Il figlio di Spartacus (The Slave aka The Son of Spartacus)

Feature Film Italy 1963

Sent by Caesar to Lydia, the young valiant Roman centurion Rando leads the slaves in a revolt against the cruel Crassus (his father’s assassin), gaining fame and glory, and discovering that he is none other than the son of Spartacus. Rather than drawing on Kubrick’s film (1959), this version harks back to Riccardo Freda’s Sins of Rome (USA) (1953) based on Raffaello Giovagnoli’s 1874 novel Spartacus, which Gramsci cited in his Prison Notebooks as an example of popular patriotic narrative. Corbucci and his screenwriter team obviously had to play down the ‘subversive’ implications of the main character in order to create an action-packed story. After playing Hercules, Morgan, the pirate, Romulus and Eneas, Steve Reeves, the former Mr. Universe, shows lots of muscle but little heart in portraying Spartacus.

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