The Winners and Losers of the Spartacan War

Dr Rad has had all her Christmases come at once at the Spartacus@60 conference which was held online on Monday the 21st of December, MMXX! Below is the transcript of Dr Rad’s paper, just in time to add a little dash of rebellion to your festive season.

The Winners and Losers of the Spartacan War

Introduction

As I am sure many of you are aware, almost from the moment Eddie Lewis gave Kirk Douglas a copy of Howard Fast’s novel, there were obstacles in the way, threatening to derail the project and they came from many directions. This was an era of strict censorship, it was the time of the blacklist, it was an age of studio control. There were clashes between the writers, as Howard Fast and Dalton Trumbo did not care for each other. There were disputes between almost everyone on the set – actors, directors, writers, production crew and studio head. This is a film that was not short on internal or external pressures.

However, one of the most significant was the existence of a rival Spartacus film, which had been in the works before Kirk Douglas started pursuing his own movie on the topic. Yul Brynner, who like Douglas, was a Hollywood star who had set up his own production company, was planning to base his film on the novel by Arthur Koestler. Douglas was aware of Brynner’s plan by January 1958 at the latest and the latter already had studio backing and were possibly making inroads on a screenplay. After brief consideration of combining the projects, with typical Douglas bravado, he decided to push ahead in February of that year. But all he really had at this point was an option on a novel and himself as the star.

As the recent research (soon to be published) of Henry MacAdam and Duncan Cooper has proven, The Gladiators was never dead in the water during the production of Spartacus (1960). This was obviously of particular concern during the earlier stages, and the consistent announcements and ads featured in trade papers about the upcoming Brynner feature must have maintained a level of pressure on Douglas & Co.  As Douglas described it in his latest memoir: “It felt like they had a chariot with a full team of horses, while I was chasing after them on foot, hoping to keep up.”[1] Cooper has proposed that Kubrick, who came on board after the initial threat had dissipated, was concerned that the postponed Brynner project might be resurrected and undercut the box office success of the Douglas project because of its’ more satisfying explanation of the failure of Spartacus.[2] We shall see that this pressure is what makes the rival production a significant factor in the development of the storyline, even though there would be other problems that would arise for Spartacus (1960).

The Winners – The Romans

The first major impact of the rival project would lead to victory for the Romans in the script in more ways than one – or at least, some of the Romans.

Douglas and Lewis had been hoping to secure financial backing for their project from United Artists, but they had committed themselves to The Gladiators. They managed to arouse some interest from Universal Pictures, but UP wanted to see a script, and that was still in the works.[3] In fact, Douglas and Lewis had novelist Howard Fast and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo working separately but simultaneously at one point. With the money hanging in the balance and Brynner hanging over their heads, Douglas and Lewis knew that their best option was to attach a notable director and a quality cast to their film as quickly as possible, something that Douglas had been trying to do from January 1958.

Part of the appeal of Spartacus lay in the fact that Douglas was smarting over his rejection from the role of Ben-Hur, so he was obviously destined to play the lead hero and was not going anywhere. His adversaries were another story. In the grand tradition of Hollywood’s Rome, he envisioned having a clear accent divide between the Romans and slaves, with the Brits playing the bad guys.[4] This meant that Douglas was keenly aware that he needed to lock down some illustrious British actors to play the major characters on that side of the story. His agent, Lew Wasserman, helped him to make contact with Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, and Charles Laughton. Allegedly, Brynner was trying to secure the same people.[5] The priority was therefore for Trumbo’s script to appeal to them and he would be able to focus on the slave storyline later.[6] When approached, Olivier was open to taking the part of Crassus, but only if the role was made more impressive in comparison to those of Spartacus, Batiatus, and Gracchus.[7]   Peter Ustinov wished to see similar improvements to his role, but he also signed on.[8] Laughton was far from complimentary about the script but he needed the funds and became part of the cast.[9]

The blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo had been brought onboard as Douglas and Lewis claimed to be dissatisfied with Fast’s early work (although Fast has quite a different story) and he was known to be exceptionally, well, fast.[10] Trumbo was given the novel to adapt the storyline for the screen and he lived up to his reputation for speed.[11] With a suitable cast and script finally under their belt, the financial backing from Universal was also looking more secure.[12] But the UA film was still underway with locations being scouted in Europe.[13] In order to get a head start, Douglas decided to film in California, where the weather was more conducive to shooting straightaway.[14] They were dealing Brynner a serious blow, but as Douglas later noted “…Spartacus was now careening into production without a director, a leading lady, or a finished script.”[15] 

So what exactly did all this mean for the Roman side of the story?  The pressure from the rival project meant that it received the most attention first and roles were enhanced or altered to appeal more to the cast. The intention was always to beef up the slave story once time was less of an issue. Trumbo later noted that the British trio preferred the earlier drafts because their parts were better than Douglas’.[16]  This was presuming that the rest of the production would run fairly smoothly, but that would not be the case. Douglas’ decision to start filming as soon as possible meant that the production was moving ahead without a finalised script, and this would cause numerous disputes over the direction of the film once shooting began. As Douglas himself remarked: “our script was never finished until the end of filming.”[17] The cast that he had fought to secure would also prove to be problematic. There was a long-standing rivalry between Olivier and Laughton that would leave a its mark on the script development. Additionally, the British actors (particularly the afore-mentioned duo) were only available for a set period of time, which means by the time that Trumbo was urging for crucial reshoots in August 1959, they were unavailable, and the Roman story was mostly locked in place.[18] There were minor reshoots, but on the whole the Roman scenes could only be edited and moved around; adding to it substantially would be near impossible. Thus, in comparison to the slave plot, the Roman section of the script was relatively stable.

Crassus

Crassus was scripted as an illustrious general from the beginning in both Fast and Trumbo’s earliest scripts – not too far from the historical figure at this point in his career. Trumbo planned to use Crassus and Caesar to tell a larger story about the slide into one-man rule, the irony being that the Romans hand over their own freedom when they make Crassus a dictatorial figure in order to fight slaves who are desiring just that – to be free. He was aware that this was not historically accurate; the message mattered more than the historicity.[19] Crassus’ demands for power grow bolder throughout his early script drafts.

