Quintus: People should know when they're conquered.
Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?
When Commodus is holding Aurelius and says "Father.", he is holding Aurelius by the top of his head. When it cuts to a close-up of Aurelius looking up at Commodus, right before Commodus kills him, we see Commodus holding his chin instead of his head. See more...
Although Commodus fought hundreds of (staged) gladiatorial battles in the arena, he didn't die there. He was strangled while taking a bath by a gladiator sent to assassinate him. See more...
Popular blog posts:
Other great sites
The "questions" section is for any random questions that occurred to you while watching this film, or anything you didn't entirely understand, and which Google or the IMDb can't help with. Submit them as a question, and hopefully someone will answer (the bold comments in brackets) - check back regularly. If the answer is wrong, or missing information, please use the "clarify answer" option. Don't feel limited - want to know what music played in a certain scene? Whether this was the first film to use a certain effect? Here's the place to ask!
Question: Why was Lisa Gerrard denied an Oscar nomination for Original Score?
Answer: Because she didn't actually compose any parts. I quote Hans Zimmer himself: "I gave Lisa Gerrard the co-credit because, even though she didn't write the main theme, her presence and contributions were very influential." Source: http://www.soundtrack.net/features/article/?id=210
Question: When Commudus lies on the bed with Lucilla, was he going to kiss her?
Answer: Depends on what you mean by "kiss". There are two ways one can describe his motives when he moves in on her. 1) he simply wants to give her a platonical good night kiss. 2) he wants a kiss that leads to something more. Commodus' signals toward Lucilla throughout the movie shows very strong passionable attraction from his side. Either way, whatever motives Commodus' "kiss" was, Lucilla despises her brother so much she leaves. And the conclusion, yes, he was going to kiss her.
Question: How did Commudus find out about Lucilla conspiring against him?
Answer: Commudus found out through Lucius (Lucilla's son). If you watch, at a certain part at the film Commudus sees Lucius fighting and asks him about becoming a legionary. Lucius then calls himself "Maximus The Savior of Rome". Commudus then asks "who said that?" and then Lucius, who whispers it in his ear.
Question: Why did Marcus Aurelius and Lucilla hate Commodus so much?
Answer: They don't hate him, particularly, he's family and, in their own ways, they love him, but they certainly don't trust him. He's unstable, unpredictable, arrogant, power-hungry, prone to conspiracy and ruthless. In a potential Emperor, that is not a good mix of qualities, as far as they're concerned, so they keep a very close eye on him and, as we see, Marcus Aurelius chooses to elevate Maximus in his place, something that unfortunately pushes Commodus over the edge.
Question: To this day, I still don't know what the snake in the bed scene is about. Who's bed is it and who's trying to kill them?
Answer: Commodus had blackmailed Lucilla (by threatening her son, Lucius) into revealing all details in the plot to have him assassinated and he vows revenge on all conspirators, saying he would "Bleed the Senate dry." He sent his own assassins out in the night, who at one point can be heard declaring, "All enemies of the Emperor die!" A poisonous Old World Coral Snake was placed into the bed of Senator Gaius and his female companion, in the extended version of the movie two others were killed when the Praetorians set them on fire and, of course, Proximo was killed when other Praetorians set upon him in his room. Senator Gracchus's life was spared as he had been arrested earlier in the day based on suspicious activity, although it is likely had Commodus lived that he would have had Gracchus put to death, as well.
Question: In the 'special features' there is a short movie made from excerpts and deleted scenes from the movie. Toward the end, Maximus is standing out on a cliff, and reaches out for something, then looks at his hand and yells. Could someone explain what was going on?
Answer: This scene is included in the extended version. This happens after he escapes and is on his way home to his family. He is most likely praying and reaching out in desperation to get home before the Romans kills his family.
Question: After seeing 'Gladiator' I looked up a few pictures of Tommy Flanagan (Cicero, Maximus' friend) and in all of them he has a noticeable mark on the side of his face. Is this a scar or a birth mark or something? Could someone please tell me?
Answer: He received that scar when he was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant outside a pub.
Question: There is a scene where there is a play fight between 'Maximus' and 'Commodus', but how would the people be able to get away with making fun of their Emperor? Wouldn't guards or someone else like that punish them or tell the Emperor?
Answer: The art of parody dates back to those times - examples exist in both Greek and Roman literature. While it was potentially unwise to make fun of somebody quite as unstable as Commodus, they're not really risking much. It would hardly look good for an Emperor who's trying to win the hearts of his people if he executed a bunch of actors simply because they poked fun at him.
Question: Was Commodus and Lucilla half brother and sister? Wondering because of Commodus' attraction for Lucilla. Was incest normal at that time?
Answer: No, they are full brother and sister. They both had the same mother and father. Incest was not exactly normal at that time, but it stretches back within the imperial families as far as Caligula and possibly earlier. There is no evidence to suggest that the real Commodus was attracted to his sister, it was probably just included in the film in order to make the character seem more disturbed, and also as another reason why he would be Maximus' enemy (Maximus and Lucilla were, after all, once lovers).
Question: In regard to the scene in which Maximus (Russell Crowe) kills all the challengers and says "Are you not entertained?" can someone explain the people's silence before cheering? Why would they wait to cheer? Was it because they were so stunned at how good he was or insulted by how quick he finished it? It just seems very peculiar.
Answer: You're probably closest with the suggestion that they're rather stunned at the sheer speed with which Maximus has carved through the opposition. They'd certainly be used to more of a show, so for Maximus to slay all his challengers in less than a minute would take them aback. If anything, the "Are you not entertained" is closer to the theatrics that they'd really expect to see, which would prompt them into cheering him - up to that point, he's not exactly won their favour, even though he's defeated all comers.
Question: I'm curious, why is it stated that the Tigriss of Gaul is the only undefeated gladiator? Wouldn't Proximo be an undefeated Gladiator, seeing as how he won the wooden sword? I do take in mind that Proximo could not be counted because he was set free, but could someone clear this up for me?
Answer: Gladiators weren't automatically killed on losing a fight - it almost certainly wasn't even the norm. As such, a gladiator could be defeated, but be spared to fight again and, if luck was with him, ultimately retire in some fashion.
Question: I just wondered if anyone knows how much of the historical content of Gladiator is accurate, e.g. are the characters based on people who actually lived?
Answer: Some of the characters are real - Marcus Aurelius and Commodus are both real emperors and were indeed father and son, but both are used in fictional ways. Marcus Aurelius did spend a lot of his reign fighting the Germans, but he died of the plague in Vindobona (now Vienna) rather than being murdered. Commodus did, in fact, fight in the arenas, but he did not meet his end there - in reality he was strangled in his bath by an athlete called Narcissus.