Life is an uphill business for the guy who's not on the level.John Welsh
- [After winning against seemingly impossible odds] Are you not entertained? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!? Is this not why you are here? [Crowd chanting] Spaniard!!! Spaniard!!! Spaniard!!!
- Frost…sometimes it makes the blade stick.
- Whatever comes out of these gates, we've got a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together, we survive.
- Whisper to them that I live only to hold them again, for all else is dust and air.
- I am a slave! What possible difference can I make?
- My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the Armies of the North. General of the Felix Legions. Loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife…and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.
- Marcus Aurelius had a dream that was Rome. This is not it Proximo. This is not it!
- Fratres! Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line. Stay with me. If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled; for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead! [his men burst out laughing] Brothers, what we do in life, echoes in eternity.
- Five thousand of my men are out there in the freezing mud. Three thousand of them are bloodied and cleaved. Two thousand will never leave this place. I will not believe they fought and died for nothing.
- At my signal, unleash hell.
- My name is Gladiator.
- You're in danger of becoming a good man, Proximo.
- Ancestors I ask for your guidance! Blessed mother come to me with the gods' desires for my future. Blessed father watch over my wife and my son with a ready sword! Whisper to them that I only live to hold them again! Ancestors I honor you and I try to live with the dignity you taught me!
- I knew a man once who said, "Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."
- The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end, Highness.
- What am I going to do with you? You simply won't…die.
- It vexes me. I'm terribly vexed.
- He sleeps so well because he is loved.
- One kind word, one full hug while you pressed me to your chest and held me tight, would have been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years. What is it in me you hate so much? All I ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar, Father. Father, I would butcher the whole world if you would only love me..
- Am I not merciful? [loses patience] Am I not merciful?!
- It's a dream, a frightful dream... life is.
- There are many forms of courage...
- They say your son squealed like a girl, as they nailed him to the cross. And your wife moaned like a whore when they ravaged her. Again. And again. And again.
- When a man sees his end he wants to know there was some purpose to his life, some meaning.
- There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.
- Your faults as a son is my failure as a father.
- (to Maximus) you are the son that I should have had!
- So much for the glory of Rome.
- I brought the sword. Nothing more.
- Some of you are thinking you won't fight. Others, that you can't fight, they all say that, until they're out there. [He picks up a sword.] Thrust this into another man's chest, and the crowd will applaud and love you for it. In time, you may even begin to love them for that. Ultimately, we're all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how, but…we can decide how we meet that end, so that we are remembered…as men.
- Listen to me. Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.
- Those giraffes you sold me, they won't mate. They just walk around eating, and not mating. You sold me queer giraffes!
- The silence before you strike…and the noise after…it rises…rises like a storm. As if you were the Thunder God himself.
- I am Proximo. I will be closer to you in these next few days, which will be the last days of your miserable lives, than that bitch of a mother who first brought you screaming into this world. I did not pay good money for your company, I paid it so I could profit from your deaths. And just as your mother was there at your beginning, so I shall be there at your end. And when you die, and die you shall, your transition will be to the sound of [he claps his hands]. Gladiators, I salute you.
- So Spaniard, we shall go to Rome together and have bloody adventures. And the great whore will suckle us until we are fat and happy and can suckle no more! And then, when enough men have died, perhaps you will have your freedom.
- Shadows and dust. [last lines before he is murdered by Commodus's guards]
- Strength and honor...
- Sheath your swords. Sheath your swords!
- People should know when they're conquered...
- Life is a gift from our fathers to us. Who are you to give it up for lack of lifting a spoon?
- Better to die for a friend than to die for gold.
- You have a great name. He must kill your name before he kills you.
- Now we are free. … I will see you again … but not yet … not yet.
- Gracchus: I think he [Commodus] knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they'll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they'll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate, it's the sand of the Colosseum. He'll bring them death…and they will love him for it.
- Lucilla: Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once, make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him.
- Gracchus: I do not pretend to be a man of the people. But I do try to be a man for the people.
- Lucilla: Today I saw a slave become more powerful than the Emperor of Rome.
