Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by Dalton Trumbo, and based on the novel of the same title by Howard Fast. In the 1st century BC, the Roman Republic has slid into corruption, its menial work done by armies of slaves. One of these, a proud and gifted Thracian named Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), is so uncooperative in his position in a mining pit that he is sentenced to death by starvation. By chance, he is displayed to unctuous Roman businessman Lentulus Batiatus (Peter Ustinov), who – impressed by his ferocity – purchases Spartacus for his gladiatorial school, where he instructs trainer Marcellus (Charles McGraw) to not overdo his indoctrination because he thinks "he has quality". Amid the abuse, Spartacus forms a quiet relationship with a serving woman named Varinia (Jean Simmons), whom he refuses to rape when she is sent to "entertain" him in his cell. Spartacus and Varinia are subsequently forced to endure numerous humiliations for defying the conditions of servitude.