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Sunday 18 February 2018

The Greatest Roman film of all

With a scale and grandeur to match its epic subject, Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960) is a very special film, but it was an absolute horror story to make.

Kirk Douglas, left, starred as the legendary Thracian slave who led a slave revolt that threatened the might of the Roman Empire.

Douglas also produced the film, and a long, gruelling outdoor shoot on the Spanish plains led to a clash of egos that put Kubrick off Hollywood for good.

It's a terrific movie, though, three hours long and crammed with breathtaking set pieces and scenes. Laurence Olivier is wonderfully odious as the ruthless general Crassus, but Charles Laughton's urbane politician Gracchus represents the civilised side of Rome.

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