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Theatrical Poster by Reynold Brown
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Produced by Edward Lewis
Written by Screenplay:
Dalton Trumbo
Novel:
Howard Fast
Starring Kirk Douglas
Laurence Olivier
Peter Ustinov
John Gavin
Jean Simmons
Charles Laughton
Tony Curtis
Music by Alex North
Cinematography Russell Metty
Editing by Robert Lawrence
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) October 7, 1960
Running time Premiere:
184 minutes
1967 re-release:
161 minutes
1991 re-release:
198 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million
Gross revenue $60 million

Spartacus is a (1960) historical drama movie directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast about the historical life of Spartacus and the Third Servile War. The film stars Kirk Douglas as rebellious slave Spartacus and Laurence Olivier as his foe, the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus. The film also stars Peter Ustinov (who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as slave trader Lentulus Batiatus), John Gavin (as Julius Caesar), Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, John Ireland, Herbert Lom, Woody Strode, Tony Curtis, John Dall and Charles McGraw. The titles were designed by Saul Bass.[1]

Contents

Plot

The film begins with slaves working in the Roman province of Libya. Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), a burly Thracian, comes to the aid of an old man who has fallen down. A Roman soldier whips Spartacus and tells him to get back to work, only to be attacked and bitten on the ankle. For this, Spartacus is tied up and sentenced to death by starvation. Lentulus Batiatus (Peter Ustinov), a lanista (an impresario of gladiatorial games), arrives looking for recruits for his gladiatorial establishment. He inspects several slaves before finally settling on Spartacus, recognizing his unbroken spirit, along with his good health and physical condition. Batiatus purchases Spartacus and several others, then sails for Capua where his gladiatorial training camp is located. The trainer, Marcellus (Charles McGraw), immediately tries to provoke Spartacus into giving the trainer a reason to kill the Thracian as an example. Spartacus also befriends another gladiator, Crixus (John Ireland).

Draba throws his trident into the spectators' box after refusing to execute Spartacus

After several scenes showing gladiator training and life at the school, Crassus (Laurence Olivier) arrives with some companions, wishing to be entertained by watching two pairs of gladiators fight to the death. Spartacus is selected along with Crixus, an Ethiopian named Draba (Woody Strode), and another gladiator named Galino. During the first fight, Crixus and Galino are the first to fight, in which Crixus slays Galino. Next, Spartacus duels Draba and is defeated. Draba, however refuses to kill him, instead throwing his trident into the elevated spectators' box and leaping to attack the Romans. Crassus quickly dispatches the slave and prepares to depart. As he leaves, he purchases the pretty slave woman from Batiatus, Varinia (Jean Simmons), whom Batiatus has assigned to Spartacus. Spartacus and Varinia have fallen in love, and in frustration at his loss and the overseer's callous treatment, Spartacus begins a successful uprising. The gladiators eventually take Capua and all the surrounding districts. Many local slaves flock to the insurgents. Spartacus outlines his plan to escape by sea from the port of Brundisium, aboard the ships of the Cilician pirates, whom he plans to pay from the slaves' plunder.

In the Senate of Rome, plebeian senator Sempronius Gracchus (Charles Laughton) cunningly manipulates Crassus's protege and friend Marcus Glabrus (John Dall) into taking six cohorts of the Garrison of Rome out to crush the revolt, leaving the way open for Gracchus's ally, Julius Caesar (John Gavin) to take command of the garrison during the absence of Glabrus. Meanwhile, Crassus receives new slaves as a gift from the governor of Sicily. Among them is Antoninus (Tony Curtis), a former children's tutor from Sicily. After Crassus intimidates him, Antoninus soon runs away to join Spartacus.

