I'm Spartacus!  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"I'm Spartacus!" is a dictum from the film Spartacus.

In the climactic scene of the film Spartacus, recaptured slaves are asked to identify Spartacus in exchange for leniency; instead, each slave proclaims himself to be Spartacus, thus sharing his fate. The documentary Trumbo suggests that this scene was meant to dramatize the solidarity of those accused of being Communist sympathizers during the McCarthy Era who refused to implicate others, and thus were blacklisted.

Regarding this scene, an in-joke is used in Kubrick's next film, Lolita (1962), where Humbert Humbert asks Clare Quilty, "Are you Quilty?" to which he replies, "No, I'm Spartacus. Have you come to free the slaves or something?" Many subsequent films, television shows and advertisements have referenced or parodied the iconic scene. One of these is the film Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), which reverses the situation by depicting an entire group undergoing crucifixion all claiming to be Brian, who, it has just been announced, is eligible for release ("I'm Brian." "No, I'm Brian." "I'm Brian and so's my wife.") The statement "I am Spartacus" figures in defining the character of Guy Patterson (played by Tom Everett Scott) in the movie That Thing You Do, where the phrase is also the name of a drum solo composed by the film's writer/director, Tom Hanks. Further examples have been documented in David Hughes' The Complete Kubrick and Jon Solomon's The Ancient World in Cinema.




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

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