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[[File:<object width="480" height="295"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/m7bQZLtgHts&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/m7bQZLtgHts&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="295"></embed></object> ]] Maximus15 (talk) 03:29, 15 March 2009 (UTC) ]
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Promotional movie poster for the film
|Directed by||Ridley Scott|
|Produced by||Douglas Wick
|Written by||David Franzoni
|Music by||Hans Zimmer
|Edited by||Pietro Scalia|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks (USA)
Universal Studios (foreign)
|May 5, 2000|
Gladiator is a 2000 epic film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi and Richard Harris. Crowe portrays General Maximus Decimus Meridius, friend of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius who is betrayed and murdered by his ambitious son, Commodus (Phoenix). Captured and enslaved along the outer fringes of the Roman empire, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murder of his family and his Emperor.
The film won five Academy Awards in the 73rd Academy Awards ceremony, including Best Picture. The film's epic scope and intense battle scenes, as well as the emotional core of its performances, received much praise.
General Maximus Decimus Meridius leads the Roman Army to victory against Germanic barbarians in the year A.D. 180, ending a prolonged war and earning the esteem of elderly Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Although the dying Aurelius has a son, Commodus, he decides to appoint temporary leadership to the morally-upstanding Maximus, with a desire to eventually return power to the Roman Senate. Aurelius informs Maximus and offers him time to consider before informing Commodus, who, in a bout of jealousy, murders his father. Declaring himself the emperor, Commodus asks Maximus for his loyalty, which Maximus, realizing Commodus' involvement in the Emperor's death, refuses. Commodus orders Maximus' execution and dispatches Praetorian Guards to murder his wife and son. Maximus narrowly escapes his execution and races home only to discover his family's charred and crucified bodies in the smoldering ruins of his villa. After burying his wife and son, a grieving Maximus succumbs to exhaustion and collapses on their graves.
Slave traders find Maximus and take him to Zucchabar, a rugged province in North Africa, where he is purchased by Proximo, the head of a local gladiator school (and a freed gladiator himself). Distraught and nihilistic over the death of his family and betrayal by his empire, Maximus initially refuses to fight, but as he defends himself in the arena his formidable combat skills lead to a rise in popularity with the audience. As he trains and fights further, Maximus befriends Hagen, a Germanic barbarian, and Juba, a Numidian hunter, the latter becoming a close friend and confidant to the grieving Maximus, the two speaking frequently of the afterlife and Maximus' eventual reunification with his family.
In Rome, Commodus reopens the gladiatorial games to pay tribute to his father, and Proximo's company of gladiators are hired to participate. During a reenacactment of the Battle of Zama from the Second Punic War, Maximus leads Proximo's gladiators, in the guise of Hannibal's forces, to a decisive victory against a more powerful force. This happens much to the amazement of the crowd, who expected a historically accurate depiction of Rome's triumph over Carthage. Commodus descends into the arena to meet the victors and instructs "The Spaniard" to remove his helmet and tell him his name. An angry Maximus reluctantly shows his face and says, "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies in the North, General of the Felix Legions, Loyal Servant to the true Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, Husband to a murdered wife; and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." The Emperor, unable to kill Maximus because of the crowd's roaring approval for him, sulks out of the arena. As the games continue, Commodus pits Maximus against Tigris of Gaul, Rome's only undefeated gladiator, in an arena surrounded by chained tigers with handlers instructed to target Maximus. Following an intense battle, Maximus narrowly defeats Tigris and awaits Commodus' decision to kill or spare Tigris. As the audience urges for death, Commodus signals to Maximus to kill Tigris. However, Maximus spares Tigris, deliberately insulting the Emperor. Instead of booing him, the crowd cheers Maximus, bestowing him the title "Merciful". His bitter enemy now known as "Maximus the Merciful", Commodus becomes more frustrated at his inability to kill Maximus, let alone stop his ascending popularity while his own shrinks.
Following the fight, Maximus meets his former servant Cicero, who reveals that Maximus's army remains loyal to him. Maximus forms a plot with Lucilla, Commodus' sister, and Senator Gracchus to reunite Maximus with his army and overthrow Commodus. Suspecting his sister's betrayal, Commodus threatens her young son and forces her to reveal the plot. Praetorian guards immediately storm Proximo's gladiator barracks, battling the gladiators while Maximus escapes. Hagen and Proximo are killed in the siege while Juba and the survivors are imprisoned. Maximus escapes to the city walls only to witness Cicero's death and be ambushed by a legion of Praetorian guards.