Spartacus and Crixus review some new recruits, assigning them positions according to their skills. Antoninus, who is among them, identifies himself as a poet and illusionist. Later he entertains the slave army, but he is determined to be a soldier, indirectly commenting on the relation between politics and art. Spartacus is reunited with Varinia, who had escaped from Batiatus, only to end up the property of yet another master. After assaulting and destroying six cohorts of the Garrison of Rome, Spartacus and his army continue on toward the sea. A humiliated Glabrus returns to Rome, with only fourteen other known survivors of the attack. After a senate hearing, Crassus is forced to banish Glabrus from Rome for his carelessness.

Rome keeps sending armies to put down the rebellion, but Spartacus defeats them all; one such defeat at Metapontum costs the Romans 19,000 men. Crassus resigns from the Senate, supposedly to share the disgrace of his exiled friend Glabrus. However, Gracchus suspects that he is merely waiting for the situation to become so desperate that the senators will make him dictator, thus neutralizing Gracchus's rival plebeian party. Gracchus, for his own purposes, maneuvers to help the slaves to escape in order to deny Crassus his opportunity. A disgusted Caesar betrays Gracchus, however, and Crassus reaches deep into his own pockets to defeat the plan.

When the former slaves reach the coast, they discover that the Cilicians have been bought off by Crassus. The Cilician envoy (Herbert Lom) offers to convey Spartacus, along with the pregnant Varinia and Spartacus's senior officers, to Asia to live like kings. The honest Thracian, however, is unwilling to abandon his army. Spartacus finds himself trapped between three Roman armies (Pompey in Calabria, Lucullus in Brundisium and the legions of Crassus in Rome. The Roman deployment has maneuvered Spartacus into a position where he can be trapped between two Roman armies, and his only other choice is to fight his way through to Rome itself, a strategy with little chance of success. Meanwhile, the Senate gives Crassus the sweeping powers he desires. In parallel scenes, Spartacus harangues the slaves, while Crassus warns against the elimination of patrician privileges. Batiatus is hired by Crassus to help him identify Spartacus after his expected capture, and is in turn promised the dealership of the survivors of Spartacus's army after its defeat.

Spartacus fights his way through the Roman ranks on horseback

The climactic battle begins with Spartacus leading his troops, men and women, against Crassus and his own legions. During the fighting, the slaves initially enjoy some success, but later on Crixus is killed, and the slave forces are overwhelmed by the arrival of the armies of Pompey and Lucullus. The battle results in the total defeat of the rebel army, heavy casualties on both sides, and the capture of many survivors, including Spartacus and Antoninus. Crassus promises the captives that they will not be punished if they will identify Spartacus or his body. Spartacus and Antoninus stand up, but before Spartacus can speak, Antoninus shouts "I'm Spartacus!" One by one, each surviving slave stands, shouting out "I'm Spartacus!" Crassus condemns them all to be crucified along the Appian Way from the battlefield to the gates of Rome, against Batiatus's wishes. He saves Antoninus and Spartacus for last, recognizing the former and recalling the latter's face and name from his visit to Capua. The slaves are marched along the Appian Way, where, one by one, they are crucified.

Meanwhile, Batiatus sees that the revenge of Crassus denies him the promised lucrative auction of the surviving slaves. Varinia and her first born son, recovered from the battlefield, are taken to Crassus's home. Crassus tries to use Varinia as a love slave, and he unsuccessfully tries to woo her. In his last act before committing suicide, the disgraced Gracchus generously hires Batiatus to steal Varinia from Crassus, then grants freedom for her and her son, personally writing out manumission documents for them. After they leave, Gracchus examines two daggers, looks at one and says "Hmm... prettier". Grabbing one dagger and putting down the other, he goes into the adjoining room, closing the curtains behind him as he leaves.

Meanwhile, prior to execution, Spartacus talks of how he saw slaves "rise up from the dust" to challenge Rome. Crassus arrives and orders Spartacus and Antoninus to duel to the death, too impatient to wait for the next day's celebrations in which the pair was to figure, and furious at Spartcus's refusal to confirm his identity, Crassus declares that the winner will be crucified. Each man tries to kill the other, to spare his companion a slow, agonizing death on the cross. After killing Antoninus, Spartacus is informed that Varinia and her son are slaves of Crassus, and he is then crucified by the walls of Rome. Crassus admits to Caesar that he now and for the first time fears Spartacus, who has become a martyr.

