Welcome back to Motion History! I hope you've stuck around for week three. I've had so many requests to cover various movies that it's difficult to sort through them all. This might also be a good time to confess that these first installments of Motion History are being written on the seat of my pants, as this column debuted at the same time as a lot of personal and professional upheaval. I promise, you will get the epic columns you're requesting (we'll get to Tudors and Plantagenets, don't worry), but for now I'm having to stick with "easy" stuff.

That's partly why this week's pick is Gladiator, though it's also because it was a request by my friend Kat Arnett. I hesitated about doing it, because this is one film that had its inaccuracies wildly discussed upon its release. Just about every publication had a "Gladiator: Fact or Fiction?" article in 2000.

But that was ten years ago. Despite that pop culture has continued to dig into classical history for entertainment, I suspect the real story of Commodus and his gladiatorial hijinks has fallen by the wayside. I also thought it would be fun to discuss this film in the wake of Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. Scott has an definite way of interpreting history that's become more pronounced with every film. So, while the historical story behind Gladiator may not be new to a lot of you, it might be illuminating to look at this film again and compare it to Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood, as well as other recent depictions of Rome.
categories Cinematical