Monday, July 15, 2013

367. Spartacus

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

It is currently 11:37 at night and my eyes are beginning to close.  Still, I want to crank the is one out before I go to sleep.  Also, I am watching Scream for probably the tenth time and the body count is not high enough yet to call it a night.

We have had quite a lot of cheesy sandal and sand epics that have been annoyingly pious and about two hours too long.  However, this is quite a nice change from that and we actually get an enjoyable, non preachy film.  Hurray!

Spartacus is a slave who, because of his insolence, is sentenced to be a gladiator. He becomes a leader and a symbol of hope for the other slaves and is just overall a stand up guy.

Obviously, this film isn't just about a slave rebellion in ancient Rome, but applies to any rich vs. poor scenario, with the good guys always being the poor guys.

I have never been a huge Douglas or Kubrick fan (I will never forgive him for making me sit through 2001: A Space Odyssey) but this a great film and far surpasses the epics we have seen before.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Kirk Douglas clashed with both Anthony Mann (the original director) and Stanley Kubrick.

#5 in AFI's top 10 epic films.

One of the main reasons Kirk Douglas did this film was to show up Ben Hur.  Mission accomplished.

No, I'm Spartacus!


  1. Our history teacher in high school used this movie in class which I think was pretty cool, almost as cool as when our English teacher used The Stagecoach, and I think it does get a lot of things right. Blissfully free of religious themes it tells a story about another Rome and there are plenty of stories to pick from.
    It is curious to think of this as a Kubrick movie. I think there is very little of Kubrick in it and far more Hollywood craftmanship. That is fine for such a movie, but I prefer when Kubrick gives more of himself.

    1. Ugh, I'm jealous about the movies you watched in school. Meanwhile my history teacher was showing us The Patriot. Gag me.

    2. I don't remember a teacher ever showing a film to teach us anything. One of the secretaries at middle school bought a copy of Dumbo on something like 9mm cinereel when she retired, so we all got to gather in the hall one afternoon to watch it on a projector. That was pretty cool.

      Not something I would associate with Kubrick, but it still had a certain Stanley flavour to it. Interesting to see several influences on both main Python movies, not just the "I'm Brian and so's my wife" joke.

      I was hoping and expecting something worthy of five stars, but I think you got it right with four.