Gladiator Spartacus El Cid

1999
  |  507 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Triple bill of Oscar-winning historical epics. Ridley Scott's 'Gladiator' (1999) begins with the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris), and the betrayal of the Emperor's beloved General Maximus (Russell Crowe) by Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), who takes the throne for himself. Maximus is sold as a slave and then trained as a gladiator, keeping himself strong with thoughts of revenge. Eventually he is taken to the Colosseum, where he prepares to fight in a contest presided over by the corrupt Commodus. Will he suffer the ultimate humiliation and die for the entertainment of his enemy or will he survive the rigors of the arena and find a way of exacting his revenge? Stanley Kubrick's 'Spartacus' (1960) concerns the efforts of the slave-gladiator Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) to lead the slaves of the Roman Empire in a rebellion against their masters. The ranks quickly swell as the slave army makes its way across Italy towards the coast. But the despotic Roman senator Crassus (Laurence Olivier) determines to quell the revolt for his own selfish ends, and the stage is thus set for a tremendous battle. Anthony Mann's 'El Cid' (1961) stars Charlton Heston as the legendary 11th Century Spanish patriot El Cid, who fights to drive the invading Moors from Spain. He is deeply in love with Chimene (Sophia Loren), but their love is tested to its limits when he kills her father, and she vows vengeance. Meanwhile, the future of Spain hangs in the balance.