Gladiators are pretty wretched characters if you think about it. They do battle with their friends and ultimately murder them, just for an opportunity to stay alive that little bit longer. Of course, Ridley Scott's 2000 Roman epic, "Gladiator" is the most recognized cinematic gladiatorial adventure, but Hollywood has purveyed these swordsmen for decades with them often being vengeful warriors looking to do battle with their imperious masters. Here are some of celluloids greatest gladiators and gladiator scenes that they fought in.
Kirk Douglas does battle in the Colosseum for several of his gladiatorial scenes in Stanley Kubrick's epic. His most famous battle is against Woody Strode's Draba who famously wields a trident and net to capture Spartacus but the latter is soon able to defeat him.
Demetrius, "Demetrius and the Gladiators"
Victor Mature stars as the eponymous character in this 1954 sequel to "The Robe" which possesses a stellar cast that includes Susan Hayward, Anne Bancroft and Ernest Borgnine. The "Marty" star leads a gladiatorial school with Demetrius still finding plenty of reasons to rebel against this violent regime.
Darius, "Gladiators 7"
Richard Harrison's Darius is accused of helping five gladiators to escape and is thus forced to become one himself. Billed as a Roman version of the "Magnificent Seven" the concluding battle scene is an intense match up between an entire army and these gladiators, with the gladiators finally coming out on top.
After being freed from prison at the time of Christ's crucifixion, Anthony Quinn's Barabbas decides to embark on a rather eclectic journey that finds him taking part in a gladiatorial battle. Haunted by Christ's spirit he fights several villains on his way to cleansing his soul.
Nero "The Sign of the Cross"
Cecil De Mille's epic action movie sees Charles Laughton's Nero do battle with Christians, with the Roman circus even getting involved with a hoard of crocodiles, lions, elephants and a gorilla. None of these animals were harmed in the making of the movie.
Ben Edwards, "The Running Man"
A modern gladiatorial movie, if there ever was one, sees Arnold Schwarzenegger fight through a game show of the future as he defeats a plethora of villains with different pieces of equipment that include a hockey stick. He also drops some pithy lines along the way too
Before Charlton Heston became the worlds most famous member of the NRA he was an actor, and a damn good one at that. Ben-Hur was his most famous role and saw him jousting as a gladiator inside a chariot with stuntmen apparently dying on set due to the carnage that ensued.
Conan, "Conan the Barbarian"
As he established his muscles and became larger and larger before adding "the Barbarian" to his name Conan fought in a gladiatorial arena to make himself used to the art of death. It helps when you have Schwarzenegger's body.
Starring Pam Grier and Margaret Markov this movie has also gone by the more seductive title. "Naked Warriors", which probably allows you to imagine what kind of film it is. Plenty of their battles end up becoming staple