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4.6 out of 5 stars192
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 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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on 24 September 2012
Spartacus is my favorite historical epic from classic Hollywood. It's not very historically accurate but it doesn't really matter if you want to see entertaining movie with great characters, stellar cast and impressive sets and costumes. Also helps the fact that this isn't a christian morality tale that mostly plagued historical epics from the 50's and 60's. Spartacus is good introduction to the genre and in my opinion it's easily the one of the best.

This is the restored and uncut version of the film. The video and audio is as good as you get for a 50 year old movie. Don't expect anything groundbreaking. The extra features are some what limited. The highlights include 2 commentary tracks and a 24 minute long interview with Peter Ustinov, promotional materials, storyboards, deleted scenes and a 1960 documentary The Hollywood Ten. They should have made this a 3 disc set to give more extra content. Peter Ustinov interview and commentary tracks are the best part of it. They give enough insight in the production, behind the scenes and the overall politics of Hollywood. Overall this is a great purchase if you love historical epics from Classic Hollywood or are big Kirk Douglas, Peter Ustinov or Stanley Kubrick fan.
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on 3 March 2014
Just bought the poster series blu ray edition hoping it was a remastered edition only to find its the old blu ray from the 50th anniversary set in a new box ! Come on people, this is supposed to be celebrating 100 years of the studio so give us a proper blu ray edition. Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments have all been released in superb quality so whats taking so long with Spartacus? I gave it five stars because its just a timeless classic that just getes better with each viewing.
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on 27 January 2016
I've owned three versions of this and this edition is certainly the best of them, a quite stunning restoration. My only gripe is the scene access is not as comprehensive as it should be and the extras are far less than the Criterion release, which until this restored disc was the definitive film version. I'll be keeping the Criterion edition that has served me so well for the extras but this disc is something to behold.
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on 7 February 2006
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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on 8 March 2016
just arrived and got it straight into player. Wow what a picture this 55th Anniversary release is quite something to behold. Played my 50th Ann copy for few minutes and then the new restored copy. Almost like watching new movie. Really impressed. Would recommend this to all film buffs.The colours are fantastic and sound good too. Buy this one folks. My 4k tv is really coming into its own now
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on 7 August 2011
This is a review of the blu-ray edition on sale in the UK.

The transfer is for the most part, excellent. There are some moments where there appears to be a bit of layer damage that contributes to a very red tinge for a few seconds only, but this is nothing like as prevalent as suggested by another reviewer, and certainly not serious enough to spoil anyone's enjoyment. The sound is excellent, and particularly showcases Alex North's justly celebrated music. As for the "softness" - all I could see was that in what I think was a somewhat outdated technique even in 1960, shots of Jean Simmons seem to have been done in soft focus, which then contrasts very sharply with other shots of the scene. But generally, the film is sharp and clear.

As for the film itself, it has some terrific performances. Charles Laughton's manipulative senator is a particular highlight. I had also not realised quite how sensitive an actor "tough guy" Kirk Douglas was. But the film is stolen by Peter Ustinov, whose Oscar was justly deserved.

Many of the techniques used are obviously dated when viewed against more recent films. Accept the film in its own era, however, and this remains one of the benchmarks for telling an epic story. Stanley Kubrick had his own reasons to disown the film, but he could just as well have been proud of it.
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on 11 January 2002
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
defeated
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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VINE VOICEon 22 April 2014
Like many others I hesitated in buying the SPARTACUS Blu-ray due to the countless negative comments regarding the picture quality. So, without any fuss, let me spell it out - the Blu-ray is miles better than the grainy DVD, but - compared to something like CLEOPATRA - it's not the best Blu-ray out there. It's certainly worth upgrading for, however, and you will notice a vast improvement. Being reasonably cheap makes this a better alternative than the pretty naff DVD - but if you have a special edition DVD of SPARTACUS then keep it for the extras as this Blu-ray is rather lacking in that department. Swings and roundabouts.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 October 2015
Being handed the 'gift’ of the epic Spartacus after each of David Lean and Anthony Mann had proved 'fruitless’ might have been regarded as something of a 'poison chalice’ for the 30-year Stanley Kubrick, particularly given the limited budgets the film-maker had hitherto worked with, but Kubrick makes a pretty good fist of it with this spectacular 1960 production. Spartacus may (for me, at least) be one of Kubrick’s least distinctive pictures (the run of films surrounding it – Paths of Glory, Lolita, Dr Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange – are certainly more innovative), but its tale of Kirk Douglas’ rebellious titular slave, whether it be a metaphor for anti-communist Hollywood witch-hunts (blacklisted Dalton Trumbo wrote the film’s screenplay), the civil rights movement or biblical suffering, provides many spectacular set-pieces, some outstanding acting performances and (eventually) a sharp tug on the emotional heartstrings.

Acting-wise, whilst Douglas 'does a Douglas’ – a dimpled, fearless, stern-faced hunk of beefsteak (there are many glistening male torsos here, upping the homoerotic undertones) – I can’t look much beyond the outstanding pairing of Laurence Olivier’s cold-hearted, megalomaniac, Crassus, and Charles Laughton’s phlegmatic veteran, Gracchus, between whose jealous rivalry the film plays out a battle for the power and prestige of the Roman Empire. Elsewhere, Peter Ustinov also impresses as the lacklustre Batiatus, whilst Jean Simmons provides the film’s formulaic romantic thread via her performance as Varinia – Tony Curtis’ Bronx drawl, however, provides a casting-stretch too far as the Sicilian(!) singer and juggler, Antoninus.

Of course, the film is never less than spectacular, particularly during the final monumental battle sequence, for which Russell Metty’s cinematography deservedly won the Oscar. There are also spectacular fight sequences as Spartacus takes on Woody Strode’s fellow slave, Draba (rather him than me!), and as the slaves initially rebel – a sequence which features the cinematic first of a man being drowned in a vat of Oxtail soup (a moment at which you could perhaps be forgiven for thinking we’d been switched to watching Carry On Cleo).

At three hours twenty minutes duration interest invariably wanes from time to time but, whilst (in terms of epics) I would have a preference for Laurence Of Arabia or The Leopard, Kubrick’s film has enough plus points to certainly warrant a viewing (for those patient enough).
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