Concluding that legends born in the Colosseum must die there, Commodus challenges Maximus to a duel in front of a roaring audience. Acknowledging that Maximus' skill exceeds his own, Commodus deliberately stabs Maximus with a stiletto, puncturing his lung, and has the wound concealed beneath the gladiator's armor. In the arena, the two exchange blows before Maximus rips the sword from Commodus's hands. Commodus requests a sword from his guards, but they betray him and refuse to lend him their weapons. Maximus drops his own sword, but Commodus pulls a hidden stiletto and renews his attack. Maximus then beats Commodus into submission and kills him with his own stilletto. As Commodus collapses in the now-silent Colosseum, a dying Maximus begins seeing his wife and son in the afterlife. He reaches for them, but is pulled back to reality by the Praetorian prefect Quintus, who asks for instructions. Maximus orders the release of Proximo's gladiators and Senator Gracchus, whom he reinstates and instructs to return Rome to a Senate-based government. Maximus collapses, and Lucilla rushes to his aid. After being reassured that her son is safe and Commodus is dead, Maximus dies and wanders into the afterlife to his family in the distance. Senator Gracchus and Proximo's gladiators carry his body out of the Colosseum. That night, a newly freed Juba buries Maximus' two small statues of his wife and son in the Colosseum, and says that he too will eventually join them, but not yet.
|Russell Crowe||Maximus Decimus Meridius||A Hispano-Roman general in Germania, turned slave who seeks revenge against Commodus. He had been under the favour of Marcus Aurelius, and the admiration of Lucilla prior to the events of the film. His home is near Trujillo, Spain.|
|Joaquin Phoenix||Commodus||An ambitious, insecure and ruthless young man, Commodus murders his father and also desires his own sister, Lucilla. He becomes the emperor of Rome upon his father's death.|
|Connie Nielsen||Lucilla||The older child of Marcus Aurelius, Lucilla has been recently widowed. She seems to have had a flirtation with Maximus in the past, but now tries to resist the incestuous lust of her brother while protecting her son, Lucius.|
|Djimon Hounsou||Juba||A Numidian tribesman who is taken from his home and family by slave traders, who becomes Maximus' close ally during their shared hardships.|
|Oliver Reed||Proximo||An old and gruff trader who buys Maximus in North Africa. A former gladiator himself, he was freed by Marcus Aurelius, and gives Maximus his own armor and eventually a chance at freedom.|
|Derek Jacobi||Senator Gracchus||One of the senators who opposed Commodus' leadership, who eventually agrees to aid Maximus in his overthrow of the Emperor.|
|Ralf Moeller||Hagen||A Germanian and Proximo's chief gladiator. Later befriends Maximus and Juba during their battles in Rome.|
|Spencer Treat Clark||Lucius Verus||Son of Lucilla. He admires Maximus and incurs the wrath of his uncle, Commodus, by impersonating the gladiator. Lucius is a free-spirit and seems to like his uncle at first until Commodus's true sinister nature comes to the fore.|
|Richard Harris||Marcus Aurelius||An emperor of Rome who desires a return to Republican government but is murdered by his son Commodus before his wish is fulfilled.|
|Tommy Flanagan||Cicero||A Roman soldier and Maximus' loyal servant who provides him with information while Maximus is enslaved.|
|Tomas Arana||General Quintus||Another Roman General and former friend to Maximus. Made commander of the praetorian guards by Commodus, earning his loyalty.|
|John Shrapnel||Gaius||Another senator who is in close correspondence to Gracchus.|
|David Schofield||Senator Falco||A Patrician, a senator opposed to Gracchus. Helps Commodus consolidate his power.|
|Sven-Ole Thorsen||Tigris of Gaul||An undefeated gladiator who is called out of retirement to duel Maximus.|
|David Hemmings||Cassius||Runs the gladiatorial games in the Colosseum.|
Gladiator was based on an original pitch by David Franzoni, who went on to write all of the early drafts. Franzoni was given a three-picture deal with DreamWorks as writer and co-producer on the strength of his previous work, Steven Spielberg's Amistad, which helped establish the reputation of DreamWorks SKG. Franzoni was not a classical scholar but had been inspired by Daniel P. Mannix’s 1958 novel Those About to Die and decided to choose Commodus as his historical focus after reading the Augustan History. In Franzoni's first draft, dated April 4, 1998, he named his protagonist Narcissus, after the praenomen of the wrestler who strangled Emperor Commodus to death, whose name is not contained in the biography of Commodus by Aelius Lampridius in the Augustan History. The name Narcissus is only provided by Herodian and Cassius Dio, so a variety of ancient sources were used in developing the first draft.