Crassus - Encyclopaedia Daemonica

Image of Laurence Olivier as Crassus, courtesy of Encyclopedia Daemonica

Olivier would not have opposed anything that added heft to his role. Indeed, we can see his influence early on. To appease him, the role was enhanced from the First Draft to the Second in September 1958.[20] One shift that remained a feature of the script until the final editing took place was beginning the script in Crassus’ tent before the final battle, instead of Spartacus’ suffering in the mines. Here he would talk about his investigations into Spartacus’ past and discuss the course of the war. Although Spartacus was the subject of conversation, this change instantly foregrounded the character of Crassus, and it was introduced to please Olivier.[21] Much of his subsequent trajectory was drawn from Fast’s novel, as might be expected, including the nature of his rivalry with Gracchus and his morbid fascination with Spartacus and Varinia. In the Final Script 9/12/1958, his scenes were refined further, to the point where Stan Margulies (Bryna) expressed concern that the character of Crassus was becoming too impressive and was too much the focus of the film.[22] Although some of his scene were trimmed and moved during the final editing process, Crassus, and Olivier, emerged as one of the winners of the Spartacan war. His character is intriguing, complex, and has a proper arc. Olivier had ensured that Crassus had some protection when he signed on, with his contract stating that any alterations from the recent script (the Second Draft) would not result in massive changes to the role of Crassus in relation to the other roles.[23] Interestingly, Trumbo noted that Olivier ended up being the actor who asked for the least number of changes, and when he did make requests, he did so with writer approval.[24] As we shall see, this was in contrast to Douglas’ own approach. However, some of Trumbo’s plot regarding the rise of the dictator and the huge threat posed by the revolt, which was clearly tied to Crassus’ role, would not survive to the final cut.

Batiatus

The Batiatus of the film was a combination of two of Fast’s characters, the owner of the ludus and the beggar Flavius, a client of Gracchus. Trumbo started to turn Batiatus into more of a comic figure in his First Draft script; however, in the first few screenplays, he was also shown being openly abusive to his slave Varinia. Her resistance provides the reason for her transfer to Spartacus’ cell in the first and second scripts, and he beats her after she visits Spartacus for the first time in the Final Screenplay. This backstory was excised by the Revised Final Script, and it was around this time that Ustinov started to have an impact on the character. He was reportedly very chummy with director Anthony Mann, with Ed Lewis remarking that “ever since he got here Peter’s been so far up Tony’s ass he could draw a map of his colon.”[25] Sometime after filming began on the 27th January 1959 and before Kubrick’s entrance in mid-February, Ustinov talked Mann into taking him to see Dalton Trumbo. This was a big step as the blacklisted Trumbo’s identity was meant to be a secret. Indeed, this indiscretion may have been one of the reasons that Mann was fired from the project, but his lack of control over Ustinov on set was probably the more serious concern.[26]

From around this point, there was quite rapid change in some aspects of Batiatus’ storyline, and this can be attributed to The Gladiators and the rivalry between Olivier and Laughton. The British stars all came with a wealth of experience as writers and directors, as well as actors. Peter Ustinov was not afraid to use his talents to highlight his role. The lack of a finalised script due to the other Spartacus project provided him with an opportunity to ‘edit’ Batiatus. The level of paranoia that Laughton felt about Olivier and his influence on the script meant that he refused to act the scenes as written. He was convinced that Olivier was talking Douglas into beefing up Crassus to the detriment of Gracchus, and we can perhaps understand how he formed that impression. The British actors had probably seen different drafts, and when this became apparent during a table read, Laughton needed no further proof.[27] Ustinov was the only writer that Laughton trusted, so he began writing their scenes together, and was officially employed as a writer on 5th June 1959. The pair would rehearse them at home, and Kubrick rarely wanted to make any changes when they were in front of the cameras as they were so well-prepared.[28] However, there was a conflict of interest here. Ustinov was primarily concerned with showcasing his part, just like the other actors. He was not prioritising the integrity of the overall vision. Notoriously, Ustinov allegedly drew a picture in a meeting with Trumbo which showed Laughton with a knife in his back; an indication of what Batiatus planned to do to Gracchus.[29] Trumbo felt that his version of the scenes undermined Gracchus’ role as a ‘sub-hero’ of the film.[30] Ustinov was the sole actor to emerge with an Oscar for his work; just like Batiatus, he proved to be a sly survivor in this war. 

Therefore, it seems that Ustinov was looking out for his own interests, just like the others, an observation made by outsiders as well as Trumbo during his meetings with the actor.[31]  As Trumbo pointed out at the time and Douglas recently reiterated, Ustinov’s priority was more likely to be his own role, rather than the film as a whole.[32]   

Gracchus

Gracchus is the major Roman character that went through the most change throughout the production. This was due to several factors – the afore-mentioned Olivier-Laughton rivalry, Laughton’s subsequent reliance on Ustinov as a writer and screen partner, but also because Gracchus’ role in the storyline was most impacted by the fluctuations on the slave side of the film. These fluctuations, of course, were caused by the rush to start filming due to the Brynner project.

In most of the surviving scripts, Gracchus has a much larger role than what we see in the film today. Gracchus was designed to serve as a foil to Crassus in the larger Roman story arc. Fast had also been intending for Gracchus to stand out from the other Roman senators.[33] Drawing on the associations that came with his name, Gracchus was portrayed as a popular politician. From the first draft, his close ties with the lower classes were to be shown in a slum street scene, where he would wander through the populace with his protégé, Julius Caesar, and a tavern scene. This would be in stark contrast to the splendid isolation of Crassus, or the scenes of him hobnobbing with his fellow elite. As the Roman side of the story had received so much more attention at first, there were quite a few scenes designed to show the rivalry and political games between Crassus and Gracchus. In the First Draft and in subsequent screenplays, there was a scene in which Gracchus tells Caesar that he plans to incorporate Spartacus into the Republic if Rome is defeated. Gracchus wants to avoid a dictatorship under Crassus at all costs. This is what causes Caesar to defect to Crassus’ side. In the Revised Final Script from 16/1/1959, the first where we start to see Ustinov’s influence, a night senate scene was added, where Crassus arrests Gracchus and his associates and informs him that he will be kept alive only to appease the mob. Gracchus suicides rather than complying with Crassus’ plans.

Stanley Kubrick 2: The Business - Spartacus (1960) | Cagey ...

Charles Laughton as Gracchus. Image courtesy of wwwcageyfilms.com

In the First and Second draft, Gracchus also had quite a tender relationship with Varinia. In the First Draft, his interest in her begins with lust after he sees a painting that Batiatus had commissioned of her, but eventually he conceives of Spartacus and Varinia as the leaders of a new world. Gracchus frees Varinia to try and atone for the pain he realises that he has caused his slave concubines in the past before his suicide. In the second draft, Gracchus only puts a deposit on Varinia to cheer Batiatus up, but he still ends up caring for her deeply and wishing that he could have met Spartacus and saved his ultimate love (Rome) from Crassus’ dictatorship.  The relationship between Gracchus and Varinia changed dramatically in the Final Script from 9/12/1958. Gone is the attraction and ‘love story’; Varinia is just a tool that Gracchus uses to annoy Crassus, and his suicide is only to spite his rival.  This more cynical element was maintained in the Revised Final Script from the 16/1/1959. Peter Ustinov also cut out the references that Gracchus used in some of his scenes to make about Spartacus having destroyed the Republic or the threat of Spartacus.

The Losers – The Slaves

As we have seen, the early attention to the Roman narrative and the rush into production in order to beat UA and to secure financing was to the benefit of the Roman characters, although some benefitted more than others. The personal rivalries between the British stars and their relationships also had an impact. But we need to consider how the triumph of the Romans had a knock-on effect on the slave storyline. After all, this was primarily a film about Spartacus’ revolt.

