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Updated on December 31, 2016

Watch it at home!

Based on the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City), 300 is a ferocious retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army.

Facing insurmountable odds, their valour and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite against the Persian army, drawing a line in the sand for democracy. The film brings Miller’s acclaimed graphic novel to life by combining live action with virtual backgrounds that capture his distinct vision of this ancient historic tale.

My Review

"Brutal, bloody and breathtakingly beautiful"

Available now on DVD, HD DVD and Blu-Ray

About the film...

The film 300 is faithfully adapted from the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller in which Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the last man against Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive army. Facing insurmountable odds, the Spartans' heroism and sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against the Persian invaders.

The story is based on the famous Battle of Thermopylae which took place in the summer of 480 BC and was a turning point of the Greco-Persian wars.


The 300 Spartans

I was (and still am) a big fan of the old classic Hollywood sword and sandal flicks such as Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, et al.

I still remember The 300 Spartans. At least enough to recall that I LOVED the movie. Years later I would see it once more, in my final year in Senior High School. Our Ancient History teacher showed it to the class one lesson. I think it was an old favourite of hers too.

Skip forward a dozen more years and I started to think about the movie again, around the time that Gladiator (starring Russell Crowe) was released. As much as I enjoyed that movie and looked forward to a rebirth of that genre of film I must admit I was saddened by the crap releases such as Troy and Alexander.

300 even with just 2 movie trailers to get an appetite whetting taste you can tell it's going to be a worthwhile wait. In retrospect the "original" movie may pale in contrast, but if memory serves me correctly it's still a strong film. Thankfully it's been re-released on DVD. You know what I'm getting for Christmas now don't you ;-)

Movie trailer for 300

300, based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller published in 1999.

The Battle of Thermopylae ranks as one of the ancient world's most important events, where Spartan King Leonidas and his 300-man bodyguard met the massive army of Emperor Xerxes of Persia, who intended to add Greece to his empire.

To no one's surprise, the Spartans were destroyed. While the battle bought the Greeks enough time to defeat the mighty Persians, it was more important for the metaphor it created: occasionally one has to lose to win.

This is clearly the inspiration behind Miller's attempt to place this epic tale in the context of a graphic novel. A renowned comics artist and writer known for hard-boiled stories of almost operatic intensity and stylishly overwrought violence, Miller (Sin City) injects his own brand of graphic sensationalism into this ancient tale of national survival. Miller clearly isn't as interested in being a historian as he is in telling a story, but his portrayal of the ancient world is compelling.

His drawings of the bearded Leonidas are pensive and starkly imperial. The Persian King Xerxes is represented as majestically African, his body covered in a gaudy and bejeweled network of meticulously rendered chains and bracelets. Form and content are ideally wedded: Miller's writing is stark, his drawings moody and dramatic, and intensified by Varley's grimly appropriate palette of earth and blood.

The reader can see and feel the harshness of both the Grecian landscape and Sparta's battle-worshipping culture, as Miller presents the complex historical moment facing the 300.

About Thermopylae

Thermopylae is a pass in Greece between Mount Oeta and the Maliac Gulf, famous as the scene of several great battles. Leonidas' small Spartan army defended it bravely but vainly against Persians in 480 BC; in 279 BC a Greek army failed to hold it against invading Gauls: and here the conquering Romans were checked for a short time by Antiochus of Syria in 191 BC. In World War II, the pass was a scene of a galant Australian/New Zealand defence against German forces.

Source: The New International Illustrated Encyclopaedia, Volume 6, 1954.

Recommended reading...

  • 300 Spartans (the historical story) at Wikipedia

Fact versus Fiction

An emperor amasses an army of hundreds of thousands, drawn from two continents, to invade a third continent and conquer a tiny, divided nation. Only a few hundred warriors stand against them. Yet the tiny nation is saved. It sounds like the plot of a preposterous fantasy novel. It is historical fact. In 481-480 B.C., King Xerxes of Persia raised forces in Asia and Africa and invaded Greece with an army so huge that it "drank rivers dry." Then they entered the mountain pass of Thermopylae and encountered 300 determined soldiers from Sparta...

