U.S.A. • 1960 • COLOUR • 70MM • DOLBY stereo • 197 MIN

Replacing director Anthony Mann, who had quarrelled with Kirk Douglas, Kubrick also found himself at odds with the star/executive producer and tended to disown his contribution to this film.

Douglas saw the story of the slaves’ revolt as a symbol of man’s unquenchable desire for liberation from oppression; Kubrick seems more interested in exploring its impact on the power games within Rome, giving real urgency to the cut-and-thrust debates in the Senate and drawing superb performances from Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton and Peter Ustinov, who epitomise a Roman hierarchy of, respectively, aristocratic decadence, calculating slyness and obsequious opportunism. Kubrick also revels in the gladiatorial combats and the ruthless spectacle of the Roman army massing in rigid formation to crush rebellion. For all its faults, Spartacus remains one of the screen’s great epics, an intelligent blend of visual splendour, human drama and political intrigue, all swept along by a magnificent score from Alex North.

We will be showing the 1991 restored version of this film in 70mm. A special price of Ä12 (Ä10 conc.) will apply to 70mm screenings.

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