It is difficult to trace the precise development of the slave storyline, as some of the changes took place on set in story conferences and there is little record of these. Many of our records about the film come from Dalton Trumbo; as a blacklisted writer, sending memos, letters and telegrams, were a key form of communication. But his status as persona non grata meant that he was not able to witness what happened on the set, nor could he always control the amendments to the script. Both directors, Anthony Mann and Kubrick, were in powerful positions, as was Kirk Douglas as executive producer and star. As we have seen, the actors also were not afraid to make their opinions known, but this extended beyond the British trio to slave players like Tony Curtis. Howard Fast also became involved as a screenwriter again in June 1959 whilst Trumbo was on strike. As we shall see, there were too many chefs in the kitchen, but the door to all of this was opened because of Yul Brynner’s film. It was common for new pages to arrive in the morning, and shooting could be delayed if Douglas or one of the other stars had an issue with the material. Not all the suggestions were necessarily major, but it maintained the chaotic atmosphere, and undermined attempts to craft a cohesive product.[34]

Kulisszák mögött 1. - RITKÁN LÁTHATÓ TÖRTÉNELEM

Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons and Tony Curtis on set. Image courtesy of https://ritkanlathatotortenelem.blog.hu/2014/10/12/kulisszak_mogott_207

Spartacus

Spartacus is a challenging character to evaluate because he naturally received so much attention from the cast & crew, as well as subsequent academics. To discuss him adequately, it is easiest to start in August 1959. By this stage, everyone thought that the principal shooting was over. Trumbo was smuggled onto the UI lot to watch the rough cut of the film.[35] He was horrified by what he saw – a mess. Trumbo was compelled to write his lengthy Report on Spartacus in response as his dream of this film being a smash hit had evaporated before his eyes. He was convinced that rewrites and reshoots were necessary if the film were to be saved. One of the key issues identified was the lack of consistency in the story, particularly with the character of Spartacus. Trumbo defined this in terms of their being a mixture of the ‘Large Spartacus’ and ‘Small Spartacus’. In short, Large Spartacus involved a threatening revolt that shook the Roman Republic. The slaves managed to secure some impressive victories against top Roman troops. Spartacus himself fights for the freedom of all who follow him. He is the equal of the Roman characters, and would be shown taking action, forming plans, organising his forces and so on. Spartacus needed to associate with other “strong slave characters”, so that the slave storyline was as compelling as the Roman one. Gracchus is the only Roman capable of really appreciating the situation. The Small Spartacus tells the story of a “gaol-break”, followed by a short attempt to escape. It does not take the Romans long to suppress Spartacus & Co. During their short burst of freedom, Spartacus’ main goal was to secure a future for himself and Varinia. Leadership is something he is forced to assume, and he is racked by doubts about their aims. This Spartacus is hardly the equal of the Romans; indeed, he is not exactly a thinking man, nor are those around him.[36] He had always been working towards the vision of the Large Spartacus, and whilst Howard Fast and Dalton Trumbo had a deeply antagonistic relationship, they both ultimately wanted to heroise Spartacus, albeit in different ways.[37]

Fast wanted to begin with a heroic Spartacus, as he had in his novel. Whilst Douglas was attracted to the novel, he thought Fast’s version of Spartacus would not translate well to the screen: “Spartacus was simply too good, too noble, too godlike … to be dramatically interesting or possible … He was a myth.”[38] Trumbo’s First Draft contains more of an arc in which we see Spartacus evolve from an animal into a man, and then “an aware man”.[39] This can be seen immediately in the opening scene at the mines. Spartacus reacts to his guards because of his own poor treatment, not due to the poor treatment of a fellow slave.  His growth would be seen through his interaction with Varinia, a female slave with whom he would fall in love, an injured bird. Trumbo toyed with the idea of inserting scenes where Spartacus would nurse the bird back to health at the ludus (and symbolically free during the revolt).[40] He is a natural general from the first, leading a successful breakout, training his followers and forging an army, and leading them to victory in military engagements – and we would actually see a montage of these triumphs. Any of the more objectionable actions that may have been taken by the historical character are excluded, as is any blame for his ultimate defeat. Spartacus is only beaten because he unknowingly leads his army against three Roman generals – Crassus, Pompey and Lucullus (a completely fictional twist that may sprung up during their research phase).[41] It is worth noting that this was quite different from what Fast had conceived. In his script, like his novel, Spartacus is defeated because not enough slaves rose in Italy to join him, and the slaves that did follow him did not remain united.[42] This final battle would not be explicitly shown but represented symbolically. The First Draft has Large Spartacus written all over it.

MUNERA: THE BLOOD SPORTS OF ANCIENT ROME – The Greanville Post

Image of Kirk Douglas as Spartacus with Woody Strode (who played the gladiator Draba), courtesy of http://www.greanvillepost.com

As Trumbo moved on to the Second Draft and Final Script at the end of 1958, Spartacus’ scenes did change; new elements were added, such as Spartacus’ desire to read (and be taught by the literate Varinia), and his relationships with those around him were slightly altered, such as Varinia and Crixus. However, one thing remained constant; with Trumbo at the helm, he was Large the whole way through. The studio was less thrilled with the slave victory battle scenes at this time due to the huge expense; however, this objection was removed when MCA bought UI in December 1958.[43] Yet the Revised Final Script, which is dated to January, but contains edits up to June 1959, is the script where we start to see the appearance of Small Spartacus. For instance, after the revolt at the ludus, Spartacus wants to run off to Thrace with Varinia; it is she who feels an obligation to stay. Later on, Spartacus turns away a group of runaways (mostly made up of women, children and the elderly) who were trying to join his forces, stating that he cannot feed them. There are scenes showing how he is haunted by the choices he has had to make, and he needs reassurance that he has taken the correct path. Spartacus refuses to make the final decision about what action the army should take and allows his followers to decide.

Kulisszák mögött 1. - RITKÁN LÁTHATÓ TÖRTÉNELEM

Image of Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kurbick, courtesy of https://ritkanlathatotortenelem.blog.hu/2014/10/12/kulisszak_mogott_207

There are a lot of changes to Spartacus in this script and they seem to be attributable to a number of factors. The original director had some input, and then Kubrick understandably had his own ideas about the character once he was part of the crew. Due to the unfinished nature of the script, Kubrick had the opportunity to work them into the story, rather than just shooting the movie. Some of these seem to have been influenced by Koestler, some was probably from his own research into the ancient sources, and some came from Fast, who was briefly re-employed as a screenwriter in June 1959 and worked well with Kubrick.[44] Douglas must also be held responsible, as he himself recognised: “If Spartacus has any limitations, they are my limitations. I give all credit to its producer and its director, both of whom functioned superbly; but there is nothing in the film that I did not, in the end, approve of.”[45] Even after firing Fast, Douglas had sought his advice on script developments, behind Trumbo’s back.[46] He also seems to have been unperturbed by conflict on the set, to have relished exploring every possibility and he allowed this constant rewriting of the script, often on the set, only some of which would gain the input of his own screenwriter.[47] Douglas’ penchant for improvisation and negotiations about the script often disrupted the production schedule.[48] Indeed, his nickname amongst some of the crew may have been ‘General Mixmaster’.[49] Douglas not only rushed into production, but ultimately permitted new material from Kubrick, Fast, Ustinov, and the conference session to be introduced during the months of principal shooting. It is easy to see how Spartacus’ character, and thus the film as a whole, lacked coherence after six months of chopping and changing on a daily basis. Trying to keep track of and keep up with the constant changes made Trumbo feel as though he still had not had sufficient time to develop the slave characters and he felt guilty for carrying out rewrites that went against his overall vision.[50]