Batiatus and Varinia leave for Gaul via the Appian Way and find Spartacus hanging on the last cross by the road, not quite dead. Varinia shows Spartacus their newborn son, vowing that he will grow up a free man, promises to tell her son, "Who his father was, and what he dreamed of," and bids Spartacus a final farewell. With one last breath, Spartacus's head slumps back, and Varinia gets back onto the wagon and rides on.

Cast

From left to right: Antoninus (Tony Curtis), Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) and Marcus Licinius Crassus (Laurence Olivier)
  • Kirk Douglas as Spartacus, a Thracian slave working in Libya, who is purchased by the lanista Lentulus Batiatus, and trained as a gladiator. He later leads the revolt at the gladiatorial school, which spreads throughout the countryside.
  • Laurence Olivier as Crassus, a patrician with an obsessive love of the city of Rome and its old tradition of patrician rule. As the wealthiest man in Rome, he vies for power in the Roman Senate and thinks little of Spartacus's rebellion. When Douglas approached Olivier, after they had known each other from working together on The Devil's Disciple, the Academy-award-winning British actor suggested he play Spartacus, much to Douglas's dismay. However, Olivier later accepted the supporting role.
  • Jean Simmons as Varinia, a slave girl from Britannia working for Batiatus, who falls in love with Spartacus and eventually becomes his loving wife, and gives birth to a son. Academy Award-nominee Simmons had played many roles in notable British films (Great Expectations, Black Narcissus, Olivier's Hamlet), and had made a successful transition to Hollywood. This was one of her numerous leading roles.
  • Charles Laughton as Gracchus, a dedicated Roman president who is Crassus's only real opposition. He is a Republican and a crooked pragmatist whose lack of scruples in his political dealings is his ultimate downfall. However, he was willing to help Batiatus seek revenge on Crassus. Academy Award-winner Laughton's career had dwindled somewhat since the late 1930s. This was one of his last major roles, before his death in 1962. He and Olivier shared a similar relationship to that of their respective characters, and reportedly weren't even told that the other had been cast before filming began.
  • Peter Ustinov as Lentulus Batiatus, a shrewd, manipulative slave dealer, who purchases Spartacus, and ends up paying dearly for it. He blames Crassus for Spartacus's rebellion and for his poverty; therefore, he seeks revenge against Crassus and eventually settles that account with a little help from the Roman senator Gracchus. Peter Ustinov won his first Oscar for his role in this film (the second would come with Topkapi). Ustinov was a writer, director, and a distinguished raconteur. His performance was the only one that would win an Oscar from a Kubrick film.
  • John Gavin as Julius Caesar, the young, ambitious, protege of Gracchus, who gains command of the Garrison of Rome during the chaos of the Spartacus rebellion. His support of Gracchus wanes as the rebellion becomes more serious and Caesar grows disgusted with Gracchus's perfidious attitude towards Spartacus, ultimately defecting to Crassus. Gavin is today best known as the lover of Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. He would later become the United States Ambassador to Mexico.
  • Nina Foch as Helena Glabrus, a shrewd, maniplative sister of Marcus Publius Glabrus, who insists that Batiatus entertain them with two pairs of gladiators fighting to the death much to the slave dealer's dismay. The Academy Award-nominated Foch had gained mainstream stardom in another epic, Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments.
  • John Ireland as Crixus, one of Spartacus' most loyal lieutenants, and serves him until he is slain in the final battle. Academy Award-nominee Ireland normally played supporting roles akin to the one he played in Spartacus; he played a variety of supporting characters in Hollywood epics and Westerns, as well as larger roles in Italian sword and sandal films and spaghetti westerns.
  • Herbert Lom as Tigranes Levantus, a Cilician pirate who agrees to take the slaves out of Italy. When Spartacus and his forces reach Brundisium, Levantus is forced to betray them, and takes no pride in it. Herbert Lom was a Czech who moved to Hollywood, eventually to gain his greatest fame as Inspector Dreyfuss in Blake Edwards' long-running film series The Pink Panther.
  • John Dall as Marcus Publius Glabrus, a naïve protege of Crassus, who unwittingly plays into the hands of Gracchus. Academy Award-nominee Dall was an American actor who worked primarily in the theatre. His most famous screen role is as Brandon Shaw, one of the two murderers in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope. His character is loosely based on Gaius Claudius Glaber.
  • Charles McGraw as Marcellus, the gruff and cruel gladiator trainer for Lentulus Batiatus. He never liked Spartacus and singling him out for extra training and punishment. He is killed by Spartacus during the revolt. McGraw was well known for playing heavies similar to his role in Spartacus.
  • Tony Curtis as Antoninus, a young Sicilian slave who leaves his master, Crassus, and joins Spartacus. At the conclusion of the movie Spartacus and Antoninus are forced to fight to the death in a gladiatorial match, the survivor to be crucified. Academy Award-nominee Curtis had recently had a huge success with Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot, and Douglas wanted him for the film to add more "star power".
  • Woody Strode as Draba, an Ethiopian being trained at the gladitorial school. Initially, Draba refuses to tell Spartacus his name, being he knows someday he might be matched with him in the ring: each would be obliged to kill the other. Soon afterward, they are matched and ordered to fight to the death: Draba defeats Spartacus but refuses to kill him; he instead attempts to kill the spectators, but he fails and is killed himself. His body is later hung up by his feet near the gladiators' quarters as an example, but it is removed after the revolt. A former football player and Olympic athlete, Strode was a frequently-used Hollywood character actor; aside from his role in Spartacus, Strode is probably best-known for his appearances in a number of classic Westerns, including Sergeant Rutledge, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Professionals and Once Upon a Time in the West.

