Talk:Spartacus (film)

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Former good article nomineeSpartacus (film) was a Media and drama good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
June 17, 2006Good article nomineeNot listed
June 21, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
Current status: Former good article nominee

Historical Inaccuracies[edit]

I am wondering why "slavery" in the next to last bullet is linked to an external page. Shouldn't it link to the Wikipedia entry on slavery? Perhaps the external link should be footnoted, or entirely removed. joplju —Preceding undated comment was added at 07:50, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


By the way, the film is infamous in cineaste circles for its many goofs and historical misses. For instance, the map of Italy in one scene is far more modern-looking and right than any ancient survey map would have been, and in one scene where the slaves and Romans are fighting, a pick-up van is clearly seen driving along the road on the hillside in the background... Strausszek (talk) 16:03, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Spoiler Alert[edit]

Does anyone else agree that a "spoiler alert" on this film is unwarranted (it's not a twist-ending thriller or mystery whodunnit).

This, to me, is tantamount to putting a "spoiler alert" on Oliver Stone's JFK to reveal that he was asassinated or on The Passion to reveal HE was hung at the end. -- Zosodada

Dialogue Issue[edit]

By rhetorical I was trying to say that the discussion as a whole was (on one level) a logical argument. Since we can't agree on where the word rhetorical fits in, I'm happy to leave it out.

Regarding this being an "attempted seduction", that seems like a strong interpretation. The scene seems to me more like Crassus feeling out Antoninus to see if there is any interest, not as a full-on attempt to woo Antoninus into bed.

The interpretation that it is a seduction scene is pretty widely held. I agree with you that the discussion involves a "logical" argument, but that does not make it rhetorical. In no way is the discussion as a whole rhetorical. Slrubenstein
Fair enough. I don't feel strongly enough to try to find another way to rephrase this. I do feel the article is improved by quoting the dialogue in question, as it lets the reader interpret what is going on for themself.
It had be be left open to interpretation due to then-current censorship practices. Mkweise
I have no objection to including the dialogue -- and it is true that the scene works through innuendo. But it really is a common interpretation: I just used google to find online reviews and these were the first two:
From TVGuide online: "The restorers took advantage of this opportunity to insert some footage that was considered too suggestive for the film's initial release, a thinly-veiled attempted seduction of Curtis by Olivier."
From Epinions review: "The bloodiest battle scenes were restored as were the scenes of Laurence Olivier doing the infamous homosexual seduction in the baths."
and this was maybe the fourth or fifth review: From Thebigpicturedvd.com: "This attempt at seduction provides Antoninus urgent incentive to flee from Crassus and join the revolt against him." Slrubenstein
The soundtrack to the seduction scene was lost. For the reissue Curtis had to re-dub the lines alongside another actor whose name I've forgotten impersonating Olivier. Anyone happen to remember who? --Lee M
It was Anthony Hopkins. RickK 02:11 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Right. Now how could I forget that? Lee M 01:59, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)
While I think the conversation is clearly about bisexuality I think linking "eating oysters" to the cunnilingus article and "eating snails" to the fellatio article is way more direct than anything in the movie. It's ridiculous. Gripdamage (talk) 20:22, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Snails and olives[edit]

I remember dragging the SO to see the full version in London some years ago. I remember the comparison being made between green and black olives. Perhaps there were several version? ExpatEgghead 11:11, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Inaccuracy?[edit]

At present the article says under trhe deading "Historical inaccuracies" - In the opening of the film, Spartacus is shown performing labor on what appears to be a rock quarry. Most slaves in ancient Rome worked in agricultural environments. - If most worked in agircultural environments then by implication some worked in other environment including breaking rocks. Is the author suggesting that slaves weren't used in quaries? I can't see how this can be called an historical inaccuracy. I'm removing it. Jooler 23:18, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Versions/Plot[edit]

