Actor-producer Kirk Douglas fired director Anthony Mann and replaced him with a young chap named Stanley Kubrick, who fought legendary d.p. Russell Metty and infamously told him to sit down and watch him work instead (Metty got the last laugh: he won an Oscar!). Kirk Douglas was deeply impressed: "Kubrick will be a fine director some day. If he falls flat on his face just once. It might teach him how to compromise."
Kubrick may have disowned it, but this is Saturday matinee entertainment at its finest. The British thespians emerge triumphant - I could watch Ustinov, Olivier and Laughton play their game of thrones for ever - and it's fascinating to watch Kubrick wrestle with subsequently abandoned demons like plot, character and emotion. The restored scene between Olivier and Curtis is as Kubrickian as any that came after.
Review at Next Projection: http://nextprojection.com/2015/01/03/stanley-kubrick-cinematic-odyssey-spartacus-review/
80/100. While the film was made during a high point of Hollywood cinema, there’s no doubt that an unsupervised Kubrick would have wrought out a true masterpiece
Spartacus is more Douglas' film than Kubrick's, but it's a great historical epic; one that was made at the peak of the genre's popularity. Kubrick did bring a maturity to the genre, and transformed it from bombast into great art. Spartacus paved the way for masterpieces like Lawrence of Arabia. Not great Kubrick, but great entertainment of high order. I'll take this over Gladiator anyday. A roller coaster ride.
Overwhelming epic production, left by Anthony Mann and assumed with undeniable talent by a then young filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. Dalton Trumbo's screenplay has priceless moments and dialogue. One of the best assembled casts in film history.
Representative of a studio sword and sandal epic of the 60s. I mean when a genre that specific still includes a huge amount of films, you'd have to do something incredible to have it stick out. And it sort of does. Some great performances and recreation of an epoch, and it's not a bad film, entertaining even, but nothing more.
I'm not sure I expected to like this as much as I did. I liked the performances, the fight scenes and it seems I'm in the minority but I also liked the score. Also the story is far more touching and powerful than I expected. Really good film.