Production

The development of Spartacus was partly instigated by Kirk Douglas's failure to win the title role in William Wyler's Ben-Hur. Douglas had worked with Wyler before on Detective Story, and was disappointed when Wyler chose Charlton Heston instead. Not wanting to appear beaten, he decided to upstage Wyler, and create his own epic, Spartacus, with himself in the title role.

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Screenplay development

Originally, Howard Fast was hired to adapt his own novel as a screenplay, but he experienced difficulty working in the screenplay format and was replaced by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, who worked under the pseudonym "Sam Jackson". The filming was plagued by the conflicting visions of Kubrick and Trumbo: Kubrick, a young director at the time, did not have the degree of control he would later have over his films, and the final product is more a result of Trumbo's optimistic screenplay than it is of Stanley Kubrick's trademark cynicism; Kubrick complained, in fact, that the character of Spartacus had no faults or quirks.

Filming

After David Lean turned down an offer to direct, Spartacus was originally to be directed by veteran Anthony Mann, then best-known for his Westerns like Winchester '73 and The Naked Spur. However, at the end of the first week of shooting, in which the opening sequence in the quarry had been filmed, Mann was fired by Douglas. "He seemed scared of the scope of the picture," wrote Douglas in his autobiography. A strange comment since a year later Mann was to embark on another epic of similar size, "El Cid"... Indeed, the dismissal (or resignation) of Mann still remains mysterious since the opening sequences, filmed at Death Valley, Nevada, admirably set the style for the rest of the movie - Metty's camera achieving breathtaking vistas, Douglas is effectively silent while Peter Ustinov deftly establishes his character as the slave trader. Thirty-year-old Stanley Kubrick was hired to take over. He had already directed four productions (including Paths of Glory, also starring Douglas), but only two had been feature length films. Spartacus was a bigger project by far, with a budget of $12 million and a cast of 10,500, a daunting project for such a young director (although his contract did not give him complete control over the filming), but Kubrick gave no indication of being overwhelmed. Shortly after taking over, Kubrick effectively fired cinematographer Russell Metty and took over the film's lighting work himself, although Metty remained contracted and credited as cinematographer to avoid legal wrangling, and would in fact win an Oscar for "his" work on the film. [Citation needed]

