1960, Directed by Stanley Kubrick

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