Ridley Scott was approached by producers Walter Parkes and David Wick. They showed him a copy of Jean-Léon Gérôme's 1872 painting entitled Pollice Verso ("Thumbs Down"). Scott was enticed by filming the world of Ancient Rome. However, Scott felt Franzoni's dialogue was too "on the nose" and hired John Logan to rewrite the script to his liking. Logan rewrote much of the first act, and made the decision to kill off Maximus' family to increase the character's motivation.
With two weeks to go before filming, the actors still complained of problems with the script. William Nicholson was brought to Shepperton Studios to make Maximus a more sensitive character, reworking his friendship with Juba and developed the afterlife thread in the film, saying "he did not want to see a film about a man who wanted to kill somebody." David Franzoni was later brought back to revise the rewrites of Logan and Nicholson, and in the process gained a producer's credit. When Nicholson was brought in, he started going back to Franzoni's original scripts and putting certain scenes back in. Franzoni helped creatively-manage the rewrites and in the role of producer he defended his original script, and nagged to stay true to the original vision. Franzoni later shared the Best Picture Oscar with producers Douglas Wick and Branko Lustig.
The screenplay faced the brunt of many rewrites and revisions due to Russell Crowe's script suggestions. Crowe questioned every aspect of the evolving script and strode off the set when he did not get answers. According to a DreamWorks executive, "(Russell Crowe) tried to rewrite the entire script on the spot. You know the big line in the trailer, 'In this life or the next, I will have my vengeance'? At first he absolutely refused to say it." Nicholson, the third and final screenwriter, says Crowe told him, “Your lines are garbage but I’m the greatest actor in the world, and I can make even garbage sound good.” Nicholson goes on to say that "probably my lines were garbage, so he was just talking straight."
[[:Image:cityrome.jpg|thumb|200px|left|One of the CGI shots of Rome]] The film was shot in three major locations between January through May in 1999. The opening battle scenes in the forests of Germania were shot over three weeks in Bourne Woods, near Farnham, Surrey in England. Subsequently, the scenes of slavery, desert travel, and gladiatorial training school were shot in Ouarzazate, Morocco just south of the Atlas Mountains for a total of three weeks. Finally, the scenes of Ancient Rome were shot over a period of nineteen weeks in Malta using a multicultural workforce whose talents were stretched to the limits.
A replica of about one-third of Rome's Colosseum was built in Malta to a height of 52 feet (15.8 meters), mostly from plaster and plywood (the other two-thirds and remaining height were added digitally). The replica took several months to build and cost an estimated $1 million. The reverse side of the complex supplied a rich assortment of Ancient Roman street furniture, colonnades, gates, statuary, and marketplaces for other filming requirements. The complex was serviced by tented "costume villages" that had changing rooms, storage, armorers and other facilities. The rest of the Colosseum was created in CG using set-design blueprints, textures referenced from live action, and rendered in three layers to provide lighting flexibility for compositing in Flame and Inferno.
British post-production company The Mill was responsible for much of the CGI effects that were added after filming. The company was responsible for such tricks as compositing real tigers filmed on bluescreen into the fight sequences, and adding smoke trails and extending the flight paths of the opening scene's salvo of flaming arrows to get around regulations on how far they could be shot during filming. They also used 2,000 live actors to create a CG crowd of 35,000 virtual actors that had to look believable and react to fight scenes. The Mill accomplished this feat by shooting live actors at different angles giving various performances, and then mapping them onto cards, with motion-capture tools used to track their movements for 3D compositing.
An unexpected post-production job was caused by the death of Oliver Reed of a heart attack during the filming in Malta before all of his scenes had been shot. The Mill created a digital body double for the remaining scenes involving his character Proximo by photographing a live action body double in the shadows and by mapping a 3D CGI mask of Reed's face to the remaining scenes during production at an estimated cost of $3.2 million for two minutes of additional footage. The film is dedicated to Reed's memory.
[[:Image:Rharris.jpg|175px|thumb|right|Marcus Aurelius, as played by Richard Harris]] The film is loosely based on real events. Although the filmmakers consulted an academic expert with knowledge of the period of the Ancient Roman empire in attempt to provide for an accurate interpretation of the time period, multiple historical deviations were added by the screenwriters.
The character of Maximus is fictional, although he is similar in some respects to the historical figures of Narcissus (the character's name in the first draft of the screenplay and the real killer of Commodus), Spartacus (who led a significant slave revolt), Cincinnatus (a farmer who became dictator, saved Rome from invasion, then resigned his 6-month appointment after fifteen days), and Marcus Nonius Macrinus (a trusted general, Consul of 154, and friend of Marcus Aurelius).
