I am Spartacus!
This line is from the most memorable scene of
good-looking, epic 1960 film about Spartacus,
played by Kirk Douglas in his pomp.
Kubrick was brought in to replace Anthony Mann
after Douglas had a falling out with Mann
and Kubrick expressed some reservations about the slightly
syrupy script he
had to work with.
leads the slaves in
against their imperial Roman masters.
The revolution is crushed
but rather than allow
Spartacus to be executed all of the slaves risk their
own lives by
claiming to be him so that he cannot be identified.
A great cinematic moment.
In some ways the film was
quite daring for its time and several scenes
were cut in the cinematic release.
For example this applies to the notorious
bathroom seduction scene where Crassus (Laurence Olivier)
makes advances to Antonius (Tony Curtis).
Of course homosexuality is only hinted at but
is definitely there. Crassus tells Antonius
that his tastes include both oysters and
Peter Ustinov does an amusing turn as the slave merchant
Batiatus. In a memorable moment he
sends a slave girl played by Jean Simmons to Spartacus'
cell. Battias plans to watch them have sex, but Spartacus
refuses: I am not an animal! The slave girl
in an early example of girl power says Neither am I!
This is a good movie, with well choreographed battle scenes,
but it is a little over-extended.
It's also significant in that
Kubrick's experiences and frustrations
making a straight Hollywood
movie obviously influenced the way that he controlled
all aspects of his subsequent films.