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Spartacus (1960)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  7 October 1960 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 92,081 users  
Reviews: 271 user | 121 critic

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.



(screenplay), (based on the novel by), 2 more credits »
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Title: Spartacus (1960)

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Won 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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In 73 BCE, a Thracian slave leads a revolt at a gladiatorial school run by Lentulus Batiatus. The uprising soon spreads across the Italian Peninsula involving thousand of slaves. The plan is to acquire sufficient funds to acquire ships from Silesian pirates who could then transport them to other lands from Brandisium in the south. The Roman Senator Gracchus schemes to have Marcus Publius Glabrus, Commander of the garrison of Rome, lead an army against the slaves who are living on Vesuvius. When Glabrus is defeated his mentor, Senator and General Marcus Licinius Crassus is greatly embarrassed and leads his own army against the slaves. Spartacus and the thousands of freed slaves successfully make their way to Brandisium only to find that the Silesians have abandoned them. They then turn north and must face the might of Rome. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


More titanic than any story ever told! See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spartacus: Rebel Against Rome  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(premiere) | (1968 re-release) | (1967 re-release) | (1991 restored) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm prints, original release)| (1991 restoration)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original version included a scene where Marcus Licinius Crassus(Laurence Olivier) attempts to seduce Antoninus (Tony Curtis). The Production Code Administration and the Legion of Decency both objected. At one point Geoffrey Shurlock, representing the censors, suggested it would help if the reference in the scene to a preference for oysters or snails was changed to truffles and artichokes. In the end the scene was cut, but it was put back in for the 1991 restoration. However, the soundtrack had been lost in the meantime and the dialogue had to be dubbed. Curtis was able to redo his lines, but Olivier had died. Joan Plowright, his widow, remembered that Anthony Hopkins had done a dead-on impression of Olivier and she mentioned this to the restoration team. They approached Hopkins and he agreed to voice in Olivier's lines in that scene. Hopkins is thanked in the credits for the restored version. See more »


The 'rocks' Spartacus carries in his basket in the quarry scene behave as styrofoam and when they are dropped fragments of styrofoam break off and blow away. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: In the last century before the birth of the new faith called Christianity, which was destined to overthrow the pagan tyranny of Rome and bring about a new society, the Roman Republic stood at the very center of the civilized world. "Of all things fairest," sang the poet, "first among cities and home of the gods is golden Rome." Yet, even at the zenith of her pride and power, the Republic lay fatally stricken with a disease called human slavery. The age of the dictator was at hand, ...
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Crazy Credits

The opening titles appear in a montage of silhouetted Roman sculptures and tablets, which according to title designer Saul Bass is meant to evoke the strength and power of the Roman Empire. The montage ends with a zoom into the eye of a crumbling Roman bust, which hints at the Empire's coming decline and fall. See more »


Spoofed in Undergrads: Traditions (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The World of Stanley Kubrick: Director for hire.

Spartacus (1960) was a director for hire gig for Stanley Kubrick. Kirk Douglas was in a pinch for his next film project. He was making an epic film about a slave in the roman republic who rebels against his masters. Anthony Mann stepped down from the director's chair and Mr. Douglas needed someone to take over. Enters Stanley Kubrick. Although he has little creative input (i.e. script and story wise) he manages to make a compelling movie with his keen eye and directorial abilities.

Filmed in a grand scope and in such great detail, Spartacus is eye candy for fans of epic film making. I can only imagine what the film would have been like if he had total control over the project. Kirk Douglas is the man as Spartacus, Tony Curtis is quite good as his sidekick, Charles Laughton is wise and witty as the elder senator, Peter Ustinov is a hoot in his role as the poor victim of fortunate (and unfortunate) circumstance and Sir Laurence Olivier shows why he was the premier actor of his day as Crassus.

Highly recommended for Kirk Douglas fans and Stanley Kubrick philes.

35 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Please explain why I, a 17 year old, didn't like it. WhyNotTheJackal
Hard to watch after Spartacus the series miausquirrel
Jean Simmons was too old susan685
Best Performance - Laughton? Olivier? Ustinov? JazzyBee04
George Kennedy Rueiro
'The pagan tyranny of Rome' raistlin-26
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