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Spartacus (50th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]

561 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Spartacus, the genre-defining epic from director Stanley Kubrick, is the legendary tale of a bold gladiator (Kirk Douglas) who led a triumphant Roman slave revolt. Filmed in glorious Technicolor, the action-packed spectacle won four Academy Awards including Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Featuring a cast of screen legends such as Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, Jean Simmons, John Gavin and Tony Curtis, this uncut and fully restored masterpiece is an inspirational true account of man's eternal struggle for freedom.

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Interview with Peter Ustinov
  • Interview with Jean Simmons
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Vintage Newsreels
  • Theatrical
  • Production Stills
  • Concept Art
  • Costume Designs
  • Saul Bass Storyboards
  • Posters & Print Ads
  • My Scenes
  • BD-Live

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov
    • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), French (DTS 5.1)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: All Regions
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010
    • Run Time: 197 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (561 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0039ZBM64
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,926 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    165 of 182 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 6, 2003
    Format: DVD
    If you're a fan of the movie "Spartacus", this is the version to get; the Universal DVD is as bare bones as they get with just the movie. The Criterion version looks great. The facelift the film received help return much of its luster. Kubrick later disowned his version of the epic Hollywood Sword & Sandal genre, but Kubrick brings much of his sensibility to bear; the fight sequences and epic vistas bring to mind Kubrick's work on Paths of Glory and 2001. True, this isn't a complete Kubrick picture; Kubrick had nothing to do with the screenplay and Douglas had all but cast the picture in collaboration with director Anthony Mann (dismissed after butting heads with Douglas one too many times).

    Is it Kubrick's finest film? Well, frankly no it isn't. It's an interesting mishmash between Kubrick's detached, ironic style and Hollywood glitz. Spartacus is Kubrick for people who don't care for Kubrick's detached style. It doesn't measure up to Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001 or A Clockwork Orange although it does compare favorable to the much darker Paths of Glory.

    Kubrick stated that his intent at the time was to subvert the cliches of the genre. As a result, Kubrick manages to reinvent a genre that was in danger of becoming a parody of itself. As a collaborative effort, Spartacus is a great piece of entertainment and far more sophisticated than almost everything else that came out of Hollywood at the time.

    The transfer is beautiful with much of Kubrick's bold use of color restored. The strong acting of most of the cast has always been a virtue of Sparatcus. The soundtrack has been meticulously transferred to 5.1 and Alex North's beatiful score has never sounded so sweet, tragic and powerful before.
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    70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 2001
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Long before Russell Crowe picked up his sword and battled corrupt Roman emperors, Kirk Douglas showed him the way in "Spartacus". This epic 1960 film still ranks as one of the best performances in Douglas's distinguished career, and it marked his second collaboration with famed director Stanley Kubrick. Even more than "Gladiator", "Spartacus" is based on a real historical event, although it greatly exaggerates the actual history. Spartacus was a Roman slave in the first century AD who became a gladiator for the Romans, but then escaped and formed an enormous army (estimated at anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000) of freed slaves and gladiators. For the next year this army, under Spartacus's leadership, terrorized the Italian countryside, until they were finally trapped and destroyed in battle with the still-powerful Roman Army.

    As an old-fashioned Hollywood epic, "Spartacus" doesn't disappoint the viewer - there are epic battle scenes, high drama, and some great acting by several Hollywood legends. Interestingly, the film's producers felt that the contrast between the slave-gladiators and their corrupt Roman masters would be given greater contrast if they cast British actors (Sir Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, Charles Laughton) as the leading Roman characters, and American actors as the slaves (Douglas, Tony Curtis, Jean Simmons). All of the actors listed above shine in this film - Olivier simply drips with menace and hypocrisy as the great Roman General Crassus, who will stop at nothing to crush the slave revolt and bring the entire Roman Empire under his personal control. Laughton is delightful as Gracchus, a fat and somewhat corrupt, but also clever and freedom-loving, Roman Senator who loathes Crassus.
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    138 of 156 people found the following review helpful By Connor Kilpatrick on June 10, 2010
    Format: Blu-ray
    Great movie. Horrible, horrible blu-ray. Maybe the worst blu-ray disc I've seen. Do not buy, wait for a recall. It's so blatantly awful even non-cinephiles will notice.

    Here's the main problem: most all the film grain and fine detail have been completely wiped out in a clumsy attempt to remove video noise. Which begs the question: so what's the point of owning it on blu-ray?

    What's worse is that it didn't have to be this way. But I guess this is what happens when an indifferent media conglomerate has complete control over a masterpiece. Check out Robert Harris's (the man who restored the film years ago) extremely negative review of this blu-ray on the web. I thought maybe he was overdoing it a bit, but no. It's even worse than he says. If you have the Criterion DVDSpartacus - Criterion Collection, just hang on to it for now.
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    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    ***October 2015 Update***

    Universal's 2010 release of this film on Blu-Ray was a piece of garbage. My review below was made on a 52" screen.I've since created a projection room in my home and watch on a 100" screen. The flaws of that 2010 disc are so glaringly obvious now that it defies belief that Universal even released it.

    Well, Universal has gone back and restored Spartacus from a fresh 6k scan of the 35mm Technirama color separates. They've cleaned up the print of dirt and scratches and color corrected the whole film. They've created new 5.1 and 7.1 channel HD audio mixes.

    In short, the results speak for themselves. Detail is superb. Individual grains of sand, facial pores (which were almost entirely absent in the 2010 craporama), skin creases, very light film grain, it's all here. And it's blissfully free of any evident DNR or edge enhancement. Colors pop but not unnaturally so. Black levels are strong and stable but not crushed. In a word, superlative. In more than one word, ravishing, transporting, reminds the viewer of how magical watching a movie can be.

    I am bumping my rating up to 4 stars. But I can't in good conscience go with 5, because of the history. Universal owes its customers an apology, if not a refund for the travesty they foisted upon them in 2010. I doubt we'll see any of it (they have not replied to my customer service query about a refund or disc exchange). But this disc is at least a good start.


    Do not under any circumstances buy the 2010 edition of this movie.
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    Topic From this Discussion
    Is Criterion going to release Spartacus on blu ray?
    I do wish Criterion, or someone, would get the rights to this fabulous movie and do a proper transfer. Anyone who has ever seen the original 70mm print of Spartacus will be disgusted by the truly awful transfer Universal made of this, one of their all-time best and most expensive productions. The... Read More
    Mar 13, 2013 by Jon Lidolt |  See all 4 posts
    additional languages & subtitles?
    I live in France. This fantastic 50 years old Blu-Ray is ZONED !!! and we cannot get it in France, it is not released. Crazy politic...
    Nov 19, 2010 by Raymond Ackaouy |  See all 2 posts
    Spartacus Blu-Ray Edition
    May 14, 2010 by M. Hafner |  See all 9 posts
    Deleted Scenes?
    All I know is that a lot of battle scenes were deleted from the original movie. Hopefully these are back in this digital version.
    Aug 29, 2010 by Robea |  See all 2 posts
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