For a Hollywood film, Spartacus has an unusually high artistic pedigree, including not just director Stanley Kubrick, but also its supporting cast (mostly British stage actors turned movie stars) and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted writer. All of this makes what went on behind the camera as interesting if not more so than the movie itself. The Criterion Collection has recently released Spartacus in a two-disc DVD set; the movie has been digitally transferred from the restored print used in the 1991 re-release. As breathtaking as the movie is, itís fair to say that the extra features, which include several audio commentaries, interviews, and short documentaries, are the main attraction here. The making of Spartacus was its own epic struggle, a fact which this DVD release explores in exhaustive and fascinating detail.
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