How “Spartacus” was shot in 1960: the classic Netflix peplum by Stanley Kubrick

The grandiose peplum “Spartacus,” directed by Stanley Kubrick and lead actor Kirk Douglas, is still the subject of controversy among professional critics and ordinary viewers – a stunning masterpiece or an extremely bright and expensive failure. The picture will become clearer if you carefully study the interesting facts and curious details surrounding the preparation, shooting process, and release of one of the most ambitious historical movies in Hollywood history.

In mid-April, Netflix shares rose to $ 427 a piece, bringing the company’s total value to $ 194 billion. The cost of the main rival company Disney, on the contrary, fell to $ 184 billion. At the same time, at the end of 2019, Disney was worth more than $ 200 billion.

Industry experts suggest that in the near future, Netflix will retain its place as the entertainment company with the largest capitalization.

About the movie

Initially, the popular actor and influential producer Kirk Douglas intended to get the main role of another peplum – “Ben-Hur”, but after numerous personal interviews and phone conversations, William Wyler offered Kirk only the second most important male role – Messala. The famous artist refused and started working on his own project of the epic genre. At his own expense, he bought the rights to the film adaptation of the novel “Spartacus” by writer Howard Fast and held successful negotiations with fellow producers from the Studio United Artist, which has already announced a film project under the working title “Gladiators”.

Interesting facts

1. Comparing with the record-holder “Ben Hur”, the “Spartaсus” collection of awards looks more modest, but also quite weighty: a Golden globe for the best film drama and four Oscars for the work of the production designer, cameraman, supporting actor and costume design.

2. As for the financial terms, the picture was a failure, balancing on the verge of payback. There was another failed distribution of the peplum film, which undermined the Studio bosses’ faith in the genre and marked the end of the era of large-scale projects with multi-million-dollar budgets and hundreds of extras.

3. However, McCarthyism continued to live in people’s minds, and the premiere of the film was accompanied by protests, which were dealt a crushing blow by the newly elected US President John F. Kennedy, who came to the session at the Warner Theatre in Washington.

According to Douglas’ joke, working on the Netflix movies took longer than the uprising itself. But now, on the eve of its sixtieth anniversary, we can confidently state that the Kubrick-Douglas duo, along with superstars Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, Charles Lawton, Tony Curtis, and Jean Simmons, has produced a wonderful movie with stunning behind-the-scenes photos.

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