“And of course Charles, who spent most of his time loitering and waiting to be offended…he was an extremely vulnerable and sensitive soul…he was therefore of course equally open to flattery, and when he heard [the praise of a passing female tourist] he preened.”

I’ve posted excerpts from this “Peter Ustinov recalls the making of Spartacus” interview once or twice since HE’s launch in August ’04. It’s easily one of the best interview or commentary supplements ever offered on any disc of any film, and of course the Charlies Laughton portion (imitations and stories — 8:20 to 15:00) is the highlight.

The 20-minute supplement initially appeared on the 1992 Criterion laserdisc of Spartacus, and again on the 2001 Criterion DVD.

It’s a shame that Universal Home Video never licensed the Ustinov interview for their various home video versions — the 50th anniversary “shiny” Bluray of 2010 (since discredited), Robert Harris‘s 2015 Bluray restoration and the recently released 4K UHD upgrade.

How much could it have cost to include the Ustinov segment? Given the fact that the 480p Criterion versions look atrocious compared to what followed, the only way to savor the Ustinov these days is via YouTube. Had Universal sprung for the license fee the interview would have been HD-upgraded…a shame.