Gladiator (2000)

83 corrected entries

(46 votes)

Corrected entry: Throughout the film, Maximus refers to his home back in Spain, and he is called "The Spaniard" in gladiatorial contests. Spain as a nation, or even as a concept, did not exist until much later. That land was known to the Romans as Iberia, and Maximus would therefore be called an Iberian, NOT a Spaniard.

Correction: Some people have said it derives from Hispania, but there wasn't a Roman province called "Hispania". The provinces were "Baetica", "Tarraconensis", etc. "Hispania" was a general concept, purely geographical (like Scandinavia now). They could call him "Hispanicus". But "Spaniard" is a poor choice, because it comes from "Spain" and Spain is not "Hispania", like you could not call a Roman, an "Italian".

Corrected entry: When the slaves have their first big fight in the Roman colosseum, Djimon Honsou's character throws a weapon to Russell Crowe, addressing him as "Maximus". However, this is before he had revealed his real name to anyone, and he was simply called "Spaniard". He doesn't reveal his name until the fight is over, and the Emperor comes out to meet him.

Correction: He might already have told his friends his real name, off camera.

In that same scene, just before the fighting starts, when he asks "have any of you ever served in the army?" One of the gladiators says "I served with you at Vindobona". This is also before he "reveals himself"

Corrected entry: Historically speaking, the real Commodus fought in the arena. Unbeknownst to him, the soldiers preparing the gladiator to fight, would stab the opponent in the back, to weaken him in the same way that Commodus does to Maximus in this film.

Correction: There is no historical evidence of this. It is true that soldiers who were already wounded and citizens who were amputees or otherwise disabled would be placed in the arena for Commodus to slay. Roman citizens who might be missing a foot or hand would be put in the arena, where they were tethered together for Commodus to club to death while pretending they were giants. (Citation: Dio Cassius).


Corrected entry: In the battle with the Germanians, we see a Roman soldier killing a fallen opponent with the tip of his spear. This would not happen in reality. The spear is a javelin, or 'pilum', used for throwing. If the soldier still had his pilum, he would have used the reverse end of it, the 'shoe', for finishing off his foe. The shoe was a sharp metal point used to stick the spear into the ground. (00:09:35)

Correction: Another of those entries that is really just an "I would have acted differently" submission. Faced with a German barbarian, nothing a Roman soldier does with a weapon that stops him, is a mistake.

Except that the Romans were a highly organised killing machine on the battlefield. Not really much room for improvisation and a personal style in hand-to-hand combat.

Spiny Norman

All medieval fights are messy, all medieval fights required combatants to improvise to survive it. Doesn't matter how organized an army is (and the Roman armies were a lot less organized than they are portrayed in movies), once the fighting starts it's pretty much chaos till one side wins.


Eh... No it's not. I'm sorry but if you write "medieval Roman warfare", that sort of gives away that you're not an expert. ANCIENT Roman warfare on the other hand has been extensively studied by military history anoraks. (Anyway, are you following me around now, or what? This isn't supposed to be a personal thing).

Spiny Norman

I didn't write "medieval roman warfare" I wrote "medieval fights." If medieval fights were messy, imagine fights 300 years earlier. Extensive studies show that the way the Roman Empire legions fought in the border wars was in fact a lot of improvisation and they had some major defeats against Germanic tribes caused by overextension. These soldiers were far less trained and thus improvised. Not attacking you personally, but defending the correction. If you got a problem take it to the discord.


Romans were in fact ahead of the inhabitants of the Middle Ages in almost everything. This is common knowledge. It's sort of useful to know what you're talking about when making confident statements. (I have no interest in discord, I only reply here in the hope that people won't fall for misinformation).

Spiny Norman

Corrected entry: While in his tent, Marcus Aurelius shows Maximus a sword with the inscription "MARCUS AURELIUS FECIT" (Marcus Aurelius made [this]). The Roman alphabet did not include the letter U until the Middle Ages; V was used instead. Moreover, Latin text did had neither spacing nor punctuation. Thus, the inscription should have read "MARCVSAVRELIVSFECIT". (02:06:40)

Correction: Marcus Aurelius never shows a sword to Maximus. The only sword with an inscription that we ever see is the wooden sword (rudis) that Marcus Aurelius gave to Proximo when he set him free. This wooden sword carries the inscription: EX·ARENA·IN / LIBERTATEM / MARCUS · AURELIUS / CMXIV · CMXXII (From the arena to freedom. Marcus Aurelius 914-922). The spacing with interpuncts is exactly what we find in Latin inscriptions. What we don't find is the rounded U in the script Capitalis Quadrata and dates from the foundation of the city (a.u.c.) instead of the years of the emperor's reign.

Corrected entry: In the battle against the Germanians, the Romans are using German Shepherds as attack dogs. The German Shepherd didn't exist at that time. The Romans used the Mastino-Napolitano (commonly known as the Mastiff), a much older and fiercer breed, in war and in the arena. They even provide armor and helmets for those dogs.

Correction: According to the script, Maximus' canine companion is supposed to be a wolf, not a German shepherd.

It's not surprising that people didn't recognize this animal as a wolf because it likely wasn't. Kevin Costner remarked that their team was quite unusual in using real, 100% wolves in Dances with Wolves. Apparently they are very difficult to train and work with, and cost the production days of extra filming time.

Corrected entry: As the scene is ending with Marcus in the dungeon chained after his recapture, the next scene starts with the crowd chanting his name. A man cheering in the crowd comes into view in the bottom right corner wearing an olive green T shirt and a big radio headset. (02:15:45)


Correction: That is a woman wearing some form of toga not a shirt. And the "headset" is a headband/hairstyle holding her hair back - the "earpiece" isn't even over her ear.

