Our new column on Hollywood hits launches with Stanley Kubrick’s gladiatorial smash Spartacus

Kirk Douglas wanted to be Judah Ben-Hur. At the time it came out, William Wyler’s Ben-Hur was the most expensive movie ever made. It was a huge, overwhelming production, cast with thousands of extras and filmed on sets bigger than anyone had ever used. And the film turned out to be a phenomenon. It was the…

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