Maximus is a powerful Roman general, loved by the people and the aging Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Before his death, the Emperor chooses Maximus to be his heir over his own son, Commodus, and a power struggle leaves Maximus and his family condemned to death. The powerful general is unable to save his family, and his loss of will allows him to get captured and put into the Gladiator games until he dies. The only desire that fuels him now is the chance to rise to the top so that he will be able to look into the eyes of the man who will feel his revenge.Written by
Chris "Morphy" Terry
The real Lucius Verus, who is portrayed as a young kid in the movie, was the son of Marcus Aurelius' adopted brother, and died eight years into his reign. Commodus' selection as Caesar was made when he was five-years-old, and coins were made with his likeness on it. See more »
Commodus says Cleopatra died after an asp bit her on the breast. That image comes from William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Earlier sources agree that she was bitten on the arm. See more »
I am required to kill, so I kill. That is enough.
That's enough for the provinces, but not enough for Rome.
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Both the Dreamworks & Universal logos are altered to appear gold in color so they match the opening theme of Maximus walking through a wheatfield. See more »
Numerous deleted scenes that were left out of the film were compiled onto the DVD release. All scenes with the exception of the mini-film come with an exclusive Audio Commentoary by Ridley Scott. They are:
A brief scene showing Maximus surveying the cost of the Battle with the Germanians. They are hacked and dying Roman's everywhere.
A brief scene preluding the confrontation of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. It shows Marcus praying to his ancestors for wisdom.
Friends of Proximo try to get him to bet against his own gladiators. We are also introduced to Hagan, the German in this scene.
Proximo tries to reason with Maximus as to not killing his opponents so quickly but to entertain the crowd.
Maximus watches condemmed Christians executed in the arena as they are fed to the lions.
Lucilla, Gracchus and Gaius have an important meeting in Gracchus' house. They discuss the future death of the Roman People as her brother Commodus is selling the grain reserve to pay for the games. They conclude that Commodus must die.
Commodus, dismayed by the re-appearence of Maximus, attacks a bust of his father with a sword.
Two of the Praetorians that knew of Maximus's escape from Germania, are executed by Commodus. Quintus and Commodus have an argument.
Commodus orders his spies to watch senators and Proximo. Proximo notices one of his followers.
Lucilla realizes that Falco is in league with Commodus.
Praetorians attack innocent civilains by setting them on fire.
The epic blockbuster returns with the 21st Century's answer to Cecil B DeMille, Ridley Scott and his dramatic tale of courage and revenge, GLADIATOR - "the general who became a slave, the slave who became a gladiator, the gladiator who defied an emperor".
Once a great roman General, and as good as adopted son of Marcus Aurelius Caesar (Harris), Maximus (Crowe) is forced into exile by Commodus (Phoenix), heir to the throne, after the death of Marcus. Saved from death by slavers, he is purchased for use as a gladiator by Proximo (Reed) and ends up in the arena of all arena's, the Colloseum, where he proves unbeatable under his guise as "The Spaniard".
And with a budget of over $100m, Scott certainly delivers the goods. GLADIATOR transcends the notion of 'blockbuster' that we have become accustomed to in the age of electronic and special effects wizardry and instead offers a good old fashioned action film along the lines of Spartacus and and Ben Hur. Not only are we drawn into an archetypal story that contains all the classic elements a filmgoer could dream of (love, loss, courage, despair, good triumphing over evil etc etc) - also on offer is a visual feast of cinematic painting after painting - a rich tapestry of images that are breathtaking and ultimately visually satisfying. From the plains of Germania, to the desert stronghold of Zuchobar, and finally to great Rome herself, John Mathiesion, the cinematographer is to be commended highly for his general inventiveness and ability to capture so much on film. The opening battle scene is superb as a cast of thousands erupt across the screen and provide an indication that we are about to see a film that pays incredible attention to detail throughout its entirety. In every way, Scott has created a world for us that scuttles films of similar epic undertakings (and budgets!) and sends them to their dooms at the bottom of the murky depths of film history where they belong.
The cast is generally very strong. Crowe proves himself very suitable to the task with a great emotional range and depth of character. His accent ocassionally bugged me (as did the mish mash of accents on offer - but that is I guess a legacy of 'internationally casted films'), but this aside, he was well and truly up to the task. Phoenix is also excellent as the disturbed Commodus, as is Nielson as Lucilla, the daughter of Marcus who "should have been a son" and finds herself torn between loyalty to her brother and doing what is 'right'. The old guard thesps of Harris, Reed and Jacobi (Grachus) are uniformly strong as supporting characters, and Spencer Treat Clark (Lucius) does a fine job as the young heir to the throne.
Add to this great cast excellent editing and post production work, and an intricate soundscape (including a magnificent Hans Zimmer score), and you have a film that, despite its length, was highly palatable and had me in there from beginning to end. A must see.
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