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Gladiator (2000 film)

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Title: Gladiator (2000 film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 73rd Academy Awards, Ridley Scott, 2000 in film, 6th Empire Awards, List of awards and nominations received by Joaquin Phoenix
Collection: 2000 Films, 2000S Drama Films, American Action Films, American Drama Films, American Epic Films, American Films, Best Drama Picture Golden Globe Winners, Best Film Bafta Award Winners, Best Film Empire Award Winners, Best Picture Academy Award Winners, British Drama Films, British Epic Films, British Films, Dreamworks Pictures Films, English-Language Films, Epic Films, Film Scores by Hans Zimmer, Films About Gladiatorial Combat, Films About Revenge, Films Directed by Ridley Scott, Films Featuring a Best Actor Academy Award Winning Performance, Films Set in Africa, Films Set in Ancient Rome, Films Set in Europe, Films Set in Germany, Films Set in Rome, Films Set in Spain, Films Set in the 2Nd Century, Films Set in the Roman Empire, Films Shot in England, Films Shot in Malta, Films Shot in Morocco, Films That Won the Best Costume Design Academy Award, Films That Won the Best Sound Mixing Academy Award, Films That Won the Best Visual Effects Academy Award, Gladiator (2000 Film), Incest in Film, Nerva–antonine Dynasty, Patricide in Fiction, Performance Capture in Film, Scott Free Productions Films, Screenplays by John Logan, Sports in Fiction, Universal Pictures Films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gladiator (2000 film)

A man standing at the center of the image is wearing armor and is holding a sword in his right hand. In the background is the top of the Colosseum with a barely visible crowd standing in it. The poster includes the film's title, cast credits and release date.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ridley Scott
Produced by Douglas Wick
David Franzoni
Branko Lustig
Screenplay by David Franzoni
John Logan
William Nicholson
Story by David Franzoni
Starring Russell Crowe
Joaquin Phoenix
Connie Nielsen
Oliver Reed
Derek Jacobi
Djimon Hounsou
Richard Harris
Music by Lisa Gerrard
Hans Zimmer
Cinematography John Mathieson
Edited by Pietro Scalia
Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures (North America)
Universal Pictures (International)
Release dates
  • May 1, 2000 (2000-05-01) (Los Angeles)
  • May 5, 2000 (2000-05-05) (United States)
  • May 12, 2000 (2000-05-12) (United Kingdom)
Running time
155 minutes[2] (Theatrical cut)
164 minutes[3] (Director's cut)
Country United States[4]
United Kingdom[5]
Language English
Budget $103 million[6][7]
Box office $457.6 million[8]

Gladiator is a 2000 epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed (in his final film role), Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel, and Richard Harris. Crowe portrays the fictional character, loyal Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed when Commodus, the ambitious son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, murders his father and seizes the throne. Reduced to slavery, Maximus rises through the ranks of the gladiatorial arena to avenge the murders of his family and his emperor.

Released in the United States on May 5, 2000, Gladiator was a box office success, received generally positive reviews, and was credited with rekindling interest in the historical epic. The film won multiple awards, notably five Academy Awards in the 73rd Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor for Crowe.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
    • Screenplay 3.1
    • Pre-production 3.2
    • Filming 3.3
    • Post-production 3.4
  • Historical authenticity 4
    • Development 4.1
    • Fictionalization 4.2
    • Anachronisms 4.3
  • Influences 5
  • Music 6
  • Reception 7
    • Accolades 7.1
  • Impact 8
  • Home media 9
  • Cancelled sequel 10
  • See also 11
  • Notes 12
  • References 13
  • Further reading 14
  • External links 15


In AD 180, Spanish-Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius leads the Roman army to a decisive victory against the Germanic tribes near Vindobona, ending a long war on the Roman frontier and winning the favor of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Maximus, weary of battle, decides to retire at his Spanish farm estate at the Emperor's behest, but the Emperor tells him that his son and heir to the throne, Commodus, is unfit to rule and thus appoints him as regent to help save Rome from corruption. Before he makes his decision, Commodus is confronted by his father who tells him that he will not be emperor. Burdened by grief and believing he was never valued by his father, Commodus kills him.

