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300 Spartans [Blu-ray]

3.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ralph Richardson
  • Format: Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: March 4 2014
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00CLFS7H0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,583 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Essentially true story of how Spartan king Leonidas led an extremely small army of Greek Soldiers (300 of them his personal body guards from Sparta) to hold off an invading Persian army now thought to have numbered 250,000. The actual heroism of those who stood (and ultimately died) with Leonidas helped shape the course of Western Civilization, allowing the Greek city states time to organize an army which repelled the Persians. Set in 480 BC.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Here is a credible portrayal of the heroic stand that the 300 Spartans made at the pass of Thermopylae in 480BCE. Trying to make their way through the pass was a Persian army that likely numbered around 200,000. It was led by king Xerxes, son of Darius.
The Persians were set on conquering Greece, and Xerxes was out for revenge. 10 years earlier, in 490BCE Darius had launched an ill-fated invasion force that was turned back at Marathon. This time, Xerxes believed he had a large enough army that the outcome of the war between Greece and Persia would not be in doubt.
Unfortunately for Xerxes, he had never faced a fighting force of the like fielded by the Spartans. The valiant Lacedamons along with a handful of Greek coalition forces held the pass for the better part of 3 days.
On the third day, the Spartan king Leonidas dismissed the rest of the Greek forces so that they would live to fight another day. The Thespians declined to leave and they stayed and fought to a last man alongside the Spartans.
It is this obstinate and awe-inspiring battle that is depicted in the film. All-in-all, it is quite well done and does a reputable job of introducing most of the major characters in the period such as Themosticles, Leonidas, Xerxes, Mardonious, Aspasia and Ephialtes.
The best part of the film lies in its authenticity regarding Spartan battle dress and weaponry. In the film the Spartan shields have an upside down "V," which was the symbol of the Homoioi (full citizens). This was, in fact, what their shield depicted.
The Laconians had a long (roughly 8 foot) spear + a short-sword, and this is what the actors wielded. The Spartans also wore red to (supposedly) hide their blood, and this is accurately brought out in the film as well.
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Format: DVD
THE 300 SPARTANS does creditable job of recreating one of the most famous Last Stand battles in history. Director Rudy Mate makes excellent use of on-location sites to render the mytho-historical Battle of Thermopylae fought in August of 480 BC. An elite, 300 man-guard of Sparta's Battle King Leonidas arrayed itself in the narrow "Hot Gates" pass.[North of Athens and Thebes, but far north east of Lacedaemon/Sparta. This is critical,because Sparta's senate initially voted to defend much closer-to-home portion of the Peloponnesian Peninsula near the strategic land bridge of the Gulf of Corinth]. Xerxes,invading Persian Monarch and would-be world conqueror, myriad legions were averred so numerous that their force "drank the streams dry" marching to the attack.
Richard Egen does excellent job as Leonidas. He is charismatic yet characterisically laconic leader of Lacedaemons whose "warrior cult" society was legendary even to its Greek City-State peers,embodying The "RETURN HOME WITH YOUR SHIELD...OR ON IT!" victory or death ethic. David Farrar is fine as haughty despot Xerxes who none the less conveys astonishment(and once when a desperate,final Flying-Wedge assault by the Spartans threatens him personally)and respectful fear. Sir Ralph Richardson's role as Athenian senator who struggles to cobble unity from fiercely independent Hellenic poleis is "instructive" and understated.As noted,the background romance involving Diane Baker and a Spartan soldier initiate is essentially filler; Mate employs it well,however, to introduce a Greek traitor who discloses the mountain pass which allows Persians to flank...annihilate...the Spartans and their small cohort of allies.
THE 300 SPARTANS may not be epic film making but it's quite good.
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Format: DVD
The only reason I have not heaped more stars on this 1961 classic is the lack of extra's on the DVD, although the Widescreen reproduction is good, the picture and sound crisp, and overall a great package. Recently referred to in "The Last Samurai" whilst drawing parallels of futile "last stands", this movie is beginning to attract a new audience, as well as enthrall those who remember it the first time around. With the renewed interest in the genre (Troy / Alexander the Great) at theaters now, and in post production respectively, this is a timely release. Another plus is that this movie is seldom seen on countless reruns on TV like so many, and is a worthy addition to any fans collection. In a similar way to Troy, there is an air of inevitability to the story which heads for the ill fated battle at Thermopylae. Some policital bungling and bad planning pits Richard Egan and his elite but small army against the ravages of Xerxes (he who commanded an army of 1,000,000)at the aforementioned pass, and the end result though predictable is stirring. Some interesting metaphors abound (as was the practice at that time) comparing the political problems of 1961 to the historical aspects of the movie, but otherwise this is a solid picture. The battle sequences are a bit tame by todays standards, but there is a wonderful dramatic quality to the direction and script, often missing in todays CGI festooned reproductions. Oldy but Goody - Enjoy!
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By A Customer on June 7 2004
Format: DVD
I saw this movie when it first came out in 1961. I remember all the kids running to the candy counter during the "boring" senate debate scene. It's fun to watch for nostalgia's sake, but it's far from a good movie.
My key problem is the way it depicts the Spartans fighting. They preferred not to engage in individual swordplay, as shown in the film. The Spartans' power came from the phalanx--shields locked together, men surging forward in step, and spears plunging again and again into the Persians. (They didn't throw the spears, by the way; they simply stabbed over the tops of their shields.)
Also, as a kid I thought it ludicrous that the Persian Immortals would use wicker shields, but later I found out they're quite ingeneous. A sword or spear plunged into a wicker shield is very hard to pull out, which effectively disarms an opponent.
The Spartans defeated the Persians basically by bowling them over with the phalanx.
Anyway, a fun movie if you don't expect too much.
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