Gladiator

Gladiator (2000)

82 corrected entries

(39 votes)

Corrected entry: Throughout the film, the main character is referred to as Maximus. However, as his name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, there is no way that anyone in the army, even the highest officers, would have called him by his first name. The higher officers may have referred to him as Meridius, but only his family and very close friends would have adressed him as Maximus. However, in several places in the film, his junior officers refer to him as Maximus.

Correction: "Maximus" is probably his last name. His first name is most likely to be "Decimus", the only name he is given in the film that was actually a Roman first name. The Romans didn't consider names as fixed as we do, and regularly left bits out and mixed up their order, resulting in the "Maximus Decimus Meridius" statement in the arena, which could never have been an actual Roman name in that order.

Corrected entry: During the Battle of Carthage, there is a female gladiator cut in half by a passing chariot. Watch carefully before she's bisected, and you'll see she's leaning forward inside her chariot trying to release the chariot from a wounded horse, which oddly is still moving. However when she's cut in half, she's kneeling on the ground, not in the chariot. It happens very fast, but if you have it on DVD you can clearly see the error.

Correction: This is wrong, the black woman that is shown trying to free herself from the chariot while its still in motion is another woman, the driver of the chariot, she is not the woman that gets cut in half. After the woman gets cut in half you can see that the chariot looses control and the black woman in the chariot is trying to take control before it crashes.

Corrected entry: In one of the scenes after the first big battle, there is a horse in the background. You see it stand up. If you look closely, there is about 5 feet of chain, attached to its leg, holding it to a nearby tree.

Correction: It is not a chain. The horse is standing on a branch of the nearby fallen tree, and when it lifts its foot, the branch springs up, making it look like it's something attached to the horse's leg.

Corrected entry: When Maximus arrives in Rome there are no scars on his shoulder. There should be after his sword cut and removing his tattoo.

Correction: You *can* see the scars. They're just under the edge of his sleeve, and can be glimpsed when he moves.

Corrected entry: In ancient times busts of philosophers or emperors were coloured to look lifelike. The busts you find in Marcus Aurelius's tent are all blank.

Correction: Not true. Many busts remained the color of the material from which they were chiseled from (mostly marble). It was up to the artist or at the request of the person for whom the bust is being made whether or not color will be added to it. Plus, there is no telling how old or new those busts were. Perhaps Marcus Aurelius preferred them to be colorless, or they had not yet been colored.

furious1116

Corrected entry: Maximus received his wound (which runs horizontally across his deltoid) from a clash with a praetorian guard but Maximus was wearing steel plated shoulder guards at the time which didn't seem to be punctured from the clash. After the clash, Maximus reaches under his shoulder guard and draws blood on his fingers. How did he get this wound?

Correction: When Maximus drew his arm up to hack at the praetorian with his sword, he exposed much more of his arm. The wound was inflicted when his arm was exposed.

furious1116

Corrected entry: When Maximus is running through the tunnel to escape watch carefully, at one point some fire drops off his torch and starts to burn the wall. This shows the wall was made of plastic.

gandolfs dad

Correction: No, this shows that whatever dropped onto the wall (probably a kerosene) was flammable.

Sol Parker

Corrected entry: At the parade with Commodus in the chariot there is a part when Commodus is riding toward the camera. Look behind him at the horsemen and you can see one struggling to keep his horse in a straight line.

gandolfs dad

Correction: Perfectly believable that a horse is acting up - not really a mistake.

Sol Parker

Corrected entry: The Pretorian troops were ordered to kill Maximus. Maximus gets away and then appears in the coliseum, which startles Commodus. Didn't Commodus ever wonder why his troops never came back to confirm Maximus was actually executed?

Correction: In the "Deleted Scenes" on the DVD you can see the scene which would have explained this. Commodus presides over the execution of the two Roman soldiers who found the dead Praetorians. They explained that they thought the Praetorians had been killed in a barbarian raid and that they assumed that Maximus had been killed and his body carried off.

