"You can't put words back in your mouth. What you can do, is spread false gossip so people think that everything that's been said is untrue ... It's like the end of Spartacus. I have seen that movie half a dozen times and I still don't know who the real Spartacus is. And that is what makes that movie a classic whodunnit." -- The Office

I know very well there isn't a single Cinematical reader who doesn't know who the real Spartacus is. There's probably little children who haven't even seen Stanley Kubrick's Roman epic who know who the real Spartacus is because the movie has become such a cultural touchstone. But just because it's ubiquitous doesn't mean you shouldn't sit down and watch the movie again, especially since it's playing for free on SlashControl. Its lengthy runtime might make it a little uncomfortable to view on your laptop, but just make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks, and you should be just fine.

Spartacus is quite dated (this is the era of filmmaking when no one thought flattops and beehives would be out of place in any time period), and Howard Fast's version of the myth was skewed toward his own political beliefs. But it's still a pretty brutal movie, and runs counter to Hollywood's vision today in that it makes the ending worse than the history. Eyewitnesses claim Spartacus died in battle. No one really knows, as his body was never recovered, but history is reasonably certain he wasn't one of the 6,600 crucified along the Via Appia. But Hollywood brutally chose to put him among them, and didn't even spare his wife and infant son the sight. That final farewell between Spartacus and Varinia traumatized me as a kid (it has to be one of the first movies I saw where the good guy didn't win), and still gets me every time.

Watch Spartacus now on SlashControl!

CATEGORIES Features, Cinematical