This is not to say that all of the changes were for the worse or unwelcome. Trumbo adored the way that Kubrick had directed the first hour of the film at the ludus and the love story between Spartacus and Varinia, saying: “That’s what Spartacus’ character is.  You conceived it, you created it, you directed it, you shot it – it’s all yours, and it’s all there, and it’s wonderful … We must not depart from that basic characteristic of our hero: Spartacus is gentle!” However, after the revolt, Trumbo was less complimentary.

A lot of the Large Spartacus material had been excluded, and not because Kubrick did not see Spartacus as a heroic figure, but because he wanted to explore what he saw as more authentic representation.[51] There were less shorts showing Spartacus organising and training the army, or conducting strategy meetings with other slave leaders. Rather than knowing in advance about the betrayal of the pirates because of his excellent reconnaissance, Spartacus is completely blindsided. Trumbo also felt that Spartacus was more concerned about his own reputation than anything else in his final scene with Varinia. The montage showing slave battle successes was massively reduced, but something else had been beefed up in their place. No longer would the final clash be represented symbolically. Kubrick was determined that this would now be a large-scale battle, worthy of an epic. However, he was not intending for the film to contain this sole action sequence. As Cooper has recently argued, Kubrick was happy to go along with the Large Spartacus elements that he felt were supported by the evidence, and this included the slave victory scenes. There were plans to restore these, but they would not make it to the final cut.[52] The opposition to these sorts of scenes would come from another quarter, as we shall see.

INFORMATION ACTION: actionable ideas for evidence-based ...

Kirk Douglas as Spartacus, courtesy of http://informationaction.blogspot.com/2013/09/im-spartacus.html

Crixus

Those of you who have seen the film would be forgiven for forgetting that there was a character named Crixus in it. Crixus is based on a historical character, who is mentioned in the ancient records as a sort of lieutenant to the slave leader. Howard Fast had included him in the novel; he and Spartacus have an amicable relationship, and only part ways when their visions for the revolt necessitate a parting of ways. Interesting, he did not include this storyline in his own screenplay.

Trumbo only included him as a minor character in the First Draft, but as we know, the slaves were not receiving his full attention at this stage. As Trumbo was able to develop the story, his role started to expand. In the Second Draft 22/9/1958, Spartacus and Crixus begin feuding after the breakout from the ludus. Crixus is opposed to the escaped slaves indulging in wine; as an ex-soldier, he knows that this could ruin their chances as an army. Spartacus disagrees, and Crixus eventually concedes. Tempers between the two again flare when Spartacus forbids Crixus to lead a raid.  A duel ensues, in which Spartacus naturally is the victor. Crixus agrees to back Spartacus form this point onwards. Therefore, whilst the pair fight, their disputes are resolved. He is even more upset than Spartacus when the pirate ships are delayed.

Espartaco (Stanley Kubrick, 1960): Bigger than life ...

Image of Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) leading the revolt at the ludus, followed closely by Crixus (John Ireland), courtesy of https://tenientecorrupto.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/espartaco-stanley-kubrick-1960-bigger-than-life/

The tensions continue to simmer in the Final Script 9/12/1958. Again, the feuding begins after the breakout. Crixus aggressively starts pressing for the slaves to march on Rome and opines that the old women and children should never have joined them. He views Spartacus’ plan to escape with pirates as only suitable for the latter, not for the real men. Nor does he back down quickly when challenged by Spartacus. Spartacus puts a knife to his throat and their fight is only interrupted by Antoninus. Nonetheless, this is more or less the end to their problems. Crixus is a continued presence in the script; in fact, it is Crixus who realises that the pirates are being bribed by the Romans to stall.

All of these scripts were written before filming started and Kubrick’s entrance to the project. This is when the conflict between the two gladiators really reached its’ peak, but also came about for different reasons. This could very well be due to the new ideas that the director brought with him. Cooper has suggested that Trumbo was trying to justify Stalin’s actions, and therefore the American Communist Party, through his interpretation, whereas Kubrick was looking towards the ancient sources.[53] Trumbo therefore wanted Crixus to be a Trotsky-like figure, whereas Kubrick wanted to show that some of the slaves wanted to loot Italy, rather than follow Spartacus’ plan. In the Revised Final Script 16/1/59, which contains edit made up until June of that same year, once again the fighting begins after the breakout. Crixus starts dressing like a Roman soldier and makes unauthorised attacks on nearby towns, instead of raiding for grain. Whilst Crixus clearly feels a little sorry that these attacks lead to the death of some slaves, he refuses to back down. After all, the slave army is losing plenty of men through desertion. Rome should be their goal, not running away to Brundusium. Some of the slaves agree with Crixus’ plan, and what’s not to love? He’s as tough as nails. Crixus beats a slave who starts panicking when Glabrus arrives with Roman troops, and wants to duel Glabrus after the slaves have defeated his forces. He continues to push for an attack on Rome itself, proposing that they slave army split in two if they cannot agree. Finally, after the battle of Canusium, Crixus and some of his followers try to sneak away from the main army during the night. When they are caught and overpowered by Spartacus & Co, Crixus is unabashed, insisting that Spartacus’ plan will not work. Spartacus orders Crixus’ execution (a Koestlerian turn of events); however, the irony is that Spartacus ends up working on an attack on Rome. This script took the rivalry to a new level, and in a direction that Trumbo did not appreciate. Trumbo was clearly not opposed to showing any conflict within the slave army, as is evidenced by his own scripts, but in his mind it had to be done a certain way. Parts of this version of Crixus seems to have been pushed by through during the filming and Trumbo though that it downgraded the whole revolt by depicting his lieutenant as a ‘mere robber’. Kubrick’s rival ideas appear to have stemmed from the novel that Brynner had planned to use for his film – Koestler’s The Gladiators. Rather than depict the slaves as some sort of proto-Communist utopia, as Fast had done in his book, Koestler had included a lot of conflict as his central purpose was to explore what happened when ‘revolutions go wrong’.

