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Spartacus

3.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In 72 B.C. the Roman Empire swept through Europe, conquering countries and selling their citizens into slavery. One slave dared to take a stand: Spartacus. After witnessing his father's brutal murder and being sold into slavery, Spartacus (Goran Visnjic) vows to one day live as a free man. Leading 80 fellow slaves in a coordinated revolt, Spartacus and his men flee into the mountains. Alarmed by the growing slave insurrection, Roman politicians and generals vow to stop Spartacus at all costs. In the final battle of slaves versus Romans, Spartacus' epic fight for freedom becomes the stuff of legend.

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Goran Visnjic
    • Directors: Robert Dornhelm
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      NR
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2004
    • Run Time: 177 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0002PYTB4
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,941 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Spartacus" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Brian E. Erland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 8, 2006
    Format: DVD
    'Spartacus' the '04 mini-series starring Goran Visnjic (who?) as Spartacus leads a cast of even lesser known names in a surprisingly good retelling of the famous slave rebellion against Rome, circa first century BC. Almost three hours long, 177 minutes to be exact, the storyline is consistently enjoyable throughout and the allotted viewing time passes quickly.

    Plot: A band of gladiator slaves rebel against their masters, first destroying the gladiator school and then the local garrison of Roman troops. As the slave army roams the countryside they attract more slaves to their cause and their numbers multiply. Repeated attempts are made by Rome to destroy the rebels but against all odds the slaves win victory after victory. That is until Spartacus plans for a sea escape are thwarted and all the might of the Roman Empire are summoned to squash the insurrection.

    Surprises: I was surprised to see that two of my favorite scenes in the original '60 epic were not included in the mini-series. However, In spite of there absence the film doesn't suffer from their exclusion. This is all in all an excellent production that deserves to be seen.

    Cast: Goran Visnjic does a masterful job at balancing the emotive, warlike nature of Spartacus with the more sensitive, cerebral longings of the legendary warrior, while Rhona Mitra as his love interest Varinia displays a much more aggressive, firey nature than we've come to expect from the original Varinia played by Jean Simmons. Rhona is absolutely magnificent! James Frain gives a fantastic performance as well in the role of David, Spartacus second in command. Also strong performances by Angus Macfadyen as Marcus Crassus and my daughter's favorite Paul Telfer as Gannicuc.
    4 Comments 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    The rationale for turning Stanley Kubrick's 1960 film "Spartacus" into a two-part television mini-series was that this time the production would be more faithful to Howard Fast's novel. Given that the Spartacus revolt is a part of Roman history it would make more sense to try and be more faithful to that actual history than a fictional novel, but that is going to have to wait for another day and it just might take a while for Hollywood to want to revisit this story. The chief attraction of Fast's novel, in contrast to the historical record, would seem to be the happy ending that is provided by virtue of Spartacus having a child who survives his death and is raised free.

    What we believe we know about the real Spartacus is that he was born free in Thrace and may have served as an auxiliary in the Roman army in Macedonia. However, he deserted, lived as an outlaw, was captured, sold into slavery, and ended up being trained at the gladiatorial school of Batiatus in Capua. In 73 B.C.E. Spartacus escaped with 70-80 other gladiators and camped on Vesuvius, where they were joined by other slaves who ran away from their masters and began plundering and pillaging the region. Spartacus wanted to escape Italy by crossing the Alpus, but the slaves from Gaul and Germany wanted to stay in southern Italy and continuing the plundering and pillaging. That first year Spartacus and his men defeated a force of 3,000 raw recruits led by Cladius Glaber and then two forces of legionary cohorts. In 72 B.C.E. Spartacus had an army of approximately 70,000 slaves and the Roman Senate sent two consuls, Publicola and Lentulus, with two legions each against the rebels. Publicola defeated the Gauls and Germans, and Crixus was killed.
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    2 Comments 87 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    This new rendition of 'Spartacus' provides a more accurate depiction of the Roman Slave Revolt that took place between 73-71 B.C. but is horribly lacking in script and acting: something to be expected from a TV miniseries I suppose.

    Goran Visnjic as Spartacus simply fails to leave any memorable impression. His voice is so passive and unengaging, and his face so placid, that he hardly passes for a charismatic leader who commanded over 100,000 people. The character follows the positive comments by classical sources on the real Spartacus as having been a skilled commander and humane leader. There is little information on Spartacus however and really no information on his origins. Rome had been in an ongoing civil and foreign wars in which slaves were routinely used as auxillaries. Such auxillaries were commonly used to carry out indiscriminate massacres by their leaders such as Sulla or Marius because they were more expendable if popular sentiment became too hostile. Being an adult in these times, Spartacus may have been among such groups of men and not so much the saintly Marxist hero fighting for the laborer portrayed by Fast. As for Crassus, Angus Macfadyen is diappointing but the fault lies more with the screenplay and script. He plays Crassus as if he were a rich snob who's obsessed with power. Marcus Licinius Crassus was very rich but hardly a snob. Plutarch describes Crassus as affable and modest: a man who would talk to persons high and low with tact and politeness. Generous to others, he acquired influence by his vast wealth, being a court advocate, and giving loans without interest to important upstarts like Caesar from whom he could also ask for payment on demand (a traditional Roman practice seen as normal.
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