Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Gladiator (2000)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Gladiator (2000)

In Ridley Scott's Best Picture-winning swords-and-sandals epic - a popular historical adventure epic:

  • in the film's opening, Roman army General Maximus Decimus Meridius' (Russell Crowe) address to his troops before battling Germanic barbarians, under the command of kindly Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris): "Fratres! Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled, for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead! Brothers: What we do in life echoes in Eternity"
  • after the battle, treacherous, power-hungry Caesar Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) committed patricide in order to take the Emperor's throne away from his father; Maximus narrowly escaped execution during the change of power, although his own wife (Giannina Facio) and young son (Giorgio Cantarini) were both murdered in their home in Spain; Maximus arrived too late to save them - he discovered the charred and crucified bodies of both his son and wife in the smoldering home of their villa
  • the scenes of the condemned, enslaved former loyal General Meridius, turned Colosseum-gladiator named "The Spaniard" (Russell Crowe), who had been trained by slave owner Antonius Proximo (Oliver Reed) in Zucchabar in North Africa to fight in the Roman Colosseum; a mock Battle of Carthage pitted Barbarians (the losing side) against chariot-drawn archery competitors (when the Spaniard urged them to victory: "Whatever comes out of these gates, we've got a better chance of survival if we work together"); Maximus led his group to a decisive victory against the more powerful forces
  • when asked to give a short introduction about himself to Roman Emperor Commodus, he first said: "My name is Gladiator"; then when he was confronted and ordered to remove his face-hiding helmet and reveal his true identity - he defiantly declared vengeance for the assassination of the elderly Emperor Marcus Aurelius and the brutal murder of his own family: "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North. General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next"
  • the Emperor's twisted and incestuous relationship with his sister Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) while she romanced Maximus
  • and further the hellish action sequences of battle in the Colosseum (with chained tigers - often digitized) when Commodus exclaimed: "At my signal, unleash hell" - "The Spaniard" fought without his mask single-handedly in an intense battle in the Colosseum against Rome's only undefeated gladiator - the legendary Tigris of Gaul (Sven-Ole Thorsen).in which Maximus defied the Emperor's thumbs-down decision to kill his wounded opponent Tigris
  • the sequence of Commodus' challenge to Maximus to engage in a final confrontational one-on-one battle to-the-death in the "great arena"; Commodus first stabbed Maximus in the chest (puncturing his lung) with a stiletto while he was bound, to gain an advantage and win approval from the crowd; during the contest, the mortally-wounded Maximus vengefully stabbed the Emperor in the throat with his own hidden stiletto and killed him, after Commodus had dropped his sword and no one would provide him with another (Quintus (Tomas Arana) had shouted: "Sheathe your swords!")
  • weary and dying from his own wounds, Maximus saw himself entering into his home's wooden gates in the afterlife, before dying, he ordered Quintus: "Free my men, Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated. There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius"
  • as he succumbed in the arms of Commodus' sister Lucilla, his own ex-lover, he told her (his final words) that her own son Lucius (Spencer Treat Clark) was safe: "Lucius is safe"; she urged him to go to his own murdered family: "Go to them"; as he perished, his body floated upwards and he experienced visions of his family in the afterlife as they greeted him on a dusty road and he was wading through waving yellow reeds; she reassured that he had greeted them: "You're home"; Lucilla stood up and addressed everyone: "Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him." Fellow gladiators surrounded Maximus and carried his body out of the arena
Death of Maximus
  • the film's conclusion: newly-freed gladiator Juba (Djimon Hounsou) buried Maximus' two small statues of his wife and son in the dirt of the Colosseum where Maximus died ("Now we are free. I will see you again, but not yet. Not yet")

"Hold the line! Stay with me!"

Murder of Maximus' Family Members

"My name is Gladiator"

"My name is Maximum Decimus Meridius..."

"Thumbs Down" Order Defied

Commodus Stabbed to Death

Lucilla's Address

Burial of Two Statues


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