All of this disappears in the Final Shooting Script 14/9/1959, which was a continuity script created to help settle the issue of the writing credit. Crixus’ role has been decimated and there is only the faintest whiff of the former tension between the slave leaders. Neither Trumbo nor Fast seem to be ultimately responsible for this; the blame seems to lie with Kirk Douglas. He wanted Spartacus to be front and centre, and requested that Crixus’ part be reduced following the battle against Glabrus at Vesuvius. This is evidence of Kirk Douglas’ interference with the script, which was allowed to go on during filming because there were very few people who could actually overrule him. This also happened at around the time that Trumbo quit the production in a fit of pique and Fast was brought back in to work on the slave story.[54]

Following Trumbo’s Report, there were reshoots ordered that focused entirely on the slave side of the story and it was all from the Large Spartacus school of thought. These included some slave vignettes and new scenes between Spartacus and Tigranes, the pirate envoy. It should be noted that some of this new material came from Kubrick; it was not all from Trumbo.[55] Whilst these did bulk up the slave plot, there was not enough money or time to do everything Trumbo dreamed.[56] The studio also undermined these efforts in post-production. It seems they decided to cut references and scenes relating to slave victories as the grew nervous about the politics surrounding this expensive film.[57] Additionally, Douglas continued to delight in considering a variety of options into the editing process and would still engage in arguments over individual lines and scenes, along with Kubrick, the cutters and the studio.[58] According to one of the editors, Douglas also might be responsible for the removal of several strong Roman scenes between Olivier and Laughton.[59] Was this to preserve the Large Spartacus… or just to cut out the competition? It was during this post-production phase that the decision was made to begin the film with Spartacus in the mines once more, with a prologue that tried to emphasise Spartacus’ ‘greater victory’ over the Romans.

Varinia

If this was the treatment meted out to Spartacus’ lieutenant, what would happen to his love interest? In his novel, Howard Fast had crafted a strong, fierce partner for Spartacus named Varinia. Interestingly, the surviving scripts suggest that Trumbo was prepared to make more of her character for the film than Fast. There is one part of Varinia’s story that never changes, and that is the fact that she survives Spartacus. The rest of her story was much more fluid.

Spartacus - Wikipedia

Image of Varinia (Jean Simmons) and Spartacus after their escape, courtesy of Wikipedia.

In the First Draft, Varinia is a central figure and she is like the Amazon that Fast had envisioned in the book. When Batiatus and Spartacus try to force themselves upon her, she resists them tooth and nail. Varinia fights for freedom alongside Spartacus at the ludus and is subsequently depicted at the head of the slave army. She is placed in charge of the other women and food at the slave camp. Some of the slave women start a cult of Varinia. Spartacus, Gracchus and Crassus are all after her. This is one hell of a woman. This depiction of Varinia was only strengthened in the Second Draft. Although the scenes do not remain exactly the same, the elements are still there. At one point, Varinia actually smacks Spartacus in the mouth so that she join the fray the ludus. Her centrality continued to be a feature of the Final Script, and it is not just Varinia. Slave women in general are included throughout the script, working and fighting with their menfolk.

There is a notable shift in the Varinia of the Revised Script, and we know that Kubrick had a hand in this. The relationship between Batiatus and Spartacus was excised almost entirely. It was his idea to make the love story between Spartacus and Varinia to unfold very subtly and with hardly any dialogue, although he may have conceived of this after seeing Fast’s original script.[60] This is an effective part of the film and was appreciated by the rest of the cast and crew at the time. However, her subsequent presence in the script was diminished. We see much less of her, especially in positions of prominence. Varinia is present for the meeting between the slave leaders and the pirate ambassador, but she is sewing in the background. Her most significant scene after the breakout is when she opposes Spartacus’ decision to execute Crixus, but then apologises to Spartacus as she sees this was a necessary step.

Varinia has been cut down even more by the time of the continuity script from September 1959. She is much tamer and more domestic throughout. For instance, when Glabrus arrives at Vesuvius, Varinia does not join the battle. Instead, she comes out of the tent to farewell Spartacus with a poncho and a hug. In the strategy meetings, Varinia wanders in and out, pregnant and serving the men drinks and dinner. She exists for love scenes. The rest of the slave women seem to have vanished with the death of warrior-Varinia. This is one of the aspects of the rough cut that most upset Trumbo. He was desperate to have the slave women restored throughout the film, and there were some reshoots that tried to redress the balance. But they would never hold the position that Trumbo had initially intended, or in a way that would have been faithful to Fast’s novel. The reshoots restored Varinia to some extent, but they did not rescue her.

File:Kirk Douglas, Sabine Bethmann, and Sir Laurence ...

Image of Kirk Douglas, Sabina/ Sabine Bethmann (originally cast as Varinia) and Laurence Olivier, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Varinia and the slave women were definite losers in the war for Spartacus. Did they just get lost in the fray? It is hard to say. Varinia’s cause probably was not helped by the fact that the actress playing her was fired a few weeks into filming. Douglas had initially chosen Sabina Bethmann as she had the right look, but her acting was subpar.[61] Once Kubrick came on board, her fate was sealed, and she was replaced by Jean Simmons. Simmons was probably one of the only cast or crew members who was universally well-liked. Was she the type to fight for her character? It would have been difficult for her to do so, if she were that way inclined. Simmons was indisposed not long after joining the cast, which meant she was out of action for a spell. By the time she was well, Simmons found that she spent a lot of time waiting around, only to appear in background shots. This was because the Roman storyline was being shot whilst the Brits were still available.[62] In addition, because the script was in such a state of flux, it was common for Simmons to receive new pages with rescripted scenes. When interviewed in 1960 for the ‘Year in Spartacus’ project, Simmons recalled that it was difficult to play the role of Varinia as she was never sure of the past or future of her character; her storyline was constantly evolving.[63] Tony Curtis reported a similar issue with his part of Antoninus. Once again, the lack of a finalised script because of the rival Spartacus film enabled a slave character to change from something dynamic and cohesive into the stereotype of a 1950s housewife.

Conclusion   

Spartacus is a fascinating film to study because there were so many external and internal factors that shaped the history, and to be honest, there was a lot that I could not cover today due to the time constraints. What I hope this talk has illustrated is that we should not underestimate the impact of the rival Brynner project, which was a threat during the entire production, but was of most concern in those early months. Whilst it is not the only factor that we to consider, without the pressure imposed by The Gladiators, then Douglas may not have leapt so quickly into filming, before the screenplay was finalised. He also may not have had to focus on the Roman storyline for the sake of the British stars. The lack of a fixed script facilitated the rewriting that took place on set and the introduction of new characterisations and plotlines. Due to the early attention paid to the Roman plot, they were less impacted by this than the slave characters. This is not to say that they were not affected at all. Roles that had the most connection to the Large or Small material could still shift. The atmosphere that this film was being written by a ‘committee’ allowed for requests to be made and new writers became involved, most notably Peter Ustinov.[64] And finally, as Cooper has pointed out, without Brynner’s film lurking in the background, Kubrick may also not have been as motivated to incorporate some of the themes from Koestler’s novel, which did not mesh neatly with the initial concept for the Douglas film.   

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By the time the overall lack of coherence was detected, the British actors were largely unavailable for major reshoots, and funding and time were an issue. The slave side of the story required the most attention at any rate, but it never managed to equal the Roman part of the film in terms of dramatic tension and complex characters. Douglas himself stated: “Their parts were …central to the film. That would come back to haunt us when we started shooting.”[65] The slaves emerged the losers from the battle for Spartacus, but Spartacus himself was not the main victim. A Large Spartacus would have sacrificed himself for his comrades, but Douglas saved himself. Varinia and Crixus, and the slave army, suffered the most from the script fluidity.  However, he was not solely responsible. Whilst it is difficult to be certain about exactly what happened in the editing process, UI became increasingly concerned about the release of this expensive film, especially once Trumbo’s name was officially attached to the project. They worried that the Large Spartacus would send a politically risky message and ordered some cuts to be made, forty-two by Douglas’ count. This included the slave victories and some of the scenes that showed Roman fears about the revolt. Without the Roman reactions to the slave revolt, the political machinations on their side of the plot seem more divorced from Spartacus, which was not Trumbo’s intention, although Kubrick was probably not as worried by this. He had tried to tone down this angle of the script in his rough cut.[66] By examining the winners and losers of this conflict, we can begin to understand what was prioritised in this filmic history and why.

This paper would not have been possible without the support and assistance that I received from Macquarie University, Lea Beness, Tom Hillard, Henry MacAdam and Duncan Cooper, as well as the research that I was able to conduct at the Stanley Kubrick Archives at the University of the Arts, London, the Dalton Trumbo Papers at UCLA, the Special Collections of the Margaret Herrick Library in LA, the Kirk Douglas and Dalton Trumbo Papers at the Wisconsin Centre for Film and Theatre Research, the Howard Fast Collection at the University of Pennsylvania. I have valued being able to share my initial thoughts on this matter today, and I hope to incorporate some new material into my future work on Spartacus (1960), which will hopefully shed further light on the production history of this film.

Bibliography

Baxter, J., Stanley Kubrick (Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York: 1997).

Blanshard, A.; Shahabudin, K., Classics on Screen: Ancient Greece and Rome on Film (Bristol Classical Press, London: 2011).

Callow, S., Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor (Methuen, London: 1987).

Ceplair, L.; Trumbo, C., Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical (University of Kentucky Press, Kentucky: 2015).

Cocks, G., The Wolf at the Door: Stanley Kubrick, History, and the Holocaust (Peter Lang, New York: 2004).

Cook, B., Dalton Trumbo (Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York: 1977).

Cooper, D., ‘Who Killed Spartacus? How Studio Censorship Nearly Ruined the Braveheart of the 1960s’ (1996) (last accessed on 3/1/2012), on D. Cooper, Three Essays from Cineaste Magazine, http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/cooperdex.html

Cooper, D., ‘Dalton Trumbo vs Stanley Kubrick: Their Debate Over the Political Meaning of Spartacus’ (1996) (last accessed on 3/1/2012), on D. Cooper, Three Essays from Cineaste Magazine, http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/cooperdex.html

Cooper, D., ‘Who Killed the Legend of Spartacus? Production, Censorship, and Reconstruction of Stanley Kubrick’s Epic Film’, in Spartacus, ed. M. Winkler (Blackwell Publishing, Malden: 2007), 14-55.

Cooper, D., ‘Koeslterian Visions of Spartacus: Kubrick vs Trumbo & Douglas’, in The Gladiators vs. Spartacus, Vol 2, ed. H. MacAdam & D. Cooper (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne: 2020), 479-526.

Douglas, K., The Ragman’s Son (Simon & Schuster, London: 1988).

Douglas K., I am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist (Open Road Integrated Media LLC, New York: 2012).

Fast, H., Spartacus (North Castle Books, New York: 1951, new ed 1996).

Higham, C., Charles Laughton: An Intimate Biography (Doubleday, New York: 1976).

Hughes, D., The Complete Kubrick (Virgin, London: 2006).

Lobrutto, V., Stanley Kubrick: A Biography (Da Capo Press, USA: 1999).

Malamud, M., Ancient Rome and Modern America (Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford: 2009).

Miller, J., Peter Ustinov: The Gift of Laughter (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London: 2002).

Nisbet, G., Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture (Bristol Phoenix Press, Devon: 2006).

Trow, M. J., Spartacus: The Myth and the Man (Sutton Publishing, United Kingdom: 2006).

Trumbo, D., Additional Dialogue: Letters of Dalton Trumbo, 1942-62, ed. H. Manfull (M. Evan Company Inc, New York: 1970).

Urbainczyk, T., Spartacus (Bristol Classical Press, London: 2004).

Urbainczyk, T., ‘Spartacus: A Hero Turns 50’, in Film International 8:3 (2010), 7-13.

Ustinov, P., Dear Me (Penguin, Victoria: 1977).

Walker, A., It’s Only a Movie, Ingrid: Encounters on and off screen (Headline, London: 1988).

Ward, C. O., The Ancient Lowly: A History of the Ancient Working People from the Earliest Known Period to the Adoption of Christianity by Constantine: 2 vols (Charles H. Kerr & Company, Chicago: 1888, 9th ed 1907).

Zemon Davis, N., Slaves on Screen: Film and Historical Vision (Harvard University Press, Massachusetts: 2000).

Zemon Davis, N., ‘Trumbo and Kubrick Argue History’, in Raritan: 22.1 (Summer, 2002), 173-90.


[1] K. Douglas, I am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist (Open Road Integrated Media LLC, New York: 2012), 47.

[2] D. Cooper,, ‘Koeslterian Visions of Spartacus: Kubrick vs Trumbo & Douglas’, in The Gladiators vs. Spartacus, Vol 2, ed. H. MacAdam & D. Cooper (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne: 2020), 482, 484.

[3] The Year of Spartacus, Box 37, Folder 18, Kirk Douglas Papers, Wisconsin Centre for Film and Theatre Research, State Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin [hereafter referred to as KD]; Interview with Edward Lewis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 7/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper].

[4] Interview with Tony Curtis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 1/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; K. Douglas, The Ragman’s Son (Simon & Schuster, London: 1988), 314; cf. V. Lobrutto, Stanley Kubrick: A Biography (Da Capo Press, USA: 1999), 170; N. Zemon Davis, Slaves on Screen: Film and Historical Vision (Harvard University Press, Massachusetts: 2000), 23-24. For more on the use of accents in historical films, see G. Nisbet, Ancient Greece in Film and Popular Culture (Bristol Phoenix Press, Devon: 2006), 129; A. Blanshard & K. Shahabudin, Classics on Screen: Ancient Greece and Rome on Film (Bristol Classical Press, London: 2011), 19-20.

[5] Douglas, Ragman, 311; G. Cocks, The Wolf at the Door: Stanley Kubrick, History, and the Holocaust (Peter Lang, New York: 2004), 99; Douglas, Spartacus, 47, 49.

[6] Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 486.