Writer-artist Frank Miller and colorist Lynn Varley retell the battle of Thermopylae in the exciting and moving graphic novel 300. They focus on King Leonidas, the young foot soldier Stelios, and the storyteller Dilios to highlight the Spartans' awe-inspiring toughness and valor. Miller and Varley's art is terrific, as always; the combat scenes are especially powerful. And Miller's writing is his best in years. Read it.

Do not, however, read 300 expecting a strictly accurate history. The Phocians did not "scatter," as Miller describes. His Spartans are mildly homophobic, which is goofy in such a gay society. Miller doesn't say how many Greeks remained for the climactic battle--you'd think 300 Spartans and maybe a dozen others, when there were between 700 and 1,100 Greeks. Herodotus's Histories does not identify the traitor Ephialtes as ugly and hunchbacked, or even as Spartan. 300 establishes a believable connection between Ephialtes's affliction and behavior, but his monstrous appearance, King Xerxes's effeminacy, and the Persians' inexplicable pierced-GenX-African looks make for an eyebrow-raising choice of villain imagery. Nonetheless, 300 is a brilliant dramatization.

'300' Smashes March Opening Record; Spartans Stampede To $70 Mil Weekend - 3rd Biggest R-Rated Movie Debut Ever

It was a bloodbath at the U.S. box office this weekend. Warner Bros. told me this morning its 'R'-rated 300 about the epic Battle of Thermopylae shattered the record for the biggest March opening ever, and scored the 3rd biggest 'R'-rated movie debut ever, with its $70+ million. (Or, $70.025 mil to be exact, though the studio didn't provide a breakdown.)

Other studios say this 'Gladiator Gore-Fest' raked in $27.7 mil to $28 mil Friday and $24.3 mil to $24.8 mil Saturday and an estimated $16 mil to $17.2 mil Sunday from its 3,103 theaters.

Toldja so... I said back on Tuesday that 300 was tracking huge -- even though most of its target audience fell asleep during that history lesson in school. But rival studios were complaining to me this weekend that the much-buzzed pic was pitched heavily to the youth market despite the 'R' rating.

But Warner's maintains "we were very careful to market to 17 and above, in accordance with the R rating." Helped by omnipresent advertising, this CGI extravaganza was sold out even for Thursday midnight sneaks, including all 57 IMAX theaters. This pic from the creator of Sin City was cheap to make and shot in only 60 days and cast with no stars, so it ends up one of Warner's most profitable. So who was seeing 300? I'm told that the audience was about 60/40 male-female and about evenly split younger/older. Warner Bros. moguls were thrilled after enduring expensive disappointment after disappointment in 2006 (Poseidon, Superman Returns, The Lake House, The Ant Bully, Lady In The Water, etc.) with the notable exceptions of Oscar winner Happy Feet from director George Miller and The Departed from Martin Scorsese.

Especially with a per screen average of $9,045 Friday and $7,965 Saturday, 300 easily overtook the current record-holder for March: 2002's Ice Age and its $46.3 mil take. That was accomplished Saturday! (FYI: Since 2006 sequel Ice Age: The Meltdown opened March 31-April 2 with $68 mil, it can't be considered a March weekend record-holder. But 300 surged past that, too.)

Though 300's haul is amazing considering its 'R' rating: it placed behind only Matrix Reloaded at $91.7 mil in May 2003 and The Passion of the Christ at $83.8 mil in February 2004 but bested Hannibal at $51 mil in February 2001.