- Tigris of Gaul: We who are about to die salute you!
- Quintus: Maximus? Maximus?
- Maximus: Quintus, free my men. Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated. There was a dream, that was Rome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius.
- Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.
- Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?
- [Proximo explains the story of his gladiator career]
- Proximo: He [Marcus Aurelius] touched me on the shoulder, I was free.
- Maximus: [laughs wildly] You knew Marcus Aurelius –
- Proximo: I didn't say I knew him, I said he touched me on the shoulder once!
- Maximus: Do you find it difficult to do your duty?
- Cicero: Sometimes I do, what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to.
- Lucilla: I want to help you.
- Maximus: Yes, you can help me. Forget you ever knew me, never come back here again.
- Marcus: You have proved your valour yet again, Maximus. Let us hope for the last time.
- Maximus: There is no one left to fight, sire.
- Marcus: There is always someone left to fight. How can I reward Rome's greatest general?
- Maximus: Let me go home.
- Marcus: Ah, home.
- Gracchus: He enters Rome like a conquering hero. But what has he conquered?
- Falco: Give him time, Gracchus. He's young, I think he can do very well.
- Gracchus: For Rome? Or for you?
- Marcus: When was the last time you were home?
- Maximus: Two years, two hundred and sixty-four days and this morning.
- Maximus: What will you have me do, Caesar?
- Marcus: I want you to become the protector of Rome after I die. I will empower you, to one end alone, to give power back to the people of Rome and end the corruption that has crippled it. Pause Will you accept this great honor that I have offered you?
- Maximus: With all my heart, no.
- Marcus: Maximus, that is why it must be you.
- [After Maximus' team defeats the Scipio Africanus legionnaires]
- Commodus: My history's a little bit hazy Cassius, but didn't the barbarians lose the Battle of Carthage?
- Cassius: Yes, sire. Forgive me, sire.
- Commodus: Who is that man? [refers to Maximus]
- Cassius: They call him "The Spaniard", sire.
- Commodus: I think I'll meet him.
- Commodus: The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do. And what could be more glorious than to challenge the Emperor himself in the great arena?
- Maximus: You would fight me?
- Commodus: Why not? Do you think I am afraid?
- Maximus: I think you've been afraid all your life.
- Commodus: Unlike Maximus the invincible, who knows no fear?
- Maximus: I knew a man who once said: "Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."
- Commodus: I wonder, did your friend smile at his own death?
- Maximus: You must know. He was your father.
- Commodus: You loved my father, I know. But so did I. That makes us brothers, doesn't it? Smile for me now, brother! [Commodus stabs him in the back]
- Maximus: You ask me what I want. I too want to stand before the Emperor as you did.
- Proximo: Then listen to me. Learn from me. I wasn't the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd. And you will win your freedom.
- Maximus: I will win the crowd. I will give them something they have never seen before.
- Proximo: What do you want? Hmm? Girl? Boy?
- Maximus: You sent for me?
- Proximo: Yes, I did. You're good, Spaniard, but not that good. You could be magnificent.
- Maximus: I'm required to kill, so I kill. That is enough.
- Proximo: That's enough for the provinces, but not for Rome.
- Maximus: ... And you have met Caesar?
- Proximo: ... Yes ... yes, I did ...
- Commodus: They embrace me as one of their own. The people are my children and I am their father.
- Gracchus: Have you ever embraced someone dying of plague, sire?
- Commodus: [turns to face him slowly] No. But if you interrupt me again, I assure you that you shall.
- Gracchus: But the Senate is the people, sire. Chosen from among the people, to speak for the people.
- Commodus: I doubt if any of the people eat so well as you, Gracchus. Or have such splendid mistresses, Gaius.
- What We Do In Life Echoes In Eternity.
- A Hero Will Rise.
- The Gladiator Who Defied An Empire.
- The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor.
- Russell Crowe - Maximus
- Joaquin Phoenix - Commodus
- Connie Nielsen - Lucilla
- Oliver Reed - Proximo
- Richard Harris - Marcus Aurelius
- Derek Jacobi - senator Gracchus
- Djimon Hounsou - Juba