DIRECTOR: Stanley Kubrick
BOTTOM LINE: The Kirk Douglas /Stanley Kubrick epic “Spartacus” was adapted by formerly blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo from Howard Fast’s novel. Unfortunately, it has not aged well – only the overacting of a superb supporting cast, particularly Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton and Peter Ustinov, make it worth seeing. The scene between Olivier’s General Marcus Licinius Crassus and his slave Antoninus (Tony Curtis) was initially cut from the 1960 version but saved from the cutting room floor when the slave revolt epic was restored in 1991. Known as the “Oysters and Snails” scene because it’s here that Crassus informs Antoninus, a singer of songs, that he likes both and will, therefore, be vigorously screwing Antoninus for the duration of his “employment.” As Crassus exits his bath, this news is enough to make Antoninus run to the hills and join the growing ranks of Spartacus’ army.
And taste is not the same as appetite and, therefore, not a question of moralsCrassus to his boy slave Antoninus, a singer of songs, in “Spartacus”