The film that Gladiator wants to be when it grows up, Spartacus is everything a Hollywood epic should be... And a whole lot more besides.
Getting the gloss and the glitz down pat, a young Stanley Kubrick was gifted with Kirk Douglas and a starry supporting cast, plus plenty of opportunity to deliver jaw-dropping action scenes. He obliged, ordering hundreds of men (no CGI-multiplication going on here) to barrel into each other for some earth-shuddering battles.
But looks aren't everything, and what makes Spartacus one of the greats is the fact it has heart and brains to go with its brawn. Written by Dalton Trumbo and Howard Fast (both blacklisted during the McCarthy witch hunts), this story of a slave uprising is a film about a crumbling empire, about revolutionary fervour, about the power of solidarity and, above all else, about the priceless value of both love and loyalty.
Nouveau-epics like Troy and Alexander have a lot to live up to. Let's all chant: ""I'm Spartacus...""