Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius is a casualty of a power struggle between the corrupt Emperor Commodus and the senate. Ordered to be put to death along with his family, he escapes his would-be killers but is sold into slavery as a gladiator - and uses his fame in the arena to fight against the tyrant. Oscar-winning period epic, with Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Derek Jacobi and Oliver Reed, in his last film role