in about 100 words or less
USA 198m, Colour
Director: Stanley Kubrick; Cast: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Tony Curtis
Shot in widescreen “Technirama”, and boasting a star-studded cast and a young Stanley Kubrick as a last-minute replacement for the film’s original director, Spartacus has all the trappings of a major Hollywood blockbuster. Despite the technical achievements, excellent photography and fine art direction, this production lacks a credible screenplay and suffers from mediocre acting, and dreadful casting in most of the lead roles. Other than Ustinov, whose performance as Lentulus Batiatus, is strong, the dialogue is at times laughable and the acting is often second-rate. Compared to the Starz Network’s incredible 2010 Television series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand”, the 1960 film version pales by comparison in every way (Klaus Ming October 2010).