And you thought it was all in the movies The strangest things are based on truth. This documentary series reveals the real life tales behind some of the world’s most famous movies. Running from 2003 – 2012 this series originally shown on UK’s Channel 5 many episodes have been shown on History Channel USA as one off documentaries. Gladiator – The oscar winning film Gladiator is the story of a hero Russell Crowe’s Maximus, the general who became a slave who became a gladiator. He is the perfect fighting machine and he destroys the most powerful man on earth the emperor of Rome. The historical truth is even more surprising Like Maximus the gladiators of Rome really fought in giant arenas for the pleasure of the crowd. New experiments may show if even the way they fought is truly what we see in the movies. The emperor Commodus was even crazier than Maximus’ enemy in the Hollywood version. He was so obsessed by gladiators he became the only emperor to fight in the arena. And his obsession came with a body count. New archaeology could reveal the secrets of how Commodus lived, how he committed his crimes and maybe even where he died. Just like the story of Russel Crowe’s Maximus this is a tale of blood death sex and violence. This is the real story of gladiator.