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Author Topic: Gladiator (2000)  (Read 8582 times)
Groggy
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« on: July 29, 2007, 05:56:43 PM »

I watched "Gladiator" for the first time today. It was okay, nothing special though. I thought Russell Crowe was excellent, though the rest of the cast was so-so, and the action scenes were only occasionally good. But I was entertained, so I won't complain too much.
 
What tickled me, though, is the amount of stuff that they borrowed (or, if you want to be unkind, ripped off) from old-fashioned sword-and-sandal films. A short list:
 
Zulu - This one had me in stitches. The opening war chant during the battle with the German tribes was the Zulu war chant from "Zulu"! I didn't know Zulus lived in Germany!
 
Fall of the Roman Empire - The biggest and perhaps most obvious one. A short list:
 
- The characters of Marcus Aurelius, Lucilla, and Commodus. Also, Russell Crowe's character is basically Stephen Boyd's character Livius.
- The whole first half hour is a truncated version of the first hour and a half of this movie - the battle with the Germans, the relationship between Commodus and Maximus/Livius established (and the romantic interest with Lucilla), the Emperor desires peace and wants Maximus/Livius to take power after he dies, but is killed by Commodus who then assumes power (although in the original film Livius voluntarily handed over power to Commodus).
- Livius/Maximus attempts to escape Rome and raise an army but is captured and thwarted by Commodus
- The final duel between Livius/Maximus and Commodus, and the end result with Maximus/Livius turning power over to the Senate (although Livius lived in the original)
 
To be fair, though, "Gladiator" was better than FOTRE, so I'm not really complaining on that score.
 
Spartacus - Stuff that might not be readily apparent, but it's there:
 
- The plot of Maximus being sold into slavery and becoming a gladiator, of course is taken from Spartacus
- The head of the gladiator school, played by Oliver Reed, is basically an amalgamation of Peter Ustinov as the sniveling head of the school and Charles McGraw as the nasty trainer guy with character traits of both.
- The very brief Senate subplot is based on Spartacus. I found it particularly amusing that Derek Jacobi's character was a Republican Senator named Gracchus, fighting against Commodus's corruption - that of course being the name of the Republican Senator played by Charles Laughton. And David Schofield's character was similar to Crasuss, if not identical. Jacobi's character even has a line identical to one spoken by John Gavin as Julius Caesar: "Rome is the mob."
- Djimon Honsou's character was similar to Woody Strode's in "Spartacus", although he didn't die.
 
Ben-Hur - The plot of Maximus falling from his position of power, rising through the ranks as slave to take his revenge is taken from this movie. That's pretty obvious.

Lack of originality aside, it was miles better than "Troy". I give it a 7/10. I do think its reputation as a latter-day "Spartacus" is a bit exagerrated, it's a good action film that touches on political themes but doesn't go into any depth about them (shut up Dave).

« Last Edit: July 29, 2007, 05:59:07 PM by Groggy » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2007, 06:00:04 PM »

Gladiator's ending was it's saving grace.

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2007, 06:01:12 PM »

I saw it when it came out. Liked it then. Don't know if I'd like it now.

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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2007, 09:13:49 PM »

Your opening statement turned me off Groggy. Gladiator is nothing special? I highly disagree! I think it's a fantastic piece of work and Ridley Scott should be commended for it. Great script, OUTSTANDING ACTING from the WHOLE CAST, gorgeous cinematography, and a hauntingly beautiful musical score. It's one of my favorite films. Highly memorable and unforgettable. I'm proud to say this film is part of my DVD library.

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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2007, 09:16:06 PM »

agreed Afro

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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2007, 09:17:17 PM »

Also you say the film borrows from other films. Ummm are you a fan of Sergio Leone, or any other great director for that matter? They all borrow from eachother. If you're a fan of Once Upon a Time in the West than that's a hypocritical statement. Once Upon a Time in the West borrowed heavily from multiple films. That doesn't mean it has it's own elements in it from Sergio. You still see plenty of Ridley Scott trademarks in Gladiator. The film is a treat.

I'm just stating my opinion's and not putting you down Groggy. I just don't agree with ya buddy.

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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2007, 11:47:20 PM »

Gladiator woud be a nod off to the sword and sandle epics like Groggy mentioned, kinda like Once Upon a Time in the West and Unforgiven were for westerns.

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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2007, 03:46:43 AM »

I like the movie a lot, exept one point : i find the ending absolutly ridiculous. Just after the death of Phoenix.

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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2007, 05:24:09 AM »

If you guys were paying attention, you would notice that I wasn't criticizing all of the references to other sword-and-sandal films, I was just pointing them out. (Well, I didn't mean to, anyway, it probably came across that way.)

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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2007, 05:31:15 AM »

If you guys were paying attention, you would notice that I wasn't criticizing all of the references to other sword-and-sandal films, I was just pointing them out. (Well, I didn't mean to, anyway, it probably came across that way.)

Well, i think people reacted to this :

I watched "Gladiator" for the first time today. It was okay, nothing special though. I thought Russell Crowe was excellent, though the rest of the cast was so-so, and the action scenes were only occasionally good. But I was entertained, so I won't complain too much.


instead of what you wrote after that Smiley

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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2007, 07:26:16 AM »

I just think Gladiator had some of the best acting performances in the last ten years. Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Djimon Hounsou were all brilliant, especially Joaquin. It's a travesty Joaquin didn't win the Best Supporting Acting Award here. Screen legends Richard Harris and Oliver Reed (his last role) were also OUTSTANDING. I enjoy watching this film because of all these great performances among other things.

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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2007, 02:13:43 PM »

I just think Gladiator had some of the best acting performances in the last ten years. Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Djimon Hounsou were all brilliant, especially Joaquin. It's a travesty Joaquin didn't win the Best Supporting Acting Award here. Screen legends Richard Harris and Oliver Reed (his last role) were also OUTSTANDING. I enjoy watching this film because of all these great performances among other things.

I was suprised Joaquin didn't win the oscar! I thought that scene between him and Richard Harris would have sealed his fate! That was the most well acted scene in the entire movie! And the movie was full of great performances.

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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2007, 02:32:02 PM »

I was suprised Joaquin didn't win the oscar! I thought that scene between him and Richard Harris would have sealed his fate! That was the most well acted scene in the entire movie! And the movie was full of great performances.

The film is just bloody brilliant. Wink

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2007, 06:06:48 PM »

To be fair, though, "Gladiator" was better than FOTRE, so I'm not really complaining on that score.
 
Huh! And you claim to be an Alec Guiness fan.

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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2007, 06:29:44 AM »

Well, Guinness was only in FOTRE for like an hour, and the movie's over three. . . He was excellent, but he wasn't good enough to avoid the fact that the movie was a long, dragging slog. I believe a plank of wood named Stephen Boyd was the lead character, not Sir Alec.

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