Spartacus was filmed using the 35 mm Technirama format and then blown up to 170 mm film. This was a change for Kubrick, who preferred using square-format ratios. Kubrick found working outdoors or in real locations to be distracting and thus preferred to film in the studio. He believed the actors would benefit more from working on a sound stage, where they could fully concentrate. To create the illusion of the large crowds that play such an essential role in the film, Kubrick's crew used three-channel sound equipment to record 76,000 spectators at a Michigan StateNotre Dame college football game shouting "Hail, Crassus!" and "I'm Spartacus!"

The intimate scenes were filmed in Hollywood, but Kubrick insisted that all battle scenes be filmed on a vast plain outside Madrid. Eight thousand trained soldiers from the Spanish infantry were used to double as the Roman army. Kubrick directed the armies from the top of specially constructed towers. However, he eventually had to cut all but one of the gory battle scenes, due to negative audience reactions at preview screenings.

In the final crucifixion scene, an extra accidentally slipped off the temporary bicycle seats they were standing on, and nearly died.

Music

The original score for Spartacus was composed and conducted by six-time Academy Award nominee Alex North. It is considered one of his best works, and a textbook example of how modernist compositional styles can be adapted to the Hollywood leitmotif technique. North's score is epic, as befits the scale of the film. After extensive research of music of that period, North gathered a collection of antique instruments that, while not authentically Roman, provided a strong dramatic effect. These instruments included a Sarrusophone, Israeli recorder, Chinese oboe, lute, mandolin, Yugoslav flute, kythara, dulcimer, and bagpipes. North's prize instrument was the Ondioline, similar to an earlier version of the electronic synthesizer, which had never been used in film before. Much of the music is written without a tonal center, or flirts with tonality in ways that most film composers wouldn't allow. One theme is used to represent both slavery and freedom, but is given different values in different scenes, so that it sounds like different themes. The love theme for Spartacus and Varinia is the most accessible theme in the film, and there is a harsh trumpet figure for Crassus.

The soundtrack album runs less than forty-five minutes and is not very representative of the score. There were plans to re-record a significant amount of the music with North's friend and fellow film composer Jerry Goldsmith, but the project kept getting delayed until Goldsmith's death in 2004. There have been numerous bootlegs, but none of them have good sound quality.

Re-releases and restoration

The film was re-released in 1967 (in a version 23 minutes shorter than the original release), and again in 1991 with the same 23 minutes restored by Robert A. Harris, plus an additional 14 minutes that had been cut from the film before its original release. This addition includes several violent battle sequences as well as a bath scene in which the Roman patrician and general Crassus (Olivier) attempts to seduce his slave Antoninus (Curtis) using the analogy of "eating oysters" and "eating snails" to express his opinion that sexual preference is a matter of taste rather than morality.

When the film was restored (two years after Olivier's death) the original dialogue recording of this scene was missing, and so it had to be re-dubbed. Tony Curtis, by then 66, was able to re-record his part, but Crassus's voice is actually an impersonation of Olivier by actor Anthony Hopkins, a talented mimic who had been a protege of Olivier during his days as the National Theatre's Artistic Director, and knew his voice well.

Some four minutes of the film, however, are lost, due to Universal's mishandling of its film prints in the 1970s. These scenes extend on the character of Gracchus (Laughton), including a scene where he commits suicide. The audio tracks of these scenes have survived and are included on the Criterion Collection DVD, alongside production stills of some of the lost footage.

