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Spartacus - Limited Edition Digibook [Blu-ray] [1960]

Kirk Douglas , Laurence Olivier , Stanley Kubrick    Parental Guidance   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
Price: 19.00
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Frequently Bought Together

Spartacus - Limited Edition Digibook [Blu-ray] [1960] + Ben-Hur - 3-Disc Edition [Blu-ray] [1959] [Region Free] + The Ten Commandments [Blu-ray] [1956] [Region Free]
Price For All Three: 35.70

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Product details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin
  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Format: DVD-Video
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Cantonese Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, Mandarin Chinese
  • Dubbed: French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Nov 2012
  • Run Time: 197 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008V7KZEU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,381 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Stanley Kubrick was only 31 years old when Kirk Douglas (star of Kubrick's classic Paths of Glory) recruited the young director to pilot this epic saga, in which the rebellious slave Spartacus (played by Douglas) leads a freedom revolt against the decadent Roman Empire. Kubrick would later disown the film because it was not a personal project--he was merely a director-for-hire--but Spartacus remains one of the best of Hollywood's grand historical epics. With an intelligent screenplay by then-blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo (from a novel by Howard Fast), its message of moral integrity and courageous conviction is still quite powerful, and the all-star cast (including Charles Laughton in full toga) is full of entertaining surprises. Fully restored in 1991 to include scenes deleted from the original 1960 release, the full-length Spartacus is a grand-scale cinematic marvel, offering some of the most awesome battles ever filmed and a central performance by Douglas that's as sensitively emotional as it is intensely heroic. Jean Simmons plays the slave woman who becomes Spartacus's wife, and Peter Ustinov steals the show with his frequently hilarious, Oscar-winning performance as a slave trader who shamelessly curries favor with his Roman superiors. The restored version also includes a formerly deleted bathhouse scene in which Laurence Olivier plays a bisexual Roman senator (with restored dialogue dubbed by Anthony Hopkins) who gets hot and bothered over a slave servant played by Tony Curtis. These and other restored scenes expand the film to just over three hours in length. Despite some forgivable lulls, this is a rousing and substantial drama that grabs and holds your attention. Breaking tradition with sophisticated themes and a downbeat (yet eminently noble) conclusion, Spartacus is a thinking person's epic, rising above mere spectacle with a story as impressive as its widescreen action and Oscar-winning sets. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

This presentation of the powerful film classic features an additional five minutes of footage cut from the film's original release, plus the original overture and extended soundtrack.

Director Stanley Kubrick tells the tale of Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), the bold gladiator slave, and Varinia (Jean Simmons), the woman who believed in his cause. Challenged by the power-hungry General Crassus (Laurence Olivier), Spartacus is forced to face his convictions and the power of the Roman Empire at its glorious height. The inspirational true account of man's eternal struggle for freedom, Spartacus combines history with spectacle to create a moving drama of love and commitment.

Brand-new Digibook packaging combines the high-definition Blu-ray with an exclusive booklet.

Bonus Features:
  • Presented uncut with footage from fully restored film
  • Collectible 36-page book pack

The digibook itself is presented with a clean back. Detailed information is included on a card insert.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu ray. 9 July 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The transfer isn't great, it's acceptable but not quite what you'd expect for a film of this magnitude! There is a lot of softness to some scenes and the blacks are poor. It states that it is a restoration that was done in 1991...maybe it's time they did a new one! This is a 5 star movie, let down by an average (out of date!) transfer. On the plus side Kirks chin dimple is generally sharp and well detailed. ;)
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus falls short on a sloppy Blu-ray 28 April 2012
Like other epics such as 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'Ben Hur', Spartacus is a movie that has gone through an interesting series of home releases. I say interesting because as is always the way with classic movies, they are often compromised to such a degree that you would wonder how they could ever get away being released in such an un-authentic state. Of course, it was astounding to see what can be achieved with a modern 8K restoration (Ben-Hur) and for 'Lawrence...' fans, the good news is that Sony are rereleasing the film this year with a similar 8K restoration. These are only two examples of the correct treatment such classics deserve, yet Spartacus appears to have gone unnoticed.

What we have here is a transfer from the 1991 print - what was at it's a time a seven figure sum paid to reconstruct the film in the most accurate way. The bulk of the work was done from black and white negative separations which don't fade, so the colours should be pretty much spot on to how the film looked originally. The problem with this Blu-ray, however, is that Universal have for some reason not invested a new digital restoration. This is just the 1991 print with some waxy and often careless DNR applied, meaning the resulting picture is incredibly soft and simply doesn't represent the Technirama format the movie was shot on. On top of this, little effort has gone in to using current technology for removing artefacts and colour fading throughout the film.

