Directed by Sir Ridley Scott, this film was originally released in 2000 and was subsequently nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winning 5 including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe’s inspiring and star-making performance (he had previously wowed audiences in L.A. Confidential and The Insider). This action-packed epic now returns to the small screen with 17 additional minutes of material that has been seamlessly edited into the original theatrical cut. Personally overseen by the director himself, the definitive version of Ridley Scott’s most popular film since Thelma & Louise.
Gladiator started a trend in Hollywood and inspired many swordplay epics and period pictures in the years following its release. Most notably, it led to Scott himself directing Kingdom of Heaven (2005), as well as Wolfgang Peterson’s Troy (2004), and Oliver Stone’s Alexander (2004). None of these films received the same type of accolades or box-office success as Gladiator, and that could be partially due to the strength of its ensemble supporting cast (including standout performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Neilson, Richard Harris, and the great Oliver Reed’s final screen performance before his death).
If you are a fan of action films, particularly epic films with great battle scenes and lots of swordplay, then you should definitely put this at the top of your list of must-own films.
-Commentary by director Ridley Scott, editor Pietro Scalia and cinematographer John Mathieson
Not much is known about the details of the life of William Wallace, so do not expect this to be altogether historically accurate. That being said, it is an interesting and well acted film.
William Wallace (Mel Gibson) is a man who is willing to give everything to be free. Including his life.
The emotions of power, passion and desire for freedom are all over this film. Woven in every scene and line of dialogue.
William Wallace wanted freedom for Scotland. It is not something he could do on his own, so he rallied his kinsmen around him to fight for the right to decide their own destiny.
The film won several Academy Awards including Best Picture. A reward for director/actor Gibson, who attempted and achieved an epic tale.
-Commentary by Mel Gibson