Photo of the Day

Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) is left to die on the cross in SPARTACUS

This is not a spoiler. Arf. Anyway, I always had issues with this ending. Historically this scene is inaccurate; Spartacus's body was never found and they assumed he died in battle. I don't have issues with changing history for a dramatic plot point but I never found the conclusion convincing, regardless of historically inaccuracies. Here, Spartacus looks too good for someone who's been on a cross for some time. If he had been a bit more dirty, a bit more bloody, unshaven with unkept hair then I think it would have been more believable. Close-ups of his coiffed hair sorta take me out of the film. He doesn't look like he has been suffering enough.

3 comments:

Michael O'Sullivan said...

When you are producing the picture as well as starring in it, then you can make sure you look good even on the cross - as the heroine looks adoringly up at you ! so even though being crucified you still win.

PEPLUM cinema said...

Yes, you're correct. It is a vanity piece of sorts. I usually don't mind if the hero looks good when dying but I feel that SPARTACUS should have been more realistic than the average PEPLUM.

Anonymous said...

The censors wouldn't have allowed the blood and gore needed to make the crucifixion look accurate. I do agree that he looks very well-groomed for someone who's dying a lengthy, painful death, deprived of food and water, etc. In terms of Christian symbolism, I always thought of the ending as the Virgin and Child walking past the future Christ on the cross. A very dismal ending, with no hope for anyone - evil prevails, too many likable characters die, and even though Spartacus' child survives, he has to grow up in the harsh Roman Empire.