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Two costume epics from two of my favorite directors. Spartacus is probably the better movie, but Gladiator is more fun.
Side by side, it's easy to see just how much Ridley Scott borrowed from Kubrick's superior sword-and-sandal tale. Both titles are one word, nine letters long; both are set in ancient rome; both are about a slave who rises to prominence through gladiatorial combat; both contain stoic heroes who meet tragic fates. The difference is, Kubrick emphasized plot, and paced his film better; he also did it first, by 40 years.