CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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The 1960 Movie, "Spartacus"

Marilyn and I just watched an old favorite of ours, the movie "Spartacus," with a stellar cast that includes Kirk Douglas (as Spartacus), Laurence Olivier (as Marcus Crassus), Jean Simmons (as Varinia), Charles Laughton (as Gracchus), Peter Ustinov (in his Academy Awarding role as Batiatus) and Tony Curtis (as Antoninus) -- to name only a few. It was directed by Stanley Kubrick (who was 30 at the time).

I'll never forget when they brought out the version with the restored (controversial) scene between Crassus and Antonius that didn't make the original cut (because of the slashiness!!!). We went out and bought it as a VHS video so fast. (smile) Remember, there was no DVD or Blu Ray back then!

The movie was based on the 1951 historical novel written by Howard Fast. I've read that novel several times in my life. It's fascinating, but I have to say the movie is actually better than the book. Yeah, I know: People always think books are better than movies based on them. But I happen to think there are times when movies are better -- and this is one of them.

By the way, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo took over for book author Howard Fast -- Trumbo was blacklisted at the time as one of the Hollywood Ten, but Kirk Douglas publicly announced that Trumbo was the screenwriter of "Spartacus" (a big deal during the McCarthy Era). Interestingly, President John F. Kennedy crossed picket lines to see this movie, helping to end blacklisting!

This movie is still great viewing, if you ever have the chance to see it. The acting is tops and it's something to realize there's no CGI -- they had to use actual people to film those battle scenes!

Tags: 2013, april-2013, book, marilyn, movie, recommendation, tv

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