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Spartacus [Blu-ray] [1960]

4.6 out of 5 stars 199 customer reviews

Price: £8.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov
  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • 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: 24 Jan. 2011
  • Run Time: 187 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004GCK6YS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,355 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

This presentation of the powerful film classic features an additional five minutes 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 it’s glorious height. The inspirational account of one man’s eternal struggle for freedom, Spartacus combines history with spectacle to create a moving drama of love and commitment.

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Archival Interviews
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • 5 Vintage Newsreels
  • Image Galleries

From Amazon.co.uk

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 ailing Roman Republic and its generals. 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 liberal message of freedom and civil rights, highly relevant in early-1960s USA, is still quite powerful and the all-star cast (including Charles Laughton in full toga) is full of entertaining surprises.

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 favour with his Roman superiors. The restored version also includes a formerly deleted bathhouse scene in which Laurence Olivier's patrician Crassus (with restored dialogue dubbed by Anthony Hopkins) 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I, like many other fans of this excellent 'swords and sand' (well 'Italian grass' really) classic film from 1960, bought the 50th Anniversary 'Restored' Blu-ray back in 2011 as it offered the chance to see it at it's best - it rightly won 4 Oscars....

Well, again perhaps like many, I was a little disappointed with the release as it was certainly cleaned-up, but a little dark and occasionally weirdly-'coloured'; I really should have heeded the reviews I had read beforehand !

Happily, this more recent 55th Anniversary 'Restored' Blu-ray release is what should have been on offer those few years ago - the picture is massively improved in colour and (most significantly) sharpness AND brightness PLUS we get some additional extras and a UV copy (unfortunately of the original 1991 restoration, NOT this 2015 version). For those with the audio capability, the English DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is now 7.1, instead of 'just' 5.1....

I got it in the Amazon '2 for £10' offer, late Jan 2016 - the apparent popularity of this release has made the latest offer for it appear in the worse-value '3 for £20' offer....

The film is well explained on the Amazon synopsis, EXCEPT there's no mention of the fact that initially (about the first week apparently !) the film was directed by Anthony Mann - but he was summarily sacked by Kirk Douglas, the film's 'star' and ultimate producer (since he owned the production company).....

So, Stanley Kubrick was then employed and I think many might not realise this is a film of his, as it's quite different from the other classics he went on to produce...
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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
At last SPARTACUS gets the restoration it so richly deserves on this new 55th anniversary edition. It is such a vast improvement on the 50th anniversary edition and you have to wonder why they released it in the first place when with time and effort they are able to produce such a marvellous transfer.Anyone who did buy the 50th anniversary edition has every right to feel they have been ripped off because we all expect the best possible transfer when we by a Blu ray otherwise whats the point you may as well buy the cheaper dvd.Nevertheless I would highly recommend they buy this latest version and discard the older blu ray, they wont be sorry.
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By Picard TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 April 2012
Format: Blu-ray
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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The definitive restoration of an epic masterpiece. This new 4k scan delivers levels of detail which are exceptional as well as colours which vibrant and contrast that is distinct. The Colour palettes for the slave costumes consist largely of dull greys, browns emphasizing the more earthy quality of the slave rebellion over the imperial red of Rome.

The story follows Spartacus, a slave being trained as a gladiator for the pleasure of his roman masters, however when he escapes he leads a revolt which threatens the foundations of the entire Roman Empire.
Spartacus is no beast out to butcher however, following his escape from slavery, but rather a leader of fellow slaves striving to secure their freedom. The opposition opposing him is made up of slightly frisky effeminate roman leaders who are contrasted with the wholesome masculine Spartacus, I couldn't help but feel this would have gone down well with the US audience of the time.
Booming scores burst out of the speakers as we follow our rag tag rebels across Italy in some sweeping cinematography involving thousands of extras, the sort of thing you rarely if ever see on the big screen these days without it being CGI.

I cannot recommend the 55th anniversary restored addition Blu Ray enough, you get the combination of a great story presented with a restored picture that must rank among some of the finest film restoration ever undertaken.
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