I focus on these technicalities because a movie as good as Spartacus deserves the same - if not better - kind of treatment that even lesser films have had on Blu-ray.

As a step up from the DVD release then you are going to notice more consistency in this viewing experience, but you certainly won't be overwhelmed. What a pity Universal will not be digitally restoring this film as part of its '100th Anniversary' releases.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD 30 May 2004
Great to see another region 2 DVD of such excellent quality. The film itself is wonderful, (see other reviews for story etc) and the picture quality superb, even has a choice of DTS sound, more of that please! Loaded with extras and a short film called the Hollywood Ten. My only gripe is that the movie has been put onto two discs, which means getting off the couch at the intermission, though it is well worth the effort. This is a definite must have for any Stanley Kubrick fan.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film gets better with age 11 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Spartacus works because it doesn't take itself too seriously like some of the other over wrought stiff productions of the same period.
Its performances are understated and at times informal , giving the actual feel that you are in the Roman senate or a school for gladiators
The story of Spartacus is one of the great untold
stories in history , a slave who defied an empire
and smashed Roman armies up and down Italy ,until after two years of revolt is finally defeated by the entire might of Rome.
Douglas is convincing and restrained in his portrayal and plays out a charming Romance with Jean Simmons.
Many , many scenes in this film that stick in
the memory & endure.
My favorites ...
Ustinov's address to the new gladiators
The fight between Spartacus & Drabba (Woody Strode ) , unforgettable
The restored snails and oysters scene ,
The scene in the Senate when Glabbarus returns
The comic Ustinov and Laughton in the Roman Villa
Roman soldiers attacking en masse in the
final battle scene
The famous "I'm Spartacus" scene
Crassus confronting the fact he can never
truly defeat Spartacus
The score by Alex North also deserves credit as
it pummels you during the opening credits and
then chunters along as our Gladiators revolt gathers momentum.
Overall the film I have watched more often than
any other , so that must be a recommedation.
It has some flaws obviously but for me its better than Gladiator or indeed Braveheart (and thats not bad coming from a Scotsman)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kubrick's disappointment is still our triumph 22 May 2011
Although he was never happy with Spartacus, due to creative differences with Kirk Douglas, any other director would be very proud of it.

But as we all know, Kubrick's level of perfection was so high that if his own vision was to be watered down - then he would never be happy about it.

On the whole, Spartacus is an excellent film. The transfer, on the special two disc edition, is very good but what marks this edition out as the best is the plethora of extra features, which have sadly been cut down on the blu ray edition.

Why that was done is anyone's guess as Dalton Trumbo's notes (read as an audio commentary) are fascinating and at times savage in their criticism of Kubrick and others.

A great film presented in an excellent edition.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars breaking the blacklist 7 Feb 2006
By A Customer
Apart from being a visual treat, this is an important film in Hollywood history. Worth the money for the "Hollywood Ten" documentary alone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars i love it
many thanks
Published 4 days ago by Dean Evans
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
did not work
Published 16 days ago by Margaret Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm Spartacus" - We're all part of the oneness- Kubrick delivers the...
Probably the original inspiring warrior film like Braveheart, Gladiator and V for Vendetta.
It's all about showing your backbone "I'm Spartacus". Read more
Published 28 days ago by R.Potter
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 1 month ago by IAN DORAN
5.0 out of 5 stars spartacus
great film liked watching the film packed well arrived on time this is old classic film and good value for money
Published 2 months ago by gel
5.0 out of 5 stars great
brilliant film, but as we all know this, I wont review it, but I will review the blu ray. Great blu ray, good transfer and great sound. recommended.
Published 2 months ago by R. G. Hancox
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie - but Lol- it has an interval!
This is a great film. Obviously recorded from an old cinema reel as it has a musical interlude and an interval half way through. Read more
Published 3 months ago by diane allison
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Cast and Stanley Kubrick.
This is my favourite film. I love just about everything Kirk Douglas has ever done from Champion right through his briliant career. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Colin Bentley
5.0 out of 5 stars Spartacus (the 1960 film with Kirk Douglas)
Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas as the rebellious slave of the title. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. A. J. Tennant
5.0 out of 5 stars Old ones are the best
Played this to a group of 12 and 13 year olds as part of a History Film Club. They found it a bit slow, but loved the classic "I'm Spartacus" bit. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Latin Lady
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