After mourning Marcus Aurelius' death, the new Emperor asks Maximus for his loyalty, but the general suspects foul play and refuses. Soon after, Maximus is arrested and is scheduled to be executed at dawn. Maximus manages to escape and makes the long journey to his farm on horseback, but arrives to find it burnt and his family dead, under orders of Commodus. He buries them and collapses in despair. Wandering the desert, he is captured by slavers who take him to Zucchabar, a North African province. He is sold to a man named Proximo, who trains him as a gladiator. There he befriends two of Proximo's gladiators: a Numidian named Juba and a German named Hagen.

Reluctant at first, Maximus is forced to fight in local tournaments. He wins every match because of his superior military skills and traumatized indifference to death. His newfound fame and recognition is brought to Proximo's attention. Proximo reveals to Maximus that he himself was once a gladiator, and had fought well enough to have gained his freedom. He encourages Maximus to go to Rome and fight in the

Maximus' first taste of gladiatorial combat in the Colosseum is depicted as a reenactment of the Battle of Zama. With his team portrayed as Carthaginian infantry, they defy all expectations and are able (solely due to Maximus' commands) to defeat "Scipio's legionaries" who were supposed to obliterate them. A surprised and delighted Commodus comes into the arena to personally congratulate them. Maximus braces himself to kill the Emperor, but at the last moment decides against it because of the presence of Commodus' young nephew Lucius Verus. He then reveals himself to the startled Commodus and vows to have his vengeance. As the Praetorian Guard prepares to kill him, the crowd chants "Live!" repeatedly, earning their favor and showing their support. Commodus relents and leaves angrily.

Next, Maximus is pitted against the formidable Tigris of Gaul, an undefeated gladiator. After a fierce and lengthy duel which Commodus attempted to fix, Maximus is able to gain the upper hand, but spares his opponent's life despite the crowd's urging that he kill him. Angered by this action, Commodus berates him, even taunting him with harrowing details of his family's death. Undaunted, Maximus turns around and walks away. This act of defiance, along with his victory over Tigris, makes him more popular than the Emperor himself.

As Maximus is being escorted back to the gladiators' quarters, his former orderly Cicero approaches him and says that he still has the loyalty of the legions, encamped near Rome. Commodus' sister Lucilla and the chief senator Gracchus secure a meeting with Maximus, and he obtains their promise to help him escape Rome, rejoin his soldiers, topple Commodus by force, and hand power over back to the Senate. Suspicious, Commodus learns of this plot from Lucilla by threatening young Lucius, then dispatches his men to arrest and/or kill the conspirators. Gracchus is quickly apprehended, while a contingent of Praetorians is sent to Maximus' quarters. Proximo lets Maximus escape and sacrifices himself and his men (including Hagen) to gain him more time. Maximus reaches the rendezvous point but falls into a trap; Cicero is killed and Maximus is captured.

Commodus, desperate and jealous of Maximus' growing popularity, challenges him to a duel in the Colosseum. Before the fight, and unknown to the crowd, he fatally stabs him in the side to put him at a disadvantage. During the fight, however, Maximus manages to evade Commodus' blows and disarm him. Commodus asks the Praetorians to give him a sword, but his request is denied. He produces a hidden stiletto, but Maximus instinctively turns the blade back into his throat, killing him.

Maximus succumbs to the stab wound, asking with his last words that reforms be made, his gladiator allies freed, and that Senator Gracchus be reinstated. He is then carried away for an honorable funeral as a "soldier of Rome". Some time later, Juba revisits the Colosseum at night, and he buries Maximus' figurines of his wife and son at the spot where he died. He promises that he will see Maximus again, "but not yet".


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