I added a section header for "Versions" that seems appropriate. It could use a Plot description, don't you think? I would do it, but film buff that I am, this is one I haven't seen. John 01:38, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

other[edit]

Now in the Plot Summary they, like, call Sicilians Cicilians. Which happen to be a type of bug or crestacion or wha-ever (it really doesn't matter. Bt I don't want to change because it might have, like, some sort of reason.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.16.183.162 (talkcontribs)

Because they're not Sicilians. They're Cilicians. ....(Complain)(Let us to it pell-mell) 01:38, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Failed GA[edit]

This article failed the GA noms due to lack of references and wikification. Tarret 00:29, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Gracchus[edit]

Was Gracchus a real historical figure? If not his inclusion in the movie can probably be labled a historical inaccuracy. --YankeeDoodle14 20:17, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Removing inaccuracy[edit]

I took this out

Spartacus' original escape plan did not involve Cilician pirates, but rather fleeing north to Gaul and heading to Spain to join forces with another Roman rebel, Quintus Sertorius, a partisan of Gaius Marius's still fighting the government instituted by Sulla. It is widely believed that the German and Gallic parts of the army (under their own leaders) wanted to keep fighting the Romans, and that his own men wanted to turn south and loot the Roman countryside further.
  1. The deal with the Cilician Pirates is mentioned in Plutarch's Life of Crassus, 10:1-3. It may not have been the orginal plan - but given that Plutarch also describes the slaves defeating several armies, being clear to escape north over the Alps, and not doing so but going back to southern Italy, we don't know what the slaves' plans were. We don't have any accounts from their perspective after all.
  2. No historical source mentions the desire of Spartacus to join Quintus Sertorius, who was assassinated about the time that the Third Servile War was ongoing
  3. Sulla died before the events here, so it is doubtful that Sertorius was still fighting Sulla's government. Sertorius was in fact trying to avoid being re-conquered by Pompey.
  4. There is no historical account which mentions the "German and Gallic parts" under Crixus specifically "split off" and wanted to stay and keep raiding. This is an interpretation of several mentioned events (including a mention by Plutarch that some of his men wanted to stay and keep raiding), but this is nowhere specifically stated - other interpretations also exist.

Vedexent 22:31, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

"I'm Spartacus"[edit]

I've heard that there is a parody of the "I'm Spartacus" scene in the movie In & Out, in which a high school English teacher is revealed to be homosexual, and when he is making a speech (or something) all of the students and parents start shouting out, "I'm gay!" Anyone seen this and can add it to the article? --Kainino 07:10, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


Worth including the 'No, I'm Kirk Douglas' son' heckle?: http://qi.com/talk/viewtopic.php?start=0&t=3334

What is the best heckle you've ever seen?

A: Clearly there is no ‘right’ answer to this, however top points must go to the audience at London’s Comedy Store when faced with a dire routine by the late Eric Douglas, son of Spartacus star Kirk and half brother of Michael.

According to an eye witness, comedian Mickey Hutton, (who mentioned the experience in a Sun newspaper article on 14 May 1999), Eric Douglas ‘lost it on stage’.

"I'm Kirk Douglas' son," Eric screamed in retaliation to the audience’s heckles. In response one audience member stood up and said: ‘No, I'm Kirk Douglas's son!", then another, and another until the whole audience where shouting: ‘No, I’m Kirk Douglas’s son!’.

137.222.142.27 (talk) 09:32, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

"I'm Spartacus" section[edit]