Web Credited for '300' Triumph

Viral Internet marketing was likely responsible for the astonishing success of Warner Bros.' 300 over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times indicated today (Tuesday). The newspaper observed that the movie, which earned nearly $71 million over the weekend, originally got a big push at last year's Comic-Con convention in San Diego when the movie's visuals excited attendees. Berge Garabedian who runs the fanboy website Joblo, told the newspaper that many websites like his began hyping the movie. "Everybody was talking about it," he said. Warner Bros. then developed a MySpace page for the film, including a feature upgrade on the 300 site that permitted users to store 300 photos on their profile. That "stroke of genius," as the Times referred to the photo ploy, resulted in billions of ad impressions and 8 million viewings of the trailer for the film. 300 went into the record books as the third-biggest opening of an R-rated movie in history (after The Passion of the Christ and The Matrix Reloaded). It was also the biggest opening of any film debuting in March and the biggest IMAX opening.

Original Source: IMDb

300 lights fuse in Iran

Warner Bros.' hit movie 300 has become the latest powder keg in relations between the U.S. and Iran. The movie, which earned $71 million at the box office last weekend, is based on the ancient battle of Thermopylae in which, according to Western lore, a force of 300 Spartans held off thousands of Persian soldiers. As reported by the Associated Press, Javad Shamghadri, cultural adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, charged that the film represented another effort by the U.S. to humiliate Iran in order to "compensate for its wrongdoings in order to provoke American soldiers and warmongers" against Iran. The independent newspaper Ayende-No, said beneath the headline, "Hollywood Declares War on Iranians," "The film depicts Iranians as demons, without culture, feeling or humanity, who think of nothing except attacking other nations and killing people. ... It is a new effort to slander the Iranian people and civilization before world public opinion."


The 300 Savages at Thermopylae: A Response to the Hollywood Film '300'

The recent Hollywood film '300' about the defeat of Dorian Spartans by the Imperial Iranians has created a storm of protest from Iranians worldwide. This is not surprising, since the film makers got the entire story wrong, turning the heroic Iranian victors of the battle, the defenders of Cuneiform civilization, into villains, and morphing the tribal Dorians militants from Sparta into heroes. In fact, the film is full of obvious cinematographic errors: Xerxes is shown as an alien with glowing skin, piercings and vines growing from his body, and rhinos, ogres and dragons are depicted on the Imperial side to further subhumanize the Iranians. This article shall not analyze these aberrations and mistakes, but instead focus on the historical inaccuracies and political propaganda of '300'.

Not sure where the dragons were in the film, but if you wish to read the lengthy response go here.

Here's another one I came up with...

Take the Lord of the Rings trilogy and distill the emotion and intensity into just 120 minutes. And there you have 300, steeped in historical fact and served with Hollywood fiction.

Convey the thoughts and feelings you have about the epic film 300 by clicking on SUBMIT below...

Review It Yourself

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    • Metalpriest profile image


      5 years ago

      Its my favorite movie. This is Spaaarrtaa !

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have not seen the movie but I did visit the area when hitch-hiking through Greece years ago. What an amazing battle.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great movie

    • Ahdilarum profile image


      6 years ago

      great review about the movie 300. i think this is worth watching movie.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yet to watch the movie. Thanks for the wonderful review!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      A little closer to the truth than 300 Spartans with Richard Egan playing a lamentable Leonidas! Although I love a good sword and sandal film and have a classic collection of 1950s and 60s epics, 300 left me cold. Just as Troy left me cold.

    • MoonandMagic profile image


      7 years ago

      I really enjoyed this film, though my ancient history tutor was devastated and would often rant for hours about how poor it is! Brilliant lens, thanks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow, this lens is freakin awesome.

    • RazzleDazzlesCu profile image


      9 years ago

      This is one of the Best movies i have seen in a long time. Great Lens

    • carny profile image


      10 years ago

      I thought 300 was entertaining, but overly dramatic. "This is SPARTA!!!", LOL.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great movie,in 20yrs. it will be listed among the classics of our time!I watched it 5 times the day we got it.

    • triathlontraini1 profile image


      10 years ago

      Great movie! :)I like the Simpson's take on it too.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I love this film! This is how I think we should still fight war, I mean if we have to have them make them up close and Personal, they would happen less. Cinematography and all, agree, brutally brillant! Chic into action films, Johni!

    • theXodus profile image


      10 years ago

      incredible lