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Double-bill of epic dramas, set in ancient Rome. In 'Gladiator' (2000), after the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris), his twisted son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) betrays the Emperor's beloved General Maximus (Russell Crowe) and takes the throne for himself. Maximus is sold as a slave and then trained as a gladiator, keeping himself strong with thoughts of revenge. Eventually he is taken to the Colosseum, where he prepares to fight in a contest presided over by the corrupt Commodus. Will he suffer the ultimate humiliation and die for the entertainment of his enemy or will he survive the rigors of the arena and find a way of exacting his revenge? 'Spartacus' (1960) is Stanley Kubrick's star-studded, historical epic concerning the efforts of the slave-gladiator Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) to lead the slaves of the Roman Empire in a rebellion against their masters. The ranks quickly swell as the slave army makes its way across Italy towards the coast. But the despotic Roman senator Crassus (Laurence Olivier) determines to quell the revolt for his own selfish ends, and the stage is thus set for a tremendous battle.