The Gladiators

"Very Good"

The Gladiators Review


If I didn't know better, I'd guess that The Gladiators was shot in the last couple of years. Its story is remarkably prescient and present: Big armies and nuclear weapons haven't worked, so the countries of the world have turned to another method of settling disputes. That method is a kind of wargame put on by small teams of a dozen or so soldiers from each warring faction. The only reason we know that this isn't a brand new film is that, in The Gladiators, these games are not televised in the U.S. (where they'd be devoured like crazy). Rather, they are seen just about everywhere else.

Peter Watkins' (Punishment Park) film is disconcerting and disorienting. It feels real and it churns your stomach. The lengthy and extended wargame, which comprises just about the whole movie, unfortunately doesn't live up to the premise of the film to the degree it should. It wears us down to the point where we almost forget what countries are fighting... and definitely what they're fighting about. Battle Royale did this better, because we cared about who won the game.

Aka Gladiatorerna.



The Gladiators

Facts and Figures

Run time: 60 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th September 1974

Production compaines: Sandrews

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Peter Watkins

Producer: Göran Lindgren

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