Is there any reason to keep the "I'm Spartacus" section out of the article? Most kids and teens, today, have the first contact with the movie by watching the parodies and asking their parents why they are laughing - and then they can be motivated to watch the movie (been there - done that). Albmont (talk) 13:37, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I think you are referring to this deletion, which I agree is excessive. The section contained far too many "in popular culture" spottings, but the Spartacus moment is an identified trope which is now referred to outside of fiction, and it is at least demonstrated (if not adequately sourced) in the Prince Harry story. I'm restoring the top half of this section, but leaving out the IPC spottings, which are unencyclopedic trivia. (TV Tropes Wiki would be a good place for this stuff.)
Incidentally, a Google search on "I'm Spartacus" points to this article—redirects to this article from Spartacus moment, I'm Spartacus!, I'm Spartacus and I am Spartacus probably help—so those kids & teens will have little trouble looking it up. / edg 14:20, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Uh, no. Tvtropes is not a reliable source. Yworo (talk) 05:09, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Detail in "I am Spartacus!" section[edit]

There has been some editing on this section of the article recently. I found the examples listed in paragraphs to be quite awkward as they were written together in sentences and paragraphs with no apparently logical grouping and in no particular order, so I converted the examples to a bulleted list in chronological order and added some additional information and reference. However, Yworo has objected to the verifiability of the references, deleted almost all of the examples and reverted to writing in prose. I have, in the meantime, revised the earlier version to include additional detail and sources, as can be found at User:Sroc/Spartacus building on the work of those before me, so it is there if anyone wishes to restore some of these examples, and there are additional links going to the notability of the scene generally. sroc (talk) 04:42, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

I think we should present only a few major examples and refer the reader to sources where they can find more as I have done. If a bulleted list is needed, there are either too many examples being given and/or too much detail is being given for minor examples. If minor examples are to be included, they should just be listed, not explained. Please note that these sorts of sections are never intended to be a list of every possible reference ever made, but rather a list of the more notable examples of such references. The bulleted list style encourages people to come by and add yet another and another uncited trivial mention to the list thinking it is supposed to be comprehensive. That's why the bulleted style should not be used. Yworo (talk) 04:45, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I have noticed more examples creeping in and crowding this section with more trivia, which as Yworo has rightly pointed out, is to be avoided. I have therefore removed the more recent/less notable examples and summarised the section, which already includes references to reliable sources for lists of further examples.[1]
Please do not add any new examples unless they are notable and are referenced with reliable sources. Thank you. sroc (talk) 14:16, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

"Critics such as Roger Ebert have argued that the film has flaws which have caused it to become severely dated." If the critical argument is not given, nor a reference, the claim that the film is "severely dated" does not make any sense. The 'authority' of an 'acclaimed' critic is not enough. --Olaf g (talk) 09:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


Reading this section looks like this is a minor movie. Spartacus deserves a better article.

Fair use rationale for Image:Spartacuscast.JPG[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 05:27, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Strode spartacus.JPG[edit]

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Image:Strode spartacus.JPG is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 06:18, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


Action-adventure-Biography...[edit]

I understand this film falls into a number of different genres, but the number of categories in the first line of the article is ridiculous. It's absolutely comical, and looks as if it was a vandals doing just for the long-windedness of it. Any solutions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.253.128.49 (talk) 01:03, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Could we just call it an Epic / Historical Epic (that sort or covers everything). Tomgreeny (talk) 08:33, 25 April 2008 (UTC)


I'm Brian![edit]

I added this under the I'm Spartacus section as arguably one of the most high-profile parodies of the line. But shortly afterwards, it (and a couple of other things) was deleted with the explanation "deleted odd stuff". I must highly contest this edit - the Life of Brian is subtly parodying Spartacus all the way through (look at the bit when his girlfriend finds Brian on the cross, says that she admires his sacrifice and leaves him there) and remains something like the number one British comedy ever according to voters. i'd just revert the edit, personally, but I think that's not the best way to go and I'd like another opinion first. Fuzzibloke (talk) 19:23, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Actually, the whole section needs to come out. It's not referenced, trivial and unencyclopedic. Honestly, I took the paragraph out and didn't realize there was so much more there about the line. Feelf free to put it back in, but I'm going to tag the rest of it as uncited trivia and it will either be referenced or be deleted. The other stuff which I removed, placed after the reference section, was a badly written retelling of something already included in the article.

