Although this is the only one of Stanley Kubrick's pictures over which he did not have complete control (he was brought in by Kirk Douglas to direct when Anthony Mann was fired after the first week of shooting), SPARTACUS is still a remarkable epic--one of the greatest tales of the
ancient world ever to hit the screen. It's especially strong, and more typical of Kubrick, in the first half--before satire gives way to sentiment.
It tells the true story of a slave rebellion that panicked Rome for more than two years circa 73 BC, though some historical facts have been Hollywoodized (including Spartacus's demise--he was hacked to death in battle, not crucified). Spar...