Corrected entry: In addition to the gas cylinder mistake, you can also see the handbutton the rider of the chariot uses to cause the explosion attached to the chariot as he drops it. (01:30:40)


Correction: That may look like a button, but it is a whip.

Corrected entry: During the "Battle Of Carthage" fight in the arena when Maximum gallops past Juba on horseback, Juba shouts "Maximus!" and throws him a sword which Maximus goes to catch. But if you watch closely right at the end of the shot you can see Maximus' hand fumbles and doesn't actually manage to catch the sword - yet in the following shots he is still riding around the area, wielding the sword.

Correction: Watching frame by frame, he does not fumble. He catches it with the pointed end facing back and does a half twirl with his hand.

Correction: Mistake already listed.


Corrected entry: In the scenes of the Colosseum the shade of the arena is wrong. There would be two types of tickets: shade or sun. One half of the Colosseum would be shade and the other sun. This is still practiced in Spain at bullfights. The shade tickets are much more expensive of course. In the movie it looks more like closer to noon than four or five o'clock.

Correction: Games in the Colosseum sometimes lasted a week. Each day, there was a full schedule of events so ,obviously, one of the events would have to be around noon.

Corrected entry: Maximus cuts out his military tattoo, which would have definitely been a scar for life, but in the rest of the movie, his arm is fine.

Correction: I have looked for this scar as well, but there are no scenes that show that portion of his arm after he cuts out the tatoo. All the scenes either show his right arm only or the left arm covered with armor.

Corrected entry: In the middle after the gladiator match in the Roman province arena, Maximus and Proximo are talking in Proximo's place. Maximus starts laughing, and Proximo's position in the room changes dramatically between shots. (01:07:15)


Correction: He stands on the exact same point in front of the table throughout the shots until we see him walk away from the table.


Corrected entry: In the scene near the beginning when we see Maximus and Lucilla talking for the first time, after Lucilla says " Maximus stop" for the second time, in one shot Maximus is not facing Lucilla, yet in the following shot he is fully facing Lucilla. (00:28:15)


Correction: You are being fooled by the camera angle. If you watch closely you can see Lucilla standing in the same spot on the side of Maximus and he is never facing her between the shots.


Corrected entry: When Commodus walks up the steps in Rome to meet the other men, on the far away shot, there are a lot of steps to go up, yet when we see Commodus pass Lucilla after a few steps, he is suddenly at the top with greetings from the men in white clothing. (00:57:40)


Correction: Well, we could have watched Commodus climb up a lot of steps, but it would have been a bit boring. This is a standard editing technique to speed things up a bit - by no means a mistake.


Corrected entry: When Proximo is testing each slave, by giving them a wooden sword, they practice with a bigger slave. After each fight, Proximo says either yellow or red. The black guy who fights gets a red mark, so does Maximus, yet in the Roman Province scene in the small arena, someone says put red with yellow, yet when Maximus and the black guy come out, they are both "red". (00:49:20 - 00:52:50)


Correction: Maximus is never given a red mark - he refuses to fight in the testing, which (although we don't actually see Proximo state a colour) would certainly earn him a yellow mark, allowing him to be paired with the red-marked Juba. The yellow mark on his tunic can be seen very clearly on multiple occasions during the arena fight.


Correction: After watching the scene it is obvious that his hands would never slip entirely off the cuffs. His wrist is too big to get through.


Corrected entry: At the end of the first battle sequence there is a brief "victory" shot of the Roman army celebrating. Towards the bottom of the screen you can see an obviously dressed Germanian warrior cheering alongside some Roman soldiers. Wonder what he has to be happy about, except for maybe being alive in the middle of that bunch. (00:12:00)

Correction: There are no Germanian warriors anywhere near the cheering Roman crowd.


Corrected entry: Before one of the gladiatorial fights in the Colosseum, there are chariots with men throwing free bread to the crowd. The camera angle changes and they have moved further away from the crowd. (01:37:25)

Correction: What we see are chariots on each side of the Colosseum. On one side the chariots are closer to the crowd than the other chariots.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Maximus is escaping, and he sees his friend Cicero on his horse, Cicero shouts "Maximus." as he tries to warn him. The horse is startled and runs off, but the noose around Cicero's neck pulls him and flings him backwards. As he swings backwards, he hits the tree. In the next shot, Cicero is alive. But someone that had been alive, even with a noose around their neck, would have twitched, or made some indication of trying to pull away from the tree. (02:07:45)

Correction: He broke his neck and was paralyzed.


Gladiator mistake picture Video

Visible crew/equipment: In the "Battle of Carthage" in the Colosseum, one of the chariots is turned over. Once the dust settles you can see a gas cylinder in the back of the chariot. (01:22:55)

More mistakes in Gladiator

Commodus: What is your name, gladiator?
[Maximus turns away.]
Commodus: How dare you show your back to me! You will remove your helmet and tell me your name!
[Maximus slowly turns and removes his helmet.]
Maximus: My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, 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.

More quotes from Gladiator

Trivia: In the beginning of the movie, where the Roman army is assembled waiting for the enemy to come into the open, the Germans in the woods are chanting menacingly. A portion of the chant they repeat sounds something like "Boom whattey. HEEYUH!" This soundbyte is cut-and-pasted from the movie Zulu, it is the battle cry the Zulu warriors make as they advance on the British outpost. They didn't just have new actors record the chant, they used the exact same soundbyte. You can even hear at intervals of every seven or eight chants they end by crying "ZULU!"

More trivia for Gladiator

Question: Was Commodus and Lucilla half brother and sister? Wondering because of Commodus' attraction for Lucilla. Was incest normal at that time?


Chosen 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).

The Doctor

More questions & answers from Gladiator

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