Historical inaccuracies

  • The historical Spartacus was not born into slavery but enslaved either after being captured in war or after deserting from the Roman Army. There is no evidence he worked in the mines of Libya.
  • The historical Spartacus was not crucified but killed in battle and his body was not found.
  • The Retiarii gladiator type did not exist until the 1st century AD.
  • The character of Gracchus is anachronistic. The most significant Gracchi were Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and Gaius Sempronius Gracchus who were both revolutionary political figures active from 163 to 121 BC. The cinematic Gracchus is a composite of the two historical figures and their populist political stance, as well as their tendency to break with tradition in favor of expediency.
  • No garrison of Rome existed in 71 BC. City guards were tasked with protecting the city and policing its streets. The Praetorian Guard - as depicted in the film - was created by Emperor Augustus half a century later.
  • Crassus was never made dictator of Rome and was never honoured with a Roman triumph but only with the lesser ovation, the honour due to victors in civil wars.

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

Award[2] Winner(s)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Peter Ustinov
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color Alexander Golitzen
Eric Orbom
Russell A. Gausman
Julia Heron
Best Cinematography, Color Russell Metty
Best Costume Design, Color Arlington Valles
Bill Thomas
Nominated:
Best Film Editing Robert Lawrence
Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture Alex North

Spartacus has been on 5 different AFI 100 Years... lists including #62 for thrills, #22 for heroes, #44 for cheers and #81 for overall movies.

In June 2008, AFI revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Spartacus was acknowledged as the fifth best film in the epic genre.[3][4]

Critical reception

Critics such as Roger Ebert have argued that the film has flaws, though his review is generally positive otherwise.[5] Bosley Crowther called it a "spotty, uneven drama."[6] It has a 95% (fresh) rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[7] Critics attribute some of the film's flaws to various elements including the interference of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which imposed censorial conformity under the Production Code. Spartacus was one of the most violent and sexually suggestive films of its time. The replacement of the original director, Anthony Mann, in exchange for Stanley Kubrick, may have made the filming more difficult. However, the final cut including several deleted scenes key to the unfolding of the story, has restored the picture's initital conception. The recut version significantly improves the original release and has gained widespread critical acclaim. With the passage of time, Spartacus unlike other major epic dramas of the time has gained in artistic value thanks to intimate performances by Douglas, Olivier and Curtis and momentous action such as the battle at the banks of the Silarus.

I am Spartacus!

The climactic scene in which recaptured slaves are asked to identify Spartacus in exchange for leniency, and instead proclaim themselves to be Spartacus and thus share his fate, has been widely referenced and parodied in a range of different media. The 1964 Soviet-Cuban film I Am Cuba has a scene in which three captured Cuban guerrillas claim one after another "I am Fidel!". There is an "I am Malcolm X!" montage at the end of Malcolm X, and several people declare themselves drag queens to prevent one from being arrested in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar. South Park parodies the scene in the episode "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow", as does the series finale of Power Rangers in Space, the episode of Futurama entitled "A Tale of Two Santas", and the episode of Undergrads "Traditions".

The 1977 film The Life of Brian reverses the scene by depicting an entire group undergoing crucifixion all claiming to be Brian who it has just been announced is eligible for release ("I'm Brian" "No I'm Brian" "I'm Brian and so's my wife.")

The 1996 film That Thing You Do! has a recurring line in which the character Guy Patterson refers to himself as Spartacus and other references can be found in In & Out, the 1998 film The Mask of Zorro, and an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, called "The Fires of Pompeii".

The 1997 film In & Out has a scene in which a number of students stand up and claim to be gay in support of their teacher.

The 1998 film The Mask of Zorro has a scene in which the prison guards, directed by the antagonist Don Rafael Montero, demand that Zorro reveal himself. Diego De La Vega (the original Zorro) stays silent as many of the prisoners proclaim themselves to be Zorro, to the point of arguing and fighting amongst themselves.

In 2001, the Nickelodeon t.v. show Fairly Odd Parents, had an episode which climaxed when all the parents searched for a kid who offended them named Mr. T, and a group of kids subsequently shouted, "I'm Mr. T!"

