Spartacus Restored (55th Anniversary Edition) (Blu-ray)

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Overview

SPARTACUS, based on Howard Fast's popular novel, is Stanley Kubrick's glorious masterpiece about a slave uprising in Rome in 70 B.C. Kirk Douglas, who also served as executive producer, stars as the title character, a man born of a slave woman and a slave master who has known nothing but chains his entire life. After being forced to put on a gladiator show--that almost leads to his death--for wealthy Romans (including a marvelously conniving Laurence Olivier as the power-hungry Crassus), Spartacus leads a slave revolt across Italy that soon has thousands marching on Rome. Meanwhile, he has fallen in love with the beautiful Varinia (an effervescent Jean Simmons), pledging his life to her.

Douglas assembled a fabulous all-star cast for the film; in addition to himself, Simmons, and Olivier, terrific performances are turned in by Charles Laughton as the curmudgeonly senator Gracchus, John Gavin as the young Julius Caesar, Tony Curtis as Antoninus (a "singer of songs," with all lines delivered in a beautifully thick New York accent), and especially Peter Ustinov, an Oscar winner for his portrayal of the businessman Batiatus, who always wants to know what's in it for him. Blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo's melodramatic script and Alex North's thrilling, soaring score add a majesty that helps make SPARTACUS one of the finest costume epics to ever come out of Hollywood.
Stanley Kubrick's SPARTACUS is the epic saga of the rebellious slave Spartacus, a Thracian who was born into slavery and becomes one of the notorious Roman gladiators. During what became known in history as the Servile Wars, he led an uprising against the mighty Roman republic that threatened to tear apart Italy.
Theatrical Release Date 1960
Format Blu-ray Disc
Number of Discs 1
Awards
  • Academy Awards, Best Art Direction - Set Decoration (Color), Winner, 1960
  • Academy Awards, Best Costume Design (Color), Winner, 1960
  • Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actor, Winner, 1960
  • Academy Awards, Best Cinematography, Winner, 1960

Additional Crew:

Portions of content provided by Rovi Data Solutions. Copyright © 2009 Rovi Data Solutions, Inc. For personal non-commercial use only. All right reserved.

While it strives for accuracy, Best Buy reserves the right to make changes at any time, without prior notice, to prices, description, images and policies. Web store prices, products and promotions may differ from those in retail stores.

Unrated

  • Release Info
  • Collector Edition
    N
  • Director Cut
    N
  • Number Of Discs
    1
  • Genre
    Action/Adventure
  • Distributor
    Universal Studios Home Video
  • Area
    USA
  • Video
  • Picture
    (unknown)
  • Audio
  • Language
    English
  • Dubbed
    French, Spanish
  • Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish
  • Closed Caption
    English
  • Release Note
  • Notes:
    Blu-ray Disc Features:

    Region [unknown]
    Theatrical Release: October 7, 1960

    Filmed in Death Valley, Spain, and Univeral Studios in Hollywood.

    Estimated budget: $12 million.

    Estimated shooting time: 167 days.

    Estimated cast: More than 10,000.

    When the film was restored in 1991, Anthony Hopkins dubbed in the voice of Laurence Olivier in the "snails and oysters" scene and Tony Curtis dubbed in his own voice, as the original soundtrack could not be used.

    Anthony Mann started as the director of the film on January 27, 1959, but was fired on February 13. Kirk Douglas then brought in Kubrick, who had directed Douglas in PATHS OF GLORY a few years earlier.

    SPARTACUS was the only film on which Kubrick was essentially a hired director, not involved with the development of the project from the start. Because Kubrick was never fully in control of the production, he essentially disowned the film, claiming it was not truly his vision.

    Sabina Bethmann began production as Varinia, but Kubrick replaced her with Jean Simmons.

    SPARTACUS was the first film to credit blacklisted figures--in this case, screenwriter extraordinaire Dalton Trumbo and actor Peter Bracco. Douglas insisted on crediting them in order to help break the blacklist.

    Some of the crowd cheering was actually recorded at a Michigan State-Notre Dame college football game hosted by the Spartans.

    Although the film is based on a true story, the real Spartacus did not suffer the same fate as the Hollywood Spartacus does.

    Calder Willingham helped write the battle scenes.

    The restored version was produced by James C. Katz, reconstructed and restored by Robert A. Harris, with original editor Robert Lawrence serving as the editorial consultant.

    Richard Farnsworth (THE STRAIGHT STORY) was a stuntman in the movie and also appears as an extra.

    The Legion of Decency had a number of scenes cut from the original--specifically, scenes it felt were too graphically violent and sexual. The scenes were restored for the 1991 edition.

    Additional scenes photographed by Clifford Stine.

    The fabulous title sequence was designed by Saul Bass.

    Despite having a historical consultant review the material, the film takes many liberties with the facts of the story.
    "Do you eat oysters?"--Crassus (Laurence Olivier)
    "When I have them, master."--Antoninus (Tony Curtis)
    "Do you eat snails?"--Crassus
    "No, master."--Antoninus
    "Do you consider the easting of oysters to be moral, and the eating of snails to be immoral?...My taste includes both snails and oysters."--Crassus

    "I am Spartacus."
  • Release Date
    10/06/15
  • Theatrical Release
    1960
  • Rating
    Unrated
  • Format
    Blu-ray Disc
  • Unedited Version
    N
  • Warranty Parts
    30 Day(s)

Portions of content provided by Rovi Data Solutions. Copyright © 2009 Rovi Data Solutions, Inc. For personal non-commercial use only. All right reserved.

While we strive for accuracy, Best Buy reserves the right to make changes at any time, without notice, to prices, descriptions, images and policies. Web store prices, products and promotions may differ from our retail While we strive for accuracy, Best Buy reserves the right to make changes at any time, without prior notice, to prices, description, images and policies. Web store products, prices and promotions may differ from those in our retail stores. For full terms and conditions, visit BestBuy.ca

Editorial Reviews

  1 2  NextNext
USA Today 04-26-1991 "...Amazing depth-of-field....Terrific performances..."
Premiere 05-24-2010 "A truly epic production with massive battles, iconic cinematography, and a legendary cast..."
Total Film 03-01-2001 "...One of the last truly great Roman epics, the Kirk Douglas-starrer boasts a true cast-of-thousands battle..."
  1 2  NextNext

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