Gladiator (2000 film)  

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

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

Historical accuracy

Historical accuracy of Gladiator (2000 film)

The film is loosely based on historical events. In making the film Ridley Scott wanted to portray the Roman culture more accurately than in any previous film; to that end he hired several historians as advisors. Nevertheless, some deviations from historical fact were made to increase interest, some to maintain narrative continuity, and some for practical or safety reasons. Due to previous Hollywood movies' affecting the public perception of what ancient Rome was like, some historical facts were "too unbelievable" to include (according to Scott). At least one historical advisor resigned due to the changes made, and another asked not to be mentioned in the credits (though it was stated in the director's commentary that he constantly asked, "where is the proof that certain things were exactly like they say?"). Historian Allen Ward of the University of Connecticut believed that historical accuracy would not have made Gladiator less interesting or exciting and stated: "creative artists need to be granted some poetic license, but that should not be a permit for the wholesale disregard of facts in historical fiction".

Marcus Aurelius died of plague at Vindobona; he was not murdered by his son Commodus. The character of Maximus is fictional, although in some respects he resembles the historical figures Narcissus (the character's name in the first draft of the screenplay and Commodus' real-life murderer), Spartacus (who led a significant slave revolt), Cincinnatus (a farmer who became dictator, saved Rome from invasion, then resigned his six-month appointment after 15 days), and Marcus Nonius Macrinus (a trusted general, Consul of AD 154, and friend of Marcus Aurelius). Although Commodus engaged in show combat in the Colosseum, he was strangled by the wrestler Narcissus in his bath, not killed in the arena, and reigned for several years, unlike the brief period shown in the film.

The name Maximus Decimus Meridius is inaccurate in terms of Roman naming conventions, which would use Decimus Meridius Maximus, as Maximus was a cognomen and Decimus a given name. He is also called Aelius Maximus.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gladiator (2000 film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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