Film / The 300 Spartans

The 300 Spartans is a 1962 film depicting The Battle of Thermopylae. It stars Richard Egan as Leonidas, Ralph Richardson as Themistocles and David Farrar as Xerxes.

When it was released many saw it as an allegory for the Cold War. Nowadays it's probably best known as part of the inspiration for Frank Miller's famous graphic novel 300 and its subsequent film adaptation.

This film contains examples of:

  • Badass Army: The Spartans, obviously
  • Chewing the Scenery: It's been said that the entire cast fed on the sets for the entire filming process.
  • The Hero Dies: King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, just like it happened in the real battle.
  • Large Ham: Xerxes.
  • Rain of Arrows: How the Persians finish off the Spartans, with Xerxes not wishing to waste any more of his men in further attempts at hand-to-hand fighting.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The Persian people were close relatives of the Europeans, the majority of modern Iran's population could be considered "white" and most people there identify as such.
  • Sword & Sandal: It is a movie about Ancient Greece, after all.
  • The Women Are Safe with Us: Averted; King Xerxes orders that his soldiers on the campaign be given one last night with their wives, then the women are to be killed. Yes, women from his side. "There are plenty of women in Athens and Sparta and I want my men to be eager to get at them". Perhaps the audience wasn't quite sure he was the villain of the movie yet. How the Spartans treated the enemy women is of course not discussed.