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The greatest gladiator movies of all-time

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Gladiator movies usually attract large audiences because, well, everyone likes a bit of violence and endless battle scenes, don’t they? It’s pretty damn entertaining. 

It comes as no surprise that gladiator movies are considered top Hollywood entertainment. Heck, even gladiator games are popular too. The chance to play these type of games is becoming more prominent as game makers seize the opportunity to grow their Gladiator offering and bring out games alongside movies or television shows. 

With so many classic movies around gladiators being created, below is a list of some of the best.

Spartacus – Universal, 1960 

Leading a massive rebellion against the mighty Roman Empire, Kirk Douglas – who is playing the title role, is a Thracian slave-turned-gladiator. The film, which features a star-studded cast including the likes of Laurence Olivier and Jean Simmons, includes some fantastic scenes in the Colosseum, particularly the match pitting Spartacus against Draba, with the latter wielding a deadly trident and net. Brutal. It comes as no surprise that the movie earned six Academy Award nominations, winning for Best Colour Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor, Best Colour Costume Design and Best Colour Art Direction-Set Decoration. A classic indeed. 

Gladiator – Dreamworks, 2000

If you know someone who hasn’t seen Gladiator, then we strongly advise you to make sure that they do so. They’d thank you for it. Starring Russell Crowe as Maximus Decimus Meridius, a Roman general, the movie epitomises all things gladiator and what you’d expect to see in a gladiator movie, with its brutality, savagery and overall gladiatorial combat earning it many admirers. Gladiator earned 12 Oscar nominations, winning for Best Picture, Best Actor (Russell Crowe), Best Sound, Best Costume Design and Best Visual Effects. 

Fans of the movie are incredibly loyal to it, taking up the opportunity to feel like a gladiator themselves with the chance to play the Gladiator slot with a great bonus  and other well-known games in the past too such as, Ryse: Son of Rome and Shadow of Rome. It’s simply an epic movie, one for which fans have bee banging the drum for ages to get a sequel. They might just get it with the news that Ridley Scott and co are working on making that a reality. 

Barabbas – Columbia, 1961 

The story of a condemned thief who was set free at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, with Barabbas played by Anthony Quinn, this movie is another classic. Featuring haunting, gladiatorial combat in an arena and internal salvation, amongst a whole host of other things, this highly-regarded movie is considered an accurate historical representation, with many experts preferring it to both Spartacus and Gladiator. 

Alone Against Rome – Medallion, 1962 

Brenno, played by Lang Jeffries, is a young man who ends up in the Roman Colosseum as a gladiator. From there, combat scenes unfold and beautiful Italian scenery is on offer, making this movie an entertaining watch. Perhaps forgotten by some, this is the type of movie that could do with a re-make to enable a more modern audience to enjoy it, although should that not happen, then it will still go down as one of the best of its type. 

The Sign of the Cross – Paramount, 1932

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Costing $600,000, making it a large budget movie from its time, this religious creation is simply epic. Starring Fredric March, Elissa Landi, Claudette Colbert and Charles Laughton, the movie is essentially about Nero and his pagans against the fledgling Christians. The movie even features crocodiles, lions, elephants and a lovestruck gorilla. Yes, you did read that correctly – there’s a lovestruck gorilla. If that doesn’t make you want to watch it, nothing will. 

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