The 2005 film Colour Me Kubrick, inspired by the impersonation in real-life of Spartacus director Stanley Kubrick, pays reference to the 'Spartacus moment' with con-man Alan Conway finally frustrated in his impersonation by fellow inmates of a mental asylum all declaring "I'm Stanley Kubrick".

In 2005, Pepsi aired a commercial where a Roman general announced that a package (a 12oz can of Pepsi) had arrived for Spartacus, and asked if he was there to claim it. Using the original footage from the Kubrick film, everyone immediately claimed to be Spartacus in an attempt to get the beverage for himself, resulting in the general drinking it himself. The commercial contains licensed footage from the original film.

During the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Meets The Red-Headed Stranger" when the police ask who is Willie Nelson (after accusing him of murder), everyone in the room replies, "I'm Willie Nelson!"

In May 2007 British soldiers in Iraq were reported to be wearing t-shirts bearing the statement "I'm Harry!" in reference to the debate over whether Prince Harry should serve a tour of duty there.[8]

The 2008 Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Rockford, IL, won their 2nd World Championship with a program based on Spartacus (although not a literal retelling of the ballet, as in their 1981 and 1982 programs). Near the end of the show, one of the drum majors shouts "I...am Spartacus," and in addition to the color guard and other members of the corps echoing it, members of the audience also joined in.

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Spartacus (1960) is a film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel of the same name by Howard Fast about the life of Spartacus and the Third Servile War. The film stars Kirk Douglas as rebellious slave Spartacus and Laurence Olivier as his foe, the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus.

Contents

Spartacus

  • I'd rather be here, a free man among brothers, facing a long march and a hard fight, than the richest citizen in Rome: fat with food he didn't work for, and surrounded by slaves.
  • We've traveled a long ways together. We've fought many battles and won many victories. Now, instead of taking ships to our homes across the sea, we must fight again once more. Maybe there's no peace in this world, for us or for anyone else. I don't know. I do know that we're brothers, and as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves.
  • 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.
  • I am Spartacus!
  • Crixus always wanted to march on Rome. Now he doesn't have to. Rome has come to us.

Batiatus

  • Good luck, and may fortune smile upon... most of you.
  • But I'm a civilian. I'm more of a civilian than most civilians.

Marcus Licinius Crassus

  • If there was no Rome, I'd dream of her. If there were no gods, I'd revere them.
  • I promise you, a new Rome, a new Italy and a new empire. I promise the destruction of the slave army, and the restoration of order. I promise the living body of Spartacus for whatever punishment you may deem fit. That, or his head. This I have sworn, in the name of my fathers, in the temple that guards their bones.
  • I'm not after glory, I'm after Spartacus! And gentlemen, I mean to have him. However, this campaign is not about killing Spartacus. It is to kill the legend of Spartacus.
  • One of the disadvantages of being a patrician is that occasionally you're obliged to act like one.

Gracchus

  • You know, this republic of ours is something like a rich widow. Most Romans love her as their mother, but Crassus dreams of marrying the old girl, to put it politely.

Dialogue

Spartacus: What is your name?
Draba: You don't want to know mine. I don't want to know your name.
Spartacus: Just a friendly question.
Draba: Gladiators don't make friends. If we're ever matched in the arena together, I have to kill you.