Corrected entry: In the battle against the Barbarians, Maximus and the other Roman officers wear helmets that have the crest going front to back. Greek helmets' crests went front to back - Romans' crests went right to left.

Correction: The crest on a roman helmet depended on the kind of officer. Higher officers (legates, tribunes) had "Greek helmets" - crest front to back. Centurions had their crest left to right. Maximus is a higher officer, so he would have had a Greek style helmet.

Corrected entry: When Maximus asks how long the messengers had been gone, the guy replied in hours. The concept of the 24 hour clock had not yet been thought of - it was thought of by a group of monks who needed to know when to start their morning prayers in the 1330's.

Correction: The Romans divided the time from dawn till dusk into 12 "hora" (hour) (length depending on the season). They divided the night into 4 "vigilia".

Corrected entry: The legionaries all draw their swords across their bodies, the swords being in hilts on their left, but Roman soldiers actually carried swords on their right, and twisted their hands round to draw them.

Correction: Not necessarily. The sword on the right side is something which was typical for the earlier days of Rome. by the time Marcus Aurelius was emperor, Roman troops wore their swords on the left. Not to mention that cavalry and officers always had the sword on the left.

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: The very first scene is a winter battle. Romans did not fight in winter. In winter supplies and logistics were too hard to manage at the same time as expanding an Empire. Everyone stayed at home (or guarded frontiers).

Correction: If they felt there was a large advantage to be gained by attacking in winter the Romans would advance, for example, Julius Caesar advanced against Vergentorix during the Gallic campaigns to catch him off guard.

Corrected entry: The Emperors' box was on the second level (first tier) in the colosseum, and he would never be so close to the fights as he could have been hit by a stray arrow, spear or a gladiator could have just walked up and stabbed him.

Correction: The hierarchal society in Rome was ruled by class, status and rank in power, who were seated closer to the action - despite the dangers, hence the Roman Emperor and Senators were on the first tier, as portrayed in the film.

Corrected entry: Probably no big deal for the purposes of the movie, but Commodus ruled for 12 years after Marcus Aurelius' death (180-192 AD), not the one or two years that was portrayed in the movie.

Correction: This is not a documentary. The filmmakers merely took names from Roman history and made up a story using those names for the characters.

Corrected entry: The tattoo Maximus has, the so-called 'mark of the legion', is wrong. In the time of Marcus Aurelius, the legionnaires were given an identification tag made of bronze or lead. The tattoo was introduced decades later.

Correction: There was also at no point in Roman history a general called Maximus Decimus Meridius, nor was Emperor Commodus killed during a gladiator battle in front of a crowd (in reality he was strangled in his sleep by a man named Narcissus). Rome did not return to a period of republicanism as it does at the end of the film, either, nor was there a senator Gracchus to lead the new Roman regime. The film script purposefully adds or alters certain elements of Roman history whenever it suits the plot, as the tattoo's presence decades before being introduced did.

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 very first scene, when the Roman army is moving towards the Germanians, the way they attack is incorrect. As they first start to attack, they attack in rows, which is what any army should have done. But as soon as the armies clash, the Romans completely scatter. Had these soldiers done this, they would have been completely slaughtered.

Correction: This isn't a film mistake, it is your opinion of how the Romans handled themselves in this particular battle. In fact on the outskirts of their Empire the Roman Army was constantly troubled by undisciplined local conscripts reverting to their usual, chaotic style of skirmish fighting.

Corrected entry: At the start of the "Battle of Carthage", a man shouts: "Far away, in Zarma." Zarma is not the name for the land. It's Zama.

Correction: The long a (ar) as opposed to the short a (ah) is entirely due to the speaker's accent. Unless he is carrying around a sign with the name misspelled, this is not a film mistake.

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: The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do. And what could be more glorious than to challenge the Emperor himself in the great arena?
Maximus: You would fight me?
Commodus: Why not? Do you think I am afraid?
Maximus: I think you've been afraid all your life.

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: 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.

Lummie Premium member

Chosen 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.

Tailkinker Premium member

More questions & answers from Gladiator

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.