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Spartacus (1960)

aka Spartacus

"More titanic than any story ever told!"

Directed By: 
Details: 184 mins · English · PG-13 (USA)


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Small Spartacus
Small Marcus Licinius Crassus
Small Varinia
Small Sempronius Gracchus
Small Lentulus Batiatus
Small Julius Caesar
Small Helena Glabrus
Small Crixus
Small Tigranes Levantus
Small Marcus Publius Glabrus
Small Draba
Small David
Small Marcellus
No_movie_poster Claudia Marius
No_movie_poster Ramon
No_movie_poster Gannicus
Small Guard captain
Small Dionysius
Small Caius
No_movie_poster Laelius
Small Antoninus


Small Stanley Kubrick Director
Small Kirk Douglas Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Murray Spivack Sound Designer
No_movie_poster James C. Katz Producer
No_movie_poster Waldon O. Watson Sound Designer
No_movie_poster Alex North Original Music Composer
Small Dalton Trumbo Screenplay
No_movie_poster Alexander Golitzen Production Design
No_movie_poster Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Julia Heron Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Russell Metty Director of Photography
Small Howard Fast Novel
No_movie_poster Edward Lewis Producer
No_movie_poster Robert Lawrence Editor
No_movie_poster Eric Orbom Art Direction
No_movie_poster Bill Thomas Costume Design
No_movie_poster Valles Costume Design
No_movie_poster Larry Germain Hairstylist
No_movie_poster Bud Westmore Makeup Artist
No_movie_poster Ronald Pierce Sound Designer
Small Howard Fast Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Irving Lerner Editing


"More titanic than any story ever told!"


In the 1st century BC, the Roman Republic has slid into corruption, its menial work done by armies of slaves. One of these, a proud and gifted man named Spartacus, is so uncooperative in his servitude that he is sentenced to fight as a gladiator. He is trained at a school run by the unctuous Roman businessman Lentulus Batiatus, who instructs Spartacus's trainer Marcellus to bully the slave mercilessly and break his spirit. Amid the abuse, Spartacus forms a quiet relationship with a serving woman named Varinia, whom he refuses to rape when she is sent to "entertain" him in his cell.

Batiatus receives a visit from the Roman senator Marcus Licinius Crassus, an arch-conservative who aims to become dictator of Rome. Crassus buys Varinia on a whim, and for the amusement of his companions arranges for Spartacus and three others to fight in pairs. When Spartacus is disarmed, his opponent, an African named Draba, spares his life in a burst of compassion and attacks the Roman audience. Crassus kills Draba. The next day, with the school's atmosphere still tense over this episode, Batiatus takes Varinia away to Crassus' house in Rome. Spartacus kills Marcellus, who was taunting him over this, and their fight escalates into a riot. The gladiators overwhelm their guards and escape into the Italian countryside.

Spartacus is elected chief of the fugitives and decides to lead them out of Italy and back to their homes. They plunder Roman country estates as they go, collecting enough money to buy sea transport from Rome's foes the pirates of Cilicia. Countless other slaves join the group, making it as large as an army. One of the new arrivals is Varinia, who escaped while being delivered to Crassus. Another is a slave entertainer named Antoninus, who also fled Crassus' service after the Roman tried to seduce him. Privately Spartacus feels mentally inadequate because of his lack of education during years of servitude. However, he proves an excellent leader and organizes his diverse followers into a tough and self-sufficient community. Varinia, now his informal wife, becomes pregnant by him, and he also comes to regard the spirited Antoninus as a sort of son.

The Roman Senate becomes increasingly alarmed as Spartacus defeats the multiple armies it sends against him. Crassus' populist opponent Gracchus knows that his rival will try to use the crisis as a justification for seizing control of the Roman army. To try and prevent this, Gracchus channels as much military power as possible into the hands of his own protege, a young senator named Julius Caesar. Although Caesar lacks Crassus' contempt for the lower classes of Rome, he mistakes the man's rigid outlook for nobility. Thus, when Gracchus reveals that he has bribed the Cilicians to get Spartacus out of Italy and rid Rome of the slave army, Caesar regards such tactics as beneath him and goes over to Crassus.

Crassus uses a bribe of his own to make the pirates abandon Spartacus and has the Roman army secretly force the rebels away from the coastline towards Rome. Amid panic that Spartacus means to sack the city, the Senate gives Crassus absolute power. Now surrounded by Romans, Spartacus convinces his men to die fighting. Just by rebelling, and proving themselves human, he says, they have struck a blow against slavery. In the ensuing battle, most of the slave army is massacred by Crassus' forces. Afterward, when the Romans try to locate the rebel leader for special punishment, every surviving man shields him by shouting "I'm Spartacus!"

Meanwhile, Crassus has found Varinia and Spartacus' newborn son and has taken them prisoner. He is disturbed by the idea that Spartacus can command more love and loyalty than he can and hopes to compensate by making Varinia as devoted to him as she was to her former husband. When she rejects him, he furiously seeks out Spartacus (whom he recognizes from having watched him in the arena) and forces him to fight Antoninus to the death. The survivor is to be crucified, along with all the other men captured after the great battle. Spartacus kills Antoninus to spare him this fate. The incident leaves Crassus worried about Spartacus' potential to live in legend as a martyr. In other matters he is also worried about Caesar, who he senses will someday eclipse him.

Gracchus, having seen Rome fall into tyranny, commits suicide. Before doing so, he bribes his friend Batiatus to rescue Spartacus' family from Crassus and carry them away to freedom. On the way out of Rome, the group pass under Spartacus' cross. Varinia is able to comfort him in his dying moments by showing him his little son, who will grow up without ever having been a slave.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1960-10-07 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2004-05-13 : Germany

Theatrical : 2009-07-15 : France

Theatrical : 1960-12-15 : Japan

Theatrical : 1961-08-17 : Hong Kong

Theatrical : United States of America

Theatrical : 1977-03-11 : Finland

Theatrical : 1962-09-21 : Greece

Theatrical : 1960-12-01 : Argentina

Theatrical : 2009-06-09 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 2008-02-23 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 1960-10-06 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1969-05-03 : Italy

Theatrical : 1961-09-15 : France

Theatrical : 1962-01-21 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1961-10-26 : Italy

Theatrical : 1960-11-17 : Brazil

Theatrical : 1991-04-26 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1960-12-09 : Australia

Theatrical : 1960-12-16 : West Germany

Theatrical : 1964-06-15 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1962-09-21 : Sweden

Theatrical : 1961-09-25 : Spain

Theatrical : Austria

Theatrical : 1960-12-08 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 1963-12-08 : Turkey

Theatrical : 1965-08-16 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1966-03-18 : German Democratic Republic

Theatrical : 1960-12-16 : Austria

Theatrical : 2001-07-10 : Germany

Theatrical : 1991-11-01 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 1962-10-12 : Finland

Theatrical : 1962-05-25 : Belgium

Theatrical : 1991-10-24 : Belgium

Theatrical : 1961-09-12 : Portugal

Television : 1979-12-29 : German Democratic Republic

DVD : 2001-04-24 : France

DVD : 1998-03-31 : Germany

DVD : 2000-12-19 : Germany

2010-10-27 : United States of America

2012-03-24 : United Kingdom

2012-06-23 : Russia