[7] Letter from Laurence Olivier to Kirk Douglas 4/9/1958], in Douglas, Ragman, 312; Lobrutto, Kubrick, 169; Douglas, Spartacus, 70.  Records indicate that Olivier signed his contract) on 1/11/58 (Laurence Olivier Contract with Bryna, Box 35, Folder 5, KD.

[8] The Year of Spartacus, Box 37, Folder 18, KD; Interview with Edward Lewis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 7/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; cf. Douglas, Ragman, 312.  Records indicate that Ustinov was officially hired on 22/1/59. 

[9] Letter to Charles Laughton [anonymous, but it seems fairly clear from the matters discussed and people named that it is from Kirk Douglas] 14/8/58, Box 33, Folder 1, KD; Interview with Edward Lewis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 7/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; The Year of Spartacus, Box 37, Folder 18, KD; cf. M. J. Trow, Spartacus: The Myth and the Man (Sutton Publishing, United Kingdom: 2006), 4; Douglas, Ragman, 311; Lobrutto, Kubrick, 169; Douglas, Spartacus, 65-66. 

[10] Interview with Edward Lewis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 7/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]. Records indicate that Trumbo was officially hired on 1/6/58 (Letter from Jefferson W. Asher to Sam Jackson 20/5/58; Box 34, Folder 8, KD; Dalton Trumbo Contract with Bryna 1/6/58, Box 6, Folder 2, Dalton Trumbo Papers, Wisconsin Centre for Film and Theatre Research, State Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin [hereafter referred to as DT]; Letter from Jefferson W. Asher to Edward Lewis 22/6/60, Box 33, Folder 19, KD; The Year of Spartacus, Box 37, Folder 18, KD; cf. B. Cook, Dalton Trumbo (Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York: 1977), 4, 13, 270; Douglas, Ragman, 307; Edward Lewis, Spartacus, Commentary, Disc 1; Lobrutto, Kubrick, 168; T. Urbainczyk, Spartacus (Bristol Classical Press, London: 2004), 126; Trow, Spartacus, 4; Douglas, Spartacus, 49.

[11] Edward Lewis, Spartacus, Commentary, Disc 1; see also Letter from Howard Fast to Kirk Douglas 15/2/1959, Box 33, Folder 5, KD (in which Fast indicates that he and the screenwriter [whom he does not name] “were successfully prevented even from having a discussion with each other”).

[12] Interview with Edward Lewis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 6/4/60 [courtesy for D. Cooper]; Douglas, Ragman, 312. See also Letter to Ed Lewis from Dalton Trumbo 24/6/58, Box 6, Folder 2, DT; Letter to Ed Lewis from Dalton Trumbo c. 1958 (no. 1), Box 6, Folder 3, DT; The Year of Spartacus, Box 37, Folder 17, KD; cf. D. Cooper, ‘Who Killed the Legend of Spartacus? Production, Censorship, and Reconstruction of Stanley Kubrick’s Epic Film’, in Spartacus, ed. M. Winkler (Blackwell Publishing, Malden: 2007), 23

[13] Interview with Edward Lewis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 7/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; Interview with Mel Tucker 8/7/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD; cf. Douglas, Ragman, 313; D. Cooper, ‘Dalton Trumbo vs Stanley Kubrick: Their Debate Over the Political Meaning of Spartacus’ (1996) (last accessed on 3/1/2012), on D. Cooper, Three Essays from Cineaste Magazine, http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/cooperdex.html; Lobrutto, Kubrick, 169.

[14] Letter from Edward Lewis to Goffredo Lombardo 13/10/58, Box 33, Folder 4, KD; Interview with Edward Lewis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 7/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; cf. Douglas, Ragman, 313; Lobrutto, Kubrick, 169; D. Cooper, ‘Who Killed the Legend of Spartacus? Production, Censorship, and Reconstruction of Stanley Kubrick’s Epic Film’, in Spartacus, ed. M. Winkler (Blackwell Publishing, Malden: 2007), 23.  Baxter asserts that Douglas wanted to shoot in Rome, but Ed Muhl (head of UP) convinced him to remain in Hollywood as he was attempting to lessen the number of “runaway productions” that were heading to Europe at that time (J. Baxter, Stanley Kubrick [Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York: 1997], 3); Douglas, Spartacus, 59, 75.

[15] ibid., 73.

[16] Interview with Dalton Trumbo for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 2/8/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; cf. Douglas, Spartacus, 59-60.

[17] The Year of Spartacus, Box 37, Folder 17, KD; Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 483.

[18] Interview with Alexander Golitzen for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 17/3/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD; Interview with Mel Tucker for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 8/7/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD.

[19] Roman Info for Stanley Kubrick, Box 24, Folder 6, DT; cf. Interview with Dalton Trumbo for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 2/8/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper].

[20] Douglas, Spartacus, 60.

[21] Letter from Edward Lewis to Laurence Olivier 13/10/1958, Box 33, Folder 4, KD.

[22] Letter from Stan to Kirk Douglas 15/12/58, Box 33, Folder 4, KD.

[23] Laurence Olivier Contract with Bryna 1/11/1958, Box 35, Folder 5, KD.

[24] Report on Spartacus, Box 27, Folder 6, DT.

[25] Douglas, Spartacus, 92.

[26] Dalton Trumbo’s First Deposition: Stamler Case 23/3/68, Box 59, Folder 5, Dalton Trumbo Papers, Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles [hereafter referred to as DT UCLA]; cf. Letter from Dalton Trumbo to Michael Wilson 24/2/59 in Trumbo, Additional Dialogue, 484; Cook, Trumbo, 271; P. Ustinov, Dear Me (Penguin, Victoria: 1977), 275; Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 487.

[27] Peter Ustinov, 1992 Video Interview, Spartacus, Disc 2; Ustinov, Dear Me, 277; Douglas, Spartacus, 110.  For Olivier’s early arrival on set, see also S. Callow, Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor (Methuen, London: 1987), 247; A. Walker, It’s Only a Movie, Ingrid: Encounters on and off screen (Headline, London: 1988), 289. 

[28] Report on Spartacus: Scene by Scene, Box 27, Folder 6, DT; Letter from Dalton Trumbo to Peter Ustinov 1959 in D. Trumbo, Additional Dialogue: Letters of Dalton Trumbo, 1942-62, ed. H. Manfull (M. Evan Company Inc, New York: 1970), 521 (Trumbo mentions Laughton’s sulking during their meetings about his ideas for Gracchus); Peter Ustinov, 1992 Video Interview, Spartacus, Disc 1 & Disc 2; Ustinov, Dear Me, 277; Miller, Ustinov, 98.

[29] Report on Spartacus: Scene by Scene, Box 27, Folder 6, DT; cf. Douglas, Spartacus, 92. 

[30] Note, Box 39, Folder 14, KD; Note, Box 24, Folder 8, DT; Report on Spartacus, Box 27, Folder 6, DT; Gracchus, Batiatus and the Girls, Box 24, Folder 8, DT.