Dionysus: [watching two Roman nobles being forced by a slave on horseback to fight to the death] Ah-ha ha! Come on, fat boy! Yeah!
Slaves: [as Spartacus enters the arena] Spartacus! Hey, Spartacus!
Spartacus: Noble Romans, fight each other like animals. [gestures to the slaves on the balcony] Your new masters, betting to see who'll die first. [the slaves laugh] Drop your weapons. [the slaves start booing]
Slaves: No! No! No! No!
Crixus: I want to see their blood, right here where Draba died! [jumps down and draws his sword] When I fight matched pairs, they fight to the death!
Spartacus: I made myself a promise, Crixus. I swore that if I ever get out of here alive, I'd die before I saw two men fight to the death again. Draba made that promise too. He kept it. [turns to the nobles] Go. [Spartacus turns to the slaves as the nobles scurry out of the arena] What's happening to us? Have we learned nothing? What are we becoming, Romans? We hunt wine when we should be looking for bread.
Dionysus: When you got wine, you don't need bread!
Spartacus: You can't just be a gang of drunken raiders.
Dionysus: What else can we be?
Spartacus: Gladiators, an army of gladiators. There's never been an army like that. One gladiator is worth any two Roman soldiers that ever lived.
Crixus: We beat the Romans guards here, but a Roman army is different. They fight different than we do, too.
Spartacus: We can beat anything they send against us if we really want to.
Crixus: It takes a big army.
Spartacus: We'll have a big army. Once we're on the march, we'll free every slave in every town and village. Can anybody get a bigger army.
Dionysus: That's right. Once we cross the Alps, we're safe.
Crixus: Nobody can cross the Alps. Every pass is defended by it's own legion.

Spartacus: Stand up. On your feet. Stand up, the way a noble Roman should.
Slave: That's Roman pride for you, Spartacus! [the slaves laugh]
Spartacus: That's better. What's your name?
Glabrus: Marcus, Glabrus.
Spartacus: Glabrus.
Glabrus: Commander of the Garrison of Rome!
Spartacus: Commander?
Crixus: He was commanding it on his belly when we found him, playing dead! [the slaves laugh]
Spartacus: You disappoint me, Marcus Glabrus, playing dead. You afraid to die? It's easy to die. Haven't you seen enough gladiators in the arena to see how easy it is to die?
Glabrus: Why...what are you going to do to me?
Spartacus: I don't know. [turns to the slaves] What should we do with him?
Dionysus: Let's have a matched pair, him and me! [the slaves laugh]
Glabrus: I'll not fight like a gladiator!
Spartacus: [showing Glabrus a Roman baton] You keep staring at this. You recognize this baton?
Glabrus: Yes.
Spartacus: You should! It was in your tent. [holds up the baton] The symbol of the Senate! All the power of Rome! [grips and snaps the baton in two]
Dionysus: That's the power of Rome!
Spartacus: [thrusting the broken baton at Glabrus] Take that back to your senate. Tell them you and that broken stick is all that's left of the garrison of Rome! Tell them we want nothing from Rome, nothing, except our freedom!

Crassus: Do you steal?
Antoninus: No, master.
Crassus: Do you lie?
Antoninus: Not if I can avoid it.
Crassus': Have you... ever dishonored the gods?
Antoninus: No, master.
Crassus': Do you refrain from these vices out of respect for moral virtues?
Antoninus: Yes, master.
Crassus: Do you eat oysters?
Antoninus: When I have them, master.
Crassus: Do you eat snails?
Antoninus: No, master.
Crassus: Do you consider the eating of oysters to be moral, and the eating of snails to be immoral?
Antoninus: No, master.
Crassus: Of course not. It is all a matter of taste, isn't it?
Antoninus: Yes, master.
Crassus: And taste is not the same as appetite, and therefore not a question of morals, hmm?
Antoninus: It could be argued so, master.
Crassus: My robe, Antoninus. My taste includes both snails and oysters. [approaches a balcony] Antoninus, look, across the river. There is something you must see. [looking toward Rome, as the garrison sets out] There, boy, is Rome. The might, the majesty, the terror of Rome. There is the power that bestrides the known world like a colossus. No man can withstand Rome. No nation can withstand her. How much less... a boy! Hmm? [chuckles] There is one way to deal with Rome, Antoninus. You must serve her. You must abase yourself before her. You must grovel at her feet. You must... love her. Isn't that so, Antoninus? [turns around, and sees Antoninus gone] Antoninus? Antoninus?

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