Sunday, July 8, 2012

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.


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.