The classic movies can be a great place to have fun and learn some history. Spartacus is not one to be left out.
Each year hundreds of movies come out. We look at the list and decide which ones sound good. What we do forget are many of the ones made decades ago and what fun we can get from them. If you are looking for an old movie with historical background you might want to check out the 1960 movie, Spartacus.
This epic is set back in the day when Rome was the power that had conquered most of the world. When the Empire conquered an area, the natives were destined for slavery. For some slavery might not be too bad. There were a few positions that were safe and longed for. But being a slave had quite a few disadvantages. Many became the subject of their master’s lustful ways. Others who showed spunk and strength went to the gladiator training centers. They were taught to kill for the pleasure of the blood thirsty Romans. This is the world that Spartacus knew.
Spartacus was a Thracian slave that was trained in the ways of the gladiator. This lifestyle was not suited to him and a revolt occurred in which the slaves overtook the school and eventually the entire countryside. That and few other pieces of history such as the attempt to squash the rebellion and the attempt to escape with the aid of pirates who cheated them are about the few pieces of actual history in the movie version. Hollywood is not exactly following historical documentations in writing the exciting script.
For the excitement of the movie-goer, Kirk Douglas portrays Spartacus. His rugged good looks and hard physique is exactly what one would imagine of a tough gladiator. The stubborn classic Douglas chin helps the picture. Add a beautiful Jean Simmons and you have a classic. The thrill of the strange romance and the fighting for the freedom of those that are suppressed pulls at everyone’s heart strings.
This is an adventurous movie though the watcher should keep in mind that it is not an historical documentary. Did Spartacus have a wife? Some historians say he did but that they were married before they were enslaved. Did he have a love affair? In that day and time more than likely. But in reality this can be part of the fun of watching the movie.
Use the movie to look into the real Spartacus and compare Hollywood’s version to that of the ancient historians. Guess as to why there were differences and do some historical research. Make it a family time and enjoy the movie and some history.