Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Harris) decides to name victorious general Maximus (Crowe) his heir over the ruler's own son, the decadent Commodus (Phoenix). But Commodus manages to take over the Empire anyway. Maximus is betrayed, his family killed, and he is sold as a slave, eventually learning the ways of a gladiator. Then he returns to Rome to fight before the new Emperor and get his revenge. Last role for Reed (playing owner/trainer Proximo), who died during production. Unlike the cheesy Italian muscle epics of the early '60s this is swords, sandals, and killer beasts for a new generation, with a compelling hero in Crowe.
Cinema Classics, 332 E. 11 St., New York, NY 10003, Phone: (212)677-6309, Fax: (212)677-5412, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 154 minutes.
Oscars 2000: Actor (Crowe), Costume Des., Film, Sound, Visual FX; British Acad. 2000: Cinematog., Film; Golden Globes 2001: Film--Drama, Score; Natl. Bd. of Review 2000: Support. Actor (Phoenix); Broadcast Film Critics 2000: Actor (Crowe), Cinematog., Film, Support. Actor (Phoenix).
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