The film's plot borrows heavily from the Lone wolf and cub movie Shogun Assassin. The film's plot was influenced by two 1960s films of Hollywood's sword and sandal genre, The Fall of the Roman Empire and Spartacus. The Fall of the Roman Empire tells the story of Livius, who, like Maximus in Gladiator, is Marcus Aurelius's intended successor. Livius is in love with Lucilla and seeks to marry her while Maximus, who is happily married, was formerly in love with her. Both films portray the death of Marcus Aurelius as an assassination. In Fall of the Roman Empire a group of conspirators independent of Commodus, hoping to profit from Commodus's accession, arrange for Marcus Aurelius to be poisoned; in Gladiator Commodus himself murders his father by strangulation. In the course of Fall of the Roman Empire Commodus unsuccessfully seeks to win Livius over to his vision of empire in contrast to that of his father but continues to employ him notwithstanding; in Gladiator when Commodus fails to secure Maximus's allegiance from the start, he executes his wife and son and tries unsuccessfully to execute him. Livius in Fall of the Roman Empire and Maximus in Gladiator kill Commodus in single combat: Livius to save Lucilla and Maximus to avenge Marcus Aurelius, and both do it for the greater good of Rome.
Spartacus (1960) provides the film's gladiatorial motif, as well as the character of Senator Gracchus, a fictitious senator (bearing the name of a pair of revolutionary Tribunes from the 2nd century BC) who in both films is an elder statesman of ancient Rome attempting to preserve the ancient rights of the Roman senate in the face of an ambitious autocrat — Marcus Licinius Crassus in Spartacus and Commodus in Gladiator. Interestingly, both actors who played Gracchus (in Spartacus and Gladiator), played Claudius in previous films — Charles Laughton of Spartacus played Claudius in the 1937 film I, Claudius and Sir Derek Jacobi of Gladiator, played Claudius in the 1975 BBC adaptation. Both films also share a specific set piece, where a gladiator (Maximus here, Woody Strode's Draba in Spartacus) throws his weapon into a spectator box at the end of a match - and at least one line of dialogue: "Rome is the mob", said here by Gracchus and by Julius Caesar (John Gavin) in Spartacus.
The film's depiction of Commodus's entry into Rome borrows imagery from Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will (1934), although Ridley Scott has pointed out that the iconography of Nazi rallies was of course inspired by the Roman Empire. Gladiator reflects back on the film by duplicating similar events that occurred in Adolf Hitler's procession. The Nazi film opens with an aerial view of Hitler arriving in a plane, while Scott shows an aerial view of Rome, quickly followed by a shot of the large crowd of people watching Commodus pass them in a procession with his chariot. The first thing to appear in Triumph of the Will is a Nazi eagle, which is alluded to when a statue of an eagle sits atop one of the arches (and then shortly followed by several more decorative eagles throughout the rest of the scene) leading up to the procession of Commodus. At one point in the Nazi film, a little girl gives flowers to Hitler, while Commodus is met with several girls that all give him bundles of flowers.
The Oscar-nominated score was composed by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, and conducted by Gavin Greenaway. Lisa Gerrard's vocals are similar to her own work on The Insider score. The music for many of the battle scenes has been noted as similar to Gustav Holst's "Mars: The Bringer of War", and in June 2006, the Holst Foundation sued Hans Zimmer for allegedly copying the late Gustav Holst's work. Another close musical resemblance occurs in the scene of Commodus's triumphal entry into Rome, accompanied by music clearly evocative of two sections - the Prelude to Das Rheingold and Siegfried's Funeral March from Götterdämmerung - from Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungs. On February 27, 2001, nearly a year after the first soundtrack's release, Decca produced Gladiator: More Music From the Motion Picture. Then, on September 5, 2005, Decca produced Gladiator: Special Anniversary Edition, a two-CD pack containing both the above mentioned releases. Some of the music from the film was featured in the NFL playoffs in January 2003 before commercial breaks and before and after half-time. In 2003, Luciano Pavarotti released a recording of himself singing a song from the movie and said he regretted turning down an offer to perform on the soundtrack.
Gladiator received positive reviews, with 77% of the critics polled by Rotten Tomatoes giving it favorable reviews. The Battle of Germania was cited by CNN.com as one of their "favorite on-screen battle scenes", while Entertainment Weekly named Maximus as their sixth favorite action hero, because of "Crowe's steely, soulful performance", and named it as their third favorite revenge movie. It was not without its deriders, with Roger Ebert in particular harshly critical attacking the look of the film as "muddy, fuzzy, and indistinct." He also derided the writing claiming it "employs depression as a substitute for personality, and believes that if characters are bitter and morose enough, we won't notice how dull they are."
