Looking Backward: British Period Drama – the 21st Century Edition

Sponsored by

Gladiator (2000)

Russell Crowe in ‘Gladiator’ (Dreamworks LLC & Universal Pictures)

Ridley Scott’s toga-to-rags story of a betrayed Roman general (Russell Crowe) forced into slavery who seeks revenge in the gladiator’s ring is not just any period piece: it’s credited with reviving an entire cinematic genre, the long dormant Roman epic. For the film’s opening battle, supposedly set in a German forest, Scott actually burned down a real forest in Surrey, England. The movie’s 21st century innovations included impressive CGI work, along with varied frame rates during shooting to convey added drama.

This story has multiple pages: