• Spartacus (1960)


Release Date: 1960

DVD Release Date: March 31st, 1998

PG-13 |3 hr 4 min

Plot Summary

The rebellious Thracian Spartacus, born and raised a slave, is sold to Gladiator trainer Batiatus. After weeks of being trained to kill for the arena, Spartacus turns on his owners and leads the other slaves in rebellion. As the rebels move from town to town, their numbers swell as escaped slaves join their ranks. Under the leadership of Spartacus, they make their way to southern Italy, where they will cross the sea and return to their homes.

Cast: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Tony Curtis, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin, Nina Foch

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Genres: Historical drama

Production Co: Bryna Productions, Universal Pictures

Keywords: Engaging, Rise, Inspiring, Escape, Revenge, Murder

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Jay CarrBoston Globe

    Spartacus stands up handsomely. At times it's even stirring, as in Woody Strode's performance as the African gladiator who, in sparing Spartacus' life, opens his eyes. Spartacus is one of Hollywood's great comic strips. [3 May 1991, p.45]

  • 75
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    The most entertaining performance in the movie, consistently funny, is by Ustinov, who upstages everybody when he is onscreen (he won an Oscar). show more

  • 100
    Edward GuthmannSan Francisco Chronicle

    Spartacus isn't the greatest epic ever made, but it's head and shoulders above most of the sword-and-sandal wheezers that came out in the '50s and '60s. And, given the prohibitive costs of shooting an epic today, it's the kind of movie we're not likely to see anymore -- except in well-deserved revivals like this one. [13 May 1991, p.E1]

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Winner Cinematography (Color)
Nominated Film Editing
Nominated Best Director - Motion Picture
Winner Costume Design (Color)
Nominated Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture)
Winner Art Direction (Color)
Nominated Film and British Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1961)