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Spartacus (1960)

Alex North 

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Alex North's Marvelously Varied Score Deserves a Full-Scale Restoration!
filmfactsman (April 19, 2006)
Alex North, delving into an area that seemed exclusive to Miklos Rozsa, came up with a sensational epic score for this Stanley Kubrick monumental screen extravaganza about the retelling of the revolt of the slaves against the Romans in the century before Christ. "Spartacus" is a handsome ancient history spectacle, bold and audatious, a film with a single focus, magnificently directed by Kubrick, then only 32 years of age, and written by Dalton Trumbo, who had been blacklisted by Hollywood since 1947 because of his political beliefs. Sharing the spotlight with star Kirk Douglas (in the title role) is Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov (who won Supporting Actor Oscar), Charles Laughton, Tony Curtis, and many others in this all-star package.

The central concepts of heroic spirit and romantic interludes, built around the beautifully evocative "Spartacus Love Theme" are very much in evidence in North's score, as he would repeat three years later with the monumental "Cleopatra" (and would receive Academy Award nominations for both scores). At the time of the film's 1960 release, a somewhat simplified soundtrack was issued by Decca (MCA) Records, consisting of some of the most important cues from the film. This is the album that was eventually reissued on compact disc by MCA. Unfortunately, while the film was only recently completely restored and given the proper care it deserved for its theatrical and video release (on Criterion DVD), the CD, mastered from the original two-track soundtrack album tapes, was not. As Varese Sarabande has recently released a superlative two-disc restored recording of North's "Cleopatra", I would hope someday soon they would do the same for "Spartacus". If ever a film's score warrants a complete restoration and release, "Spartacus" stands almost alone.

Reviews on other sites: (in German, Varèse Box) 

Score Magacine (in Spanish) 
suggested by:
Raul Garcia

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