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Last Stand of the 300: The Legendary Battle at Thermopylae
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High on a narrow mountain pass in 480 B.C., a small Greek army awaits an onslaught of epic proportions. Led by just 300 Spartan soldiers, they somehow hold off the colossal Persian military for seven full days - until not one Greek warrior is left standing.
The legendary battle of Thermopylae is still acknowledged today for its brilliant military maneuvers and the well-trained and fearless soldiers who fought to the death. THE HISTORY CHANNEL® presents a detailed account of this legendary battle, examining the events leading up to the conflict, the tactical expertise that allowed the outnumbered Greeks to stall their mighty foes, and the bloody encounter itself. Find out how an army of a few hundred men overcame impossible odds and witness the conflict that altered the course of Western civilization.
Combining sophisticated digital animation and live actors in strikingly realistic reenactments, LAST STAND OF THE 300 narrates one of the most important - and improbable - battles in history.
- 1.78 widescreen letterbox
Top Customer Reviews
In contrast to the movie 300 (which was ok -see my review) this documentary is excellent. It is really a movie-like documentary with a lot of action.
Graphically it resembles a little the movie 300 since it uses a lot of computer graphics and non-realistic red looking skies. However, here Persians really look like Persians.
The content is excellent. Although I have read about the battle of Thermopylae from many different sources, I learned about things I did not know before and gained a more detail knowledge. However, like in the movie 300 here again Leonidas seems to be much younger than he really was by 480BC.
What I particularly liked was that the documentary focused both on the land battle of the Spartans and sea battle of the Athenian fleet. This really showed how brilliant and well coordinated the Allied Greek strategy was. Most other sources just focus on the land battle and pay minor attention to what happened in the flanking sea. The mastermind Themistocles is well represented and a decent length of the documentary is dedicated to him.
The Spartans and their society are accurately represented. They were not fighting for a new era of freedom which was at the time being brought forward by Athenian democracy. They were fighting to preserve their own, non-free un-democratic system and were hostile to the spread of democracy to other Greek city states. However, their last stand was not solely to seek "a beautiful death" but instead to cover the retreat of their fellow allied soldiers. Maybe, also to give an example from which the allied Greeks would stay united against the Persians for the sake of their sacrifice.
The sound tracks that accompany the scenes are excellent. However, they could have used them more often and they could have raised the volume a little too.
I enjoyed watching this documentary even more than the other two excellent documentaries on the Spartans (one from the History channel and the other by PBS).
Highly - I repeat highly recommended - to people interested in ancient history and battle strategies and warfare.
The overall presentation of this epic battle is superb. Great visuals, music, dramatic reenactments, and knowledgeable scholars provide a very enlightening and fascinating account of the events preceding and following the 3-day battle at Thermopylae. The battle itself is examined and analyzed in meticulous detail--military tactics and strategies discussed from both sides of the war (land and sea).
As reviewer, Raffaele Vardavas mentioned, this documentary does resemble a little like the movie "300," which gives it a more appealing and cinematic look. The fighting sequences--especially during the last stand--are wonderfully depicted.
The performance of the 300 Spartans--and approximately 700 Thespian soldiers and unremembered 900 Helots (Spartan slaves)--has been hailed as an outstanding example of courage against insurmountable odds. Among the Greeks, the Spartan defenders were the 'bravest of the brave' and their enormous sacrifice helped saved the future of Greece and unknowningly "altered the course of Western civilization." As one of the world's greatest and most symbolic events in history, this DVD is a must-have for all!
(Note: I have the PBS DVD of The Spartans, and also think this one is NOT as exciting to watch. Instead, the PBS presentation feels like a tedious 3-hour lecture in a history class. "Last Stand...300" is way better!!! Don't hesitate to buy).
This film reveals many aspects of Thermopylae, and adjacent battles, that those who are not students of war may not have been aware of. The film covers the backgrounds of both sets of combatants, the overall strategies, and the outcomes in understandable detail, and makes a valuable point of demonstrating the long-lived results of the battle itself, and on current governments and societies.
The History Channel has done a great service with this film, for those among us who do want to learn.