Spartacus, (slave/gladiator) leads a revolt against the Roman republic. This is the basic premise of the 1960 movie. Currently new fans are being made due to the acclaimed Starz TV show of the same name. Spartacus, played magnificently by Kirk Douglas, won three Oscars; Best Cinematography, Best Costume, Best Art Direction and Best Supporting Actor for Peter Ustinov. It also was the largest grossing film of 1960 and the film became the biggest moneymaker in Universal Studios’ history, an honor it held for a decade until it was surpassed by Airport
This film intorduced legions of fans to the history and study of the gladiators and Spartacus, during the height of the roman empire. It also included some the days biggest stars, Kirk Douglas who played Spartacus was already a hollywood icon, as well as Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton and Peter Ustinov. New stars of the day also had roles in the movie, dashing John Gavin and a another young star who just came from his amazing role in Some Like it Hot, Tony Curtis.
The film is one of my favorites, mainly due to the caliber of stars that were involved, as well as the cinematography, which for its day was spectacular. Not to mention one of my favorite directors, who, prior to Spartacus only had two pictures under his belt, Stanley Kubrick. Spartacus’s critical and commercial success established Kubrick as a major director.