Spartacus

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I am Spartacus!
No, I'm Spartacus!

A classic film directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Kirk Douglas in his most famous role, and based on the 1951 novel by Howard Fast. Inspired By history, and a rather brutal Deconstruction of the Sword and Sandal movies that preceded it by showing just what a Crapsack World The Roman Republic was.

Spartacus is a slave from the last days of the Roman Republic. He escapes and becomes the leader of a slave army that nobly fights the Romans under the evil Roman aristocrat, Marcus Licinius Crassus...

A prime example of an Epic Movie. The filming went on for years, only truly progressing when Kubrick was brought in at Douglas's request. The film was banned in some areas because of violence and sexual content.

For the Starz series see: Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Tropes used in Spartacus include:

Crassus: Do you eat oysters?
Antoninus: When I have them, master.
Crassus: Do you eat snails?
Antoninus: No, master.
Crassus: Do you consider the eating of oysters to be moral, and the eating of snails to be immoral?
Antoninus: No, master.
Crassus: Of course not. It is all a matter of taste, isn't it?
Antoninus: Yes, master.
Crassus: And taste is not the same as appetite, and therefore not a question of morals, hmm?
Antoninus: It could be argued so, master.
Crassus: My robe, Antoninus. My taste includes both snails and oysters.

  • Doomed Moral Victor: Spartacus.
  • Double Entendre: Crassus' infamous "Oysters and Snails" speech, above.
  • The Empire: Averted. The whole story takes place under the Roman Republic.
  • A Father to His Men
  • Finish Him!: The order is given when Spartacus and his Black Best Friend are forced to fight each other.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Especially for the original audience.
  • Gladiator Games
  • Hard Work Montage: The training sequences at the gladiator school.
  • I Am Spartacus: Trope Namer.
  • Inspired By
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Spartacus and his Black Best Friend, as detailed above. A second one happens at the end of the film between Spartacus and The Lancer to see which one of them doesn't get crucified.
  • Karma Houdini: Crassus.
  • La Résistance: The army of ex-slaves that Spartacus leads.
  • Manly Tears: Spartacus, during the famous "I Am Spartacus!" scene.
  • Mind Rape: To Spartacus, more than once.
  • Mononymous Biopic Title
  • More Hero Than Thou
  • The Queen's Latin
  • Rated "M" for Manly
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Gracchus, with his plebeian sensibilities, is somewhat sympathetic towards the rebels, if only with the ultimate goal of upstaging Crassus.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: In a sense.
  • Scary Black Man: Draba, for the Roman nobles after the arena fight.
  • Smug Snake: Crassus.
  • Spiritual Successor: Gladiator is pretty much an Homage to Spartacus.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The real Spartacus and his rebellion wasn't nearly this idealistic.
    • The biggest difference being that Spartacus, instead of being a slave from birth sold into gladiator school, in reality was an ex Roman soldier (more precisely, an auxiliary, which was a non-citizen soldier) who was sold to a gladiator school after deserting the army.
    • Also Crassus, though as ruthless as most Roman higher-ups, was neither this psychotic nor was he in charge of Rome at this point. He didn't even become consul (a bit like prime minister, but more like chairman of the board) until after the war. Oh, and Spartacus' men were not crucified because they refused to hand him in, the Romans always planned to kill them all as a very clear example.
    • The movie prior to the I Am Spartacus speech is loosely based on true story and the moment that word is uttered (in the movie only, not in actual history books)... Spartacus died in the battle. Yeah, Anything after the speech never happened.
    • The entire character of Gracchus is made up. There were two brothers named Gracchus who were important figures in Roman history, but they were tribunes, not senators, and died more than 50 years before the Spartacus revolt.