Film: 5156

Feature Drama | 1910 | Silent | B/W


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Romance drama feature about pagan Rome from 1910s.
The film starts with Roman soldiers parading through the streets of Rome, complete with an elephant and various porters carrying supplies, crowds line the streets. Spartacus with his sister Idamis are presented to adoring Thracians as Spartacus is a great warrior. However after the defeat of Thrace by Crassus, Spartacus and his sister Idamis are enslaved by Rome and put in shackles. Footage shows Sparatus with Idamis despairing of their fate with hands in chains. Crassus' army marches into Rome after their vistory, crowds wave with palm leaves. Narona, the daughter of Crassus waits for him to arrive home at their palace. She greets him warmly and hugs him on his return. Spartacus, his sister Idamis and her sweetheart Artemon are led into the dungeons by Roman Guards, whereupon Idamis sits on a bed and bemoans their fate in theatrical style. Artemon hugs her and tries to comfort her. Idamis is led by Roman guards to Narona and Crassus where she is pushed to the floor at their feet. Crassus leaves the room with his guard while Narona coerces Idamis is stand up. Idamis pleads with her and Narona assures her she will be her personal servant but treated like a sister. Spartacus and Artemon are enslaved as gladiators and are seen training with other gladiators at the gladiator school. Back at the palace Spartacus is presented to Narona and Idamis where he bows at Narona's feet to thank her for sparing his sister a worse fate and pledging his allegiance. Narona is taken aback by the loyalty shown by this slave. Amongst the gladiators, experienced gladiator Noricus, sees Spartacus as a dangerous rival and challenges him, a brief fight ensues. The film then shows the gladiator arena of Circus Maximus in Rome. Gladiators enter the arena. The emperor is led to his seat amongst great fanfare and surrounded by guards carrying swords and banners. The Emperor takes his seat in the arena and the gladiators line up before battle commences. Narona and Idamis are in the audience and give worried looks toward the battle. Fighting continues. Artemon is injured by the sword of Noricus and Idamis, his sweetheart, who is seated in the arena with Narona bursts into tears. She is comforted by Narona before running towards the exit stairs as Artemon is carried out of the arena. The battle continues and Spartacus remains the only man standing from his company. He holds his sword high and is cheered by the crowd, as he stands with his foot on his fallen opponent. Spectators run into the arena to congratulate him as he upholds the honour of Thrace. Spartacus is made Captain of Gladiators and bows before Crassus and Narona in the stands. He leaves the stands and Narona looks adoringly in his direction. The injured are carried to the gladiator quarters where Idamis arrives and throws herself at Artemon, distraught over his injuries. Spartacus arrives and rushes to his friend. Spartacus leaves the room and Idamis remains at Artemon's bedside. Narona meets Spartacus privately and smiles and touches him, before inviting him to her garden that night. Spartacus stands alone looking after her as she leaves. He returns to Artemon's bedside to comfort his sister.
The next scene has Narona lying on her bed with an hour glass on the bedside table, awaiting the time to meet Spartacus in the gardens. Spartacus is seen creeping into the garden. Narona leaves her room and walks through the garden looking for Spartacus. They meet by a low wall and Spartacus pleads with Narona to return with him to Thrace and he can claim his freedom. She holds her head in her hands and shakes her head so Spartacus vows to remain in Rome forever a slave. They are secretly being watched. The couple hug.
A feast is held at the Crassus Palace. Guests lounge around at the feast, while Crassus sits in his 'throne'. Gladiators are presented to Crassus before they commence a fight as entertainment for the guests. A recovered Artemon wins his fight, as his opponent falls to the floor and Artemon holds his sword in the air while the guests applaud. Crassus orders Spartacus to fight his friend Artemon and he refuses, declaring he fights only the legions. The guards take hold of Spartacus but he fights back and causes a revolt amongst the gladiators against Crassus. Having defeated the palace, Spartacus leads his fellow gladiators through the palace gardens, down some stairs and onto the streets of Rome, where further followers join their ranks. A large number of armed slaves and gladiators then leave Rome through the city gates. Spartacus leads his followers, wielding a sword high above his head, into the hills. Spartacus stands on top of a hill, more followers run up the hill to join his cause, armed with pitch forks. They form a crowd at the top of the hill before retreating again, until Spartacus stands alone. Short clip of Narona alone in a dark room gazing into the distance. Spartacus sits atop his hill writing a letter. Clip of the letter asking Narona to fulfil her promise. Spartacus continues to write, another man appears at his side and takes the finished letter. Spartacus sits alone.
Crassus addresses the Roman Senate and vows to crush Spartacus' rebellion, the Senate members stand and applaud. A man stealthily pushes past undergrowth as he walks up a hill, he is carrying the letter written by Spartacus. Crassus stands in his palace talking to his daughter with two servants standing behind. Crassus puts on his centurion style helmet and is joined by a number of soldiers and leaves the palace. Narona sits down as they leave. The person carrying the letter stealthily approaches the steps to the palace and climbs over a low wall into the palace garden. Spartacus' sister Idamis runs to him followed by Narona, who she hands the letter to. A clip of the letter is seen and Narona melodramatically reacts to Spartacus' words. Scene moves to a crowd of men gathered outside the city, before switching back to more reaction from Narona as the person delivering the letter and Idamis try to calm her. Narona dons a veil and leaves the palace with Idamis and the man, we presume to join Spartacus, as per his request in his letter.

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