Podcast Episode 20: Spartacus
Scott is Spartacus! Loren is Spartacus! I am Spartacus! You are Spartacus! We all scream for Spartacus!
This Week’s Film: Spartacus
From Netflix: Stanley Kubrick directed this epic saga based on ancient events, chronicling the birth of a vagabond slave-army led by an ex-gladiator named Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) that threatens the sovereignty of all-mighty Rome. This film has everything, including a wonderfully funny (and Oscar-winning) performance from Peter Ustinov as the cowardly owner of a gladiator school. Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Jean Simmons and Tony Curtis co-star.
What We’ve Been Up To
Each week we highlight the entertainment that has been keeping us interested, and provide links so you can find more information.
Scott and Loren both enjoyed this 2nd century film about the infamous Lost Ninth Legion of Rome. They are quick to point out that, while the film is a good watch, the CG blood and other holdovers from 300 mar this otherwise quite interesting film.
- X-Men: First Class
Scott thoroughly enjoyed this prequel, saying it is everything he wants out of an X-Men movie.
- Game of Thrones
Both Loren and Scott approve of the dark, twisted, and dangerous storytelling of HBO’s game of thrones. While having reservations about the darkness of the world and the morality of the characters, it is a show both agree is amazing.
- A Dangerous Method
Scott rounds out his Michael Fassbender trifecta with this David Cronenberg helmed drama. Scott loves the writing and long discussions between Freud and Jung, as perfected by Viggo Morensen and Fassbender.
Other Suggestions for Movies Like Spartacus
Gladiator is the movie that we all want Spartacus to be. It is almost as if Ridley Scott sat down with Spartacus, figured out what was wrong with it, and then made this film. We highly recommend it.
Although not very Roman, this movie takes the basic concepts of Spartacus (freedom and big battles) and makes them amazing. Bloody, violent, and gripping, this is the movie to which all war epics must now stand, and with very good reason.
- Ben Hur
You can listen to our podcast about Ben-Hur for all the reasons we loved it, but frankly, if you are looking for a move about Rome from the same time period as Spartacus, this is the film to choose. The story is much stronger, the acting is strong all around, and the epic spectacle of the chariot race puts even the best set pieces in Spartacus to shame.
- El Cid
Directed by Anthony Mann, the original director of Spartacus, this sweeping epic has both a stronger story and larger battles than Spartacus. While there are some weaker moments, all around Loren enjoyed this movie a lot more than Spartacus.
This HBO series is the best representation of Rome that currently exists. You will experience the politics, intrigue, battles, but will also get to see what life was like for an average citizen of Rome. While there are some misfires here and there in the writing, over-all this is the definitive filmed look at life in Rome.
- Lawrence of Arabia
We’ll be getting to this one eventually as we work through the AFI Top 100, so we’ll be brief. This is truly a great film, with jaw-dropping cinematography, a fascinating script, and some legendary performances.
- The Hunger Games
Basically a story about gladiators, this movie seems to fit in well with the themes of Spartacus, while updating into a sci-fi landscape. An excellent companion piece to any discussion of the Roman empire, since so much of these stories is based on Roman history.