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Mark Thackeray (Poitier) is a West Indian, who in the 1967 film had taken teaching in a London East End school. He spent twenty years teaching and ten in administrative roles. He has taught the children of his former pupils, but is now retiring.
General Maximus’ success in battle earns the favour of the Roman Empire’s elderly Emperor at the expense of the Emperor’s son. In a fit of jealous rage the son slays his father before turning his anger towards Maximus. Now reduced to a slave, and his family dead, Maximus must fight as a gladiator to gain his freedom – and his revenge.
When a substantial portion of the nation’s populace falls victim to a deadly plague, the tyrannical government quarantines them in camps, offering no alternative except death in this cautionary tale from director Stephen Tolkin. But a gutsy rebel named Torch (Cuba Gooding Jr.) sets out to help the afflicted by leading an underground effort to spirit the victims to humane sanctuary. Moira Kelly co-stars as Gooding’s love interest.