Some of the greatest movies ever made come with interesting stories behind them. One of the first movies that come to mind is Gladiator. The story of a general who becomes a slave, a slave that becomes a gladiator, a gladiator who defies an emperor, and a gladiator who restores peace to the Roman Empire.
Most of these words came from Commodus played by Joaquin Phoenix, but there are several other facts you probably haven’t heard regarding this fantastic movie.
Russell Crowe Broke Bones and Obtained Real Scars
Some actors enjoy being their own stunt person, and when Gladiator was made, Crowe wanted to be a part of the action. However, several fight scenes and horse-riding takes left him bloodied and bruised. Interesting enough, the cut on the bridge of his nose in the opening fight scene was real. Apparently he was thrown from his horse and a tree branch popped him right in the kisser.
What do Argento and Scarto Mean?
The first time you watch gladiator, the introduction of Argento and Scarto are Maximus’s horses that were taken from him. If you look up the Latin meaning behind these names; Argento means Silver and Scarto means Scout. If you’re a Hollywood history buff, you already know Silver was the horse of the Lone Ranger and Scout was the horse of Chief Thunder Cloud.
George Michael’s Haircut has Influence in Gladiator
Yes, George Michael the singer had a major influence on the Gladiator film. In fact, Russell Crowe’s haircut was manifested from the Jesus to a Child cover album. We haven’t been able to figure out why they decided to take this approach, but it was a modern day version of Roman haircuts over a thousand years ago.
Masking Oliver Reed’s Death
During an intermission during filming, Reed who played Proximo, suddenly died of a heart-attack. The production crew had difficulty figuring out how they were going to finish the film, and utilized computer generated imagery to complete the film. Considering this was 15 years ago is amazing, especially with the scene where Reed is overrun by Roman soldiers in his villa. He had already passed before the shot was taken.
Juba’s Final Lines
When Juba buries Maximus’s figurines of his wife and son, it was supposed to be done by Oliver Reed. However, after Reed’s death during the production, the script was changed and Juba took over the lines; “Now we are free. I will see you again. But not yet…not yet.
The chemistry between all the actors in the movie was unmatched during the turn of the century. Ridley Scott took a huge gamble on a movie theme that seemed to be lost since the 1960s, but thanks to his masterful camera work, Gladiator will always be considered one of the best gladiator movies of all time.