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300 Spartans, The 1962 [Blu-ray]

3.9 out of 5 stars 153 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Xerxes of Persia invades Greece with his army; Leonidas of Sparta fights back at Thermopylae.

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Egan, Ralph Richardson, Diane Baker, Barry Coe, David Farrar
  • Directors: Rudolph Maté
  • Writers: George St. George, Gian Paolo Callegari, Giovanni d'Eramo, Remigio Del Grosso, Ugo Liberatore
  • Producers: Rudolph Maté, George St. George
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2014
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CLFS7H0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,366 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "300 Spartans, The 1962 [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
'The 300 Spartans' holds a special significance for me. I first saw this film as a young boy (I'm now 46), and it sparked an interest in ancient history that remains with me to this day. It would be interesting if someone saw fit to remake the film, with modern visual effects enhancements-but I wonder if it would have the same impact as the original.
Much of the movie is very close to the actual events, which took place in 480 B.C. A huge Persian army, led by the Great King Xerxes, had crossed the Hellespont from Asia to conquer the impudent Hellenes. The disparate, quarreling city-states of Greece had banded together to repel the invader, but could not agree on just what strategy to take. It was decided that a force of Spartans and Allied Greeks would undertake a holding action at what was then a narrow pass between the mountains and the sea. It was known as 'Thermopylae', or 'Hot Gates'. The firmly religious Spartans were unable to send their full contingent of soldiers due to a holy festival (they were curiously tardy throughout their history in such situations). However, Spartan King Leonidas' 300-strong personal bodyguard was not subject to this restriction, so he marched with them to the pass. Along the way, he was joined by an estimated 7,000 or so Allied Greeks. This tiny force went to confront a Persian host estimated by modern historians at around 100,000.
The battle itself is the stuff of legend. Superior weaponry, armor, and tactics (the famed Greek Hoplite phalanx), combined with the narrow pass that favored defense, enabled the Greeks to repel several frontal Persian assaults with tremendous loss.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The narrow pass of Thermopalyae is long gone, with centuries of sendiment building a large plain. The location of the statue of King Leonidas of Sparta set up along the highway does provide a sense of how narrow the geography was in 480 B.C. when a small force of Spartans and other Greek warriors held up the advance of King Xerxes and his Persian army (the parallels to the Alamo are palatable). When I visited Greece last week I was glad we were able to stop at the monument for a few minutes, not so much because of what I had read in the history books about the Battle of Thermopalyae but because of the 1962 film "The 300 Spartans."
Granted the acting in this film from director Rudolph Maté is wooden, on a par with the Trojan Horse and the ships that turned out to the wooden walls of Athens that defeated Xerxes at Salamis. But there is still something substantial to the battle sequences, as when Xerxes sends his Immortals against the Spartans and when the Spartans make a final valiant charge to kill the Persian monarch. The basic political history of the times is covered in the film; Greece was debating whether or not to send soldiers that far north to stop the invaders and the Spartans decided not to send troops until a religious festival was over. Consequently, King Leonidas (Richard Eagan) left with his personal bodyguard of 300 soldiers. There is a trivial romantic subplot involving a young Spartan soldier and the girl he tried to leave behind, as well as an exiled Spartan King, Demaratus (Ivan Triesault) who tries to educate Xerxes (David Farrar) about the worth of these 300 soldiers. In the end, the Spartans are betrayed by a Greek traitor who tells the Persians of a pass through the mountains where they can attack from the rear.
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By A Customer on May 9, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I first saw this film when I was 12 or 13. At that age I thought it was an action movie and I took it solely for that - it was good with large battle scenes, sword clanging against shield, etc. However, it is a little deeper than that. The film tells the story of King Leonidas of Sparta who took a small cohort of Spartan soldiers to stand at Thermopylae against a huge Persian army. Most of the rest of the Greek city-states declined to send troops because the pass was so far from their territory. Leonidas realized that the pass was the best place to meet the Persians as the narrow space would allow a small force to block a tremendously larger force. The Spartans marched hard to get to the pass before the Persians and then fought like demons when the Persians arrived - actually driving them back and temporarily routing them with some well-planned tactics and ferocious sword play. After several days their position is betrayed and their meager allies killed or put to flight. The Spartans are then surrounded. Their sacred customs do not permit surrender or retreat so they make a suicidal charge at the Persian king. Leonidas falls and the Persians then massacre the remaining Spartans who refuse to give up his body.
Richard Egan is suitably noble and brave as Leonidas. It is obvious that he fears nothing as he wades into battle with spear,sword and shield. One comment is that Leonidas is like his name - that is, like a lion, and he is. The supporting cast is also quite good, including Sir Ralph Richardson as Themistocles (a crafty Athenian politician and statesman) and Diane Baker in an early role.
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