The film earned $34.82 million on its opening weekend at 2,938 U.S. theaters. Within two weeks, the film's box office gross surpassed its $103,000,000 budget. The film continued on to become one of the highest earning films of 2000 and made a worldwide box office gross of $457,640,427, with over $187 million in American theaters and more than $269 million overseas. In 2002, a Channel 4 (UK TV) poll named it as the sixth greatest film of all time.
The movie's mainstream success is responsible for an increased interest in Roman and classical history in the United States. According to The New York Times, this has been dubbed the "Gladiator Effect".
It's called the 'Gladiator' effect by writers and publishers. The snob in us likes to believe that it is always books that spin off movies. Yet in this case, it's the movies — most recently Gladiator two years ago —; that have created the interest in the ancients. And not for more Roman screen colossals, but for writing that is serious or fun or both."
Sales of the Cicero biography 'Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician and Gregory Hays' translation of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations received large spikes in sales after the release of the movie.
The film won five Academy Awards and was nominated for an additional seven, including Best Supporting Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Director for Ridley Scott. There is controversy over the film's nomination for Best Original Music Score. The award was officially nominated only to Hans Zimmer, and not to Lisa Gerrard due to Academy rules. However, the pair did win the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score as co-composers.
- 73rd Academy Awards
- 2001 American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards
- Best Edited Feature Film — Dramatic
- 5th Art Directors Guild Awards
- Excellence in Production Design Award, Feature Film — Period or Fantasy Films
- BAFTA Awards
- Best Cinematography
- Best Editing
- Best Film
- Best Production Design
- 58th Golden Globe Awards
- Best Motion Picture — Drama
- Best Original Score — Motion Picture
- 4th Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards
- Best Costume Design
- Best DVD
- Best Editing
- Best Score
- Best Visual Effects
- London Film Critics Circle
- Actor of the Year (Russell Crowe)
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
- 50th best Hero character (General Maximus Decimus Meredius)
The film was first released on DVD on November 20, 2000, and has since been released in several different extended and special edition versions. Special features for the DVDs include deleted scenes, trailers, documentaries, commentaries, storyboards, image galleries, easter eggs, and cast auditions.
Other DVD editions have been released since this original two-disc version, including a movie only single-disc edition released soon after, which put the original two-disc edition out of print. A three-disc extended edition DVD was released in August 2005, which features approximately fifteen minutes of additional scenes, most of which appear in the previous release as deleted scenes. The original cut, which Ridley Scott still calls his director's cut, is also selectable via seamless branching (which is not included on the UK edition). The DVD is also notable for having a new commentary track featuring director Scott and star Crowe. The film spans the first disc, while the second disc contains a comprehensive three-hour documentary into the making of the film by DVD producer Charles de Lauzirika, and the third disc contains supplements.
In June 2001, Douglas Wick said a Gladiator prequel was in development. The following year, Wick, Walter Parkes, David Franzoni and John Logan switched direction to a sequel set fifteen years later; the Praetorian Guards rule Rome and an older Lucius is trying to learn who his real father was. However, Russell Crowe was interested in resurrecting Maximus, and further researched Roman beliefs about the afterlife to accomplish this. Ridley Scott expressed interest, although he admitted the project would have be retitled as it had little to do with gladiators. In 2006, Scott stated he and Crowe approached Nick Cave to rewrite the film, but they had conflicted with DreamWorks' idea of a Lucius spin-off, who Scott revealed would turn out to be Maximus' son with Lucilla. He noted this tale of corruption in Rome was too complex, whereas Gladiator worked due to its simple drive.
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- Winkler, Martin (2004). Gladiator Film and History. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-1042-2
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Gladiator|
- Gladiator on IMDb
- Gladiator at Rotten Tomatoes
- Gladiator at Metacritic
- Gladiator at Box Office Mojo
- David Franzoni (1998-04-04). "GLADIATOR: FIRST DRAFT REVISED". Retrieved 2007-01-01.
- David Franzoni and John Logan (1998-10-22). "GLADIATOR: SECOND DRAFT REVISED". Retrieved 2007-01-01.
- Monomyth.org - Gladiator MonoMyth breakdown using Joseph Campbell's Hero Journey
|Box office number-one films of 2000 (UK)
May 14, 2000 – June 25, 2000
|Academy Award for Best Picture
A Beautiful Mind
|Golden Globe: Best Motion Picture, Drama
|BAFTA Award for Best Film
The Lord of the Rings:
The Fellowship of the Ring
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