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)
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Russell Crowe, Richard Harris, Joaquin Phoenix, Djimon Hounsou, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed
Visible crew/equipment: After the battle with the Germanians, the next morning after the tavern, Maximus is walking in the army camp and he feeds a horse a piece of apple. If you look closely between him and the horse, there is a crewman wearing a pair of blue jeans. (00:21:00)
Factual error: When a group of soldiers goes to Maximus' villa to burn it and kill his family, his son points them, saying in Italian "Mamma! I soldati!" ("Mom, the soldiers!") and then "Papà!" ("Daddy!"). This is because the young actor (Giorgio Cantarini) is Italian and they didn't translate, for some reason. As a result, he's speaking Italian in a movie in English, where people are supposed to speak Latin, in a province where Italian was never ever spoken. (00:43:07)
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!"
Trivia: The two prostitutes who were all over Maximus after his first battle in Rome, and after the fight with Tigris when Cicero gave him the idols, are both amateur adult film stars. Prostitutes were very common during this time and were often rewards for gladiators who had proven their mettle by surviving many battles.
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.
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.
Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell.
Question: I don't know whether this is a mistake or if there was a certain reason for it but, at the end of the movie when Maximus tells Quintus to free his men, Quintus turns to the line of guards standing behind him and says, "Free the prisoners, go!" Two of the guards standing next to each other immediately go to free the prisoners, and the rest of the guards don't budge. How did those two guards know that the orders were given directly to them?
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).
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.
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.
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Chosen answer: Because they would be the ranking soldiers, and accustomed to being given orders. Being disciplined, they would obey Quintus without question. The legions would necessarily have soldiers assigned to following orders at different times, similar to how a captain would give an order to a full room, and the first mate would be the one to carry out the order.