[31] Report to Carmichael for Leatherbee and Stanton for Life New York from Zeitlin 25/2/1960, David Zeitlin Papers, MH; Report on Spartacus: Scene by Scene, Box 27, Folder 6, DT; Letter from Dalton Trumbo to Michael Wilson 24/2/1959 in Trumbo, Additional Dialogue, 484; Interview with Jean Simmons for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 24/3/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; Interview with Tony Curtis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 1/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]. Ustinov later stated that he had not intended to be a scene-stealer, but his writing had probably been of assistance ([No author given] ‘Ustinov is Tops as a Scene Thief’, Mo-Globe Democrat, St Loius 4/12/60, Scrapbook, SK 9/2/1, Stanley Kubrick Archive, University Archives and Special Collections Centre, London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London [hereafter signalled by code SK]).

[32] Report on Spartacus: Scene by Scene, Box 27, Folder 6, DT; Douglas, Spartacus, 99.  In this document, Trumbo specifically objected to the fact that he believed that Ustinov was cutting material that was important for both the storyline and Gracchus’ character in favour of jokes for his own character.

[33] Howard Fast Treatment 27/5/1958, Box 38, Folder 10, KD, 26-27.

[34] Interview with Marshall Green for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 25/3/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD; Interview with Irving Lerner for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 29/6/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD; Interview with Jean Simmons for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 24/3/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; Interview with Tony Curtis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 1/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper].

[35] Cook, Trumbo, 272; D. Cooper, ‘Who Killed Spartacus? How Studio Censorship Nearly Ruined the Braveheart of the 1960s’ (1996) (last accessed on 3/1/2012), on D. Cooper, Three Essays from Cineaste Magazine, http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/cooperdex.html.

[36] Report on Spartacus, Box 27, Folder 6, DT.

[37] Ibid.; cf. Cooper, Who Killed; N. Zemon,‘Trumbo and Kubrick Argue History’, in Raritan: 22.1 (Summer, 2002), 174; Cooper, ‘WKLS’, 26.

[38] Spartacus was generally talked about by the rest of the characters as they looked back or remembered (The Year of Spartacus, Box 37, Folder 17, KD; cf. Interview with Dalton Trumbo for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 2/8/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]).

[39] The Year of Spartacus, Box 37, Folder 17, KD; cf. Cooper, Who Killed; M. Malamud, Ancient Rome and Modern America (Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford: 2009), 220.

[40] Letter from Dalton Trumbo to Edward Lewis, Box 24, Folder 8, DT; Spartacus and Bird Draft, Box 25, Folder 3, DT; Notes on Spartacus: Tony Mann, Box 24, Folder 6, DT; Report on Spartacus, Box 24, Folder 8, DT.

[41] Spartacus Preliminary Research, Box 38, Folder 9, KD; cf. C. O. Ward, The Ancient Lowly: A History of the Ancient Working People from the Earliest Known Period to the Adoption of Christianity by Constantine: 2 vols (Charles H. Kerr & Company, Chicago: 1888, 9th ed 1907), 323.

[42] Howard Fast Script, Box 2, Research and Scripts, SK/9/1/2/2, 110-11; cf. H. Fast, Spartacus (North Castle Books, New York: 1951, new ed 1996), 272, 275, 285, 332.

[43] Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 501, 503-4.

[44] ibid., 487, 498.

[45] The Year of Spartacus, Box 37, Folder 17, KD; cf. Douglas, Spartacus, 126.

[46] L. Ceplair, & C. Trumbo, Dalton Trumbo: Blacklisted Hollywood Radical (University of Kentucky Press, Kentucky: 2015), 375-76.

[47] Kirk Douglas, Spartacus, Commentary, Disc 1; cf. P. Scheuer, ‘$12 million dollar risk taken by Kirk Douglas’, in LA Times 29/9/60, Scrapbook, SK 9/2/1; Interview with Marshall Green for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 25/3/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD; Interview with Alexander Golitzen for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 17/3/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD; Interview with Bob Forrest for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 8/7/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD; Douglas, Spartacus, 118; Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 498.

[48] Interview with Jean Simmons for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 24/3/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; Interview with Tony Curtis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 1/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; Interview with Marshall Green for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 25/3/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD; Interview with Alexander Golitzen for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 17/3/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD; Douglas, Spartacus, 118; cf. John Dall [‘Glabrus’] cited in Higham, Laughton, 215.

[49] Interview with Jean Simmons for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 24/3/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper] (the interviewer [David Chandler] had been told about Douglas’ nickname by unidentified cast members, but Simmons denied knowing anything about it).

[50] Report on Spartacus, Box 27, Folder 6, DT; Ceplair & Trumbo, Trumbo, 385; Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 498.

[51] ibid., 507, 510.

[52] ibid., 502, 504, 506.

[53] ibid., 510-11, 513, 516.

[54] ibid., 518.

[55] Tigranes Material, Box 25, Folder 6, DT; Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 499.

[56] ibid., 498-99.

[57] Present Edited Continuity of Completed Picture, Box 35, Folder 12, KD; Studio Shooting: Lists in Shot Continuity 9/10/59, Box 35, Folder 20, KD; Revised Music Notes by Stanley Kubrick 21/1/60, Box 4, SK 9/1/2/5/6; UP Interoffice Communication from Sid Lund [editorial department] to Ed Muhl cc Edward Lewis, Mel Tucker, M. Weiner F. Thompson, Robert (Bob) Lawrence 12/2/60, Box 35, Folder 16, KD; Status of Remaining Special Effects 26/4/60, Box 36, Folder 4, KD; Redubbing Sound Effects 1/6/60, Box 4, SK 9/1/2/5/6; Notes on Cutting, Box 35, Folder 16, KD; Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 501.  Cooper believes that a version of the Battle Map Metapontum was included in the June 1960 previews (‘WKLS’, 32).  The Redubbing Sound Effects 1/6/60 would seem to indicate that the map had been dropped, but this version did include a Metapontum March sequence (Redubbing Sound Effects 1/6/60, Box 4, SK 9/1/2/5/6).

[58] Interview with Irving Lerner for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 29/6/60, Box 38, Folder 6, KD.

[59] ibid.

[60] Howard Fast Script, Box 2, Research and Scripts, SK/9/1/2/2, 23-25.

[61] Douglas, Ragman, 315, 317; cf. Lobrutto, Kubrick, 174; D. Hughes, The Complete Kubrick (Virgin, London: 2006), 74.

[62] Interview with Jean Simmons for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 24/3/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; see also Interview with Tony Curtis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 1/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper].

[63] Interview with Jean Simmons for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 24/3/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper]; cf. Interview with Tony Curtis for ‘The Year of Spartacus’ 1/4/60 [courtesy of D. Cooper].

[64] The ‘committee’ consisted of Douglas, Trumbo, Lewis and Kubrick (A Last General Note on Spartacus, Box 35, Folder 22, KD; cf. Cooper, Who Killed; Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 497).

[65] Douglas, Spartacus, 73-74.

[66] ibid., 156-57; Cooper, Koestlerian Visions, 519-521.

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