Wildhartlivie (talk) 20:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Gotcha. Thanks for that. I believe the debate about whether the section should be there at all has already been done. But it could do with work. I'll return the "I'm Brian!" bit, BUT cite my source. Is that alright with everyone? Fuzzibloke (talk) 13:11, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Help[edit]

I have just watched the excellent 1989 re-release on DVD but I'm confused. The well-known Khatchaturian "Spartacus Theme" was entirely absent. Did I miss something? Was the music changed in the re-release? There seems to be no mention of Khatchaturian on the sleeve notes. Peter Maggs (talk) 10:55, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

I have now worked this out. The well-known "Spartacus" theme is, of course from the ballet by Khatchaturian, music made popular in the UK by its use as the theme music for the Onedin Line. Frequent replays on the radio as The Spartacus Theme led me to associate it with the film rather than the ballet. Peter Maggs (talk) 11:40, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Kirk Douglas and Ben Hur[edit]

Does the author of the article know of any references to support the oft repeated story that Douglas was partly drawn to Spartacus to make up for losing the role of Ben Hur? I've read the same story many times but have never found any hard evidence.

144.173.6.74 (talk) 16:18, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Authorship[edit]

I notice that there is no mention of Gore Vidal's uncredited role as screenwriter in this article. Has this already been discussed?

Postdarwin (talk) 21:21, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Spartacus (2004 film) which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RM bot 05:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Spartacus (TV mini-series) which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RM bot 20:01, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Filming and Music sections[edit]

God, these are horrible. First, the music section is like a bad high school essay. No citations, very POV, extremely poor prose. Then the Filming section is riddled crap like: "Kubrick insisted on shoot the big battle scenes on location in Spain." No he didn't, this was an entirely fiducial decision due to availability of cheap extras with military training in Franco's Spain. Christ... 67.190.86.13 (talk) 04:03, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Material[edit]

In February 1959, Kubrick received a phone call from Kirk Douglas asking him to direct Spartacus (1960), based on the true life story of the historical figure and the events of the Third Servile War. Douglas had acquired the rights to the novel by Howard Fast and blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo began penning the script.[1] It was produced by Douglas, who also starred as rebellious slave Spartacus, and cast Laurence Olivier as his foe, the Roman general and politician Marcus Licinius Crassus. Douglas hired Kubrick for a reported fee of $150,000 to take over direction soon after he fired director Anthony Mann.[2] Kubrick had, at 31, already directed four feature films, and this became his largest by far, with a cast of over 10,000 and large budget of $6 million.[a][1] At the time this was the most expensive film ever made in America, and Kubrick became the youngest director in Hollywood history to helm an epic.[4] It was the first time that Kubrick filmed using anamorphic 35mm horizontal Super Technirama process to achieve ultra-high definition, which allowed him to capture large panoramic scenes, including one with 8,000 trained soldiers from Spain representing the Roman army.[b] Disputes broke out during the filming. Kubrick complained about not having full creative control over the artistic aspects, insisting on improvising extensively during the production.[6] He wanted to shoot at a slow pace of two camera set-ups a day, but the studio insisted that he do 32; a compromise of eight had to be made.[7] Stills cameraman William Read Woodfield questioned the casting and acting abilities of some of the actors such as Timothy Carey,[8] and cinematographer Russell Metty disagreed with Kubrick's use of light, threatening to quit, but later muted his criticisms after winning the Oscar for Best Cinematography.[9] Conflicts with Douglas also broke out over the screenplay, and Kubrick angered Douglas when he cut all but two of his lines from the opening 30 minutes.[10] Despite the on-set troubles, Spartacus was a critical and commercial success, earning $14.6 million at the box office in its first run.[6] The film established Kubrick as a major director, receiving six Academy Award nominations and winning four, and ultimately convinced him that if so much could be made of such a problematic production, he could achieve anything.[11] Spartacus marked the end of the working relationship between Kubrick and Douglas.[c] Douglas later stated: "You don't have to be a nice person to be extremely talented. You can be a shit and be talented and, conversely, you can be the nicest guy in the world and not have any talent. Stanley Kubrick is a talented shit."[12] Dr. Blofeld (talk) 18:49, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ a b Duncan 2003, p. 59.
  2. ^ Baxter 1997, p. 130.
  3. ^ a b Baxter 1997, p. 151.
  4. ^ Baxter 1997, p. 2.
  5. ^ Baxter 1997, p. 140.
  6. ^ a b Duncan 2003, p. 62.
  7. ^ Baxter 1997, p. 3.
  8. ^ Baxter 1997, p. 99.
  9. ^ Duncan 2003, p. 61.
  10. ^ Baxter 1997, p. 135.
  11. ^ Baxter 1997, p. 149.
  12. ^ a b LoBrutto 1999, p. 193.

2015 Restoration[edit]

The current version asserts that the 2015 restoration was made "from a 6K scan of the 1991 reconstructed version of the film" but I believe that is incorrect. A review of the DVD in French[1] states twice that the 6K scan was made of the original Technirama negative, and then the restored version was edited identically to the 1991 cut. Unfortunately the press release from Universal Studios refers to it as "a new extensive restoration of the 1991 reconstructed version of the film" which is ambiguous, but might well be interpreted as meaning that the 2015 restoration team was working from a scan of what was produced in 1991. I would tend to trust the accuracy of what is stated in ON Magazine, until a more authoritative citation can be found. Mathew5000 (talk) 23:36, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Jihelbey (2015-11-23). "Actus Blu-Ray/DVD « Spartacus » (édition du 55e anniversaire) sublimé par sa nouvelle restauration 4K". ON Magazine (in French). Retrieved 2016-03-07.
Since the ambiguous version seems to have no citation, and you seem to have more than one, I would say change it. Dhtwiki (talk) 05:56, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
I've only got one citation, the one in French. I believe it is probably correct but I'm not certain. If it is correct, then surely the information is somewhere online in a Reliable Source in English. Mathew5000 (talk) 21:57, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Marcus Licinius Crassus as an "arch-conservative"[edit]

I'm removing the reference to Marcus Licinius Crassus as an "arch-conservative." Arch-conservative is an undefinable term which varies by political system from place to place. Heck, I'm a conservative and I have no idea what the term means. 155.213.224.59 (talk) 14:39, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Subtext and political commentary in the film[edit]

The section about "Political commentary, Christianity, and reception" says the film suggests parallels to the U.S. anti-communist paranoia of the 1950s, the HUAC hearings and the beginnings of the black Civil Rights movement. Those seem rather remote really, especially the McCarthyism/HUAC thing. Dalton Trumbo, who wrote the script, had been blacklisted as a communist but he was not writing about himself and his accusers. The Civil Rights movement is better, but it was still at an early stage in 1958 when the script was being written. On the other hand, the film seems to have an obvious subtext relating to the wave of de-colonialization in Africa and Asia (often triggered by native armed revolts and guerrilla movements) and not least the Cuban revolution. Castro and his forces were gaining ground in Cuba as Trumbo wrote the script, Batista's flight from Havana at New Year, 1959 happened just weeks before the start of the movie shoot and the Cuban guerrilla war would have been broadly covered in some of the U.S. media at the time; both Trumbo and Kubrick would certainly have been aware of it.

Spartacus as a man isn't modeled on Fidel Castro or Che Guevara but the frame of conflicts of the film and the way it presents Spartacus' army and their egalitarian way of life - exploited slaves/landless farmhands, coloured people and workers trying to overthrow a posh, somewhat decadent upper-class order and restoring a way of life under the signs of freeedom, courage and a romantic return to nature - look very close to how the Cuban revolution and similar movements were being reported and described at the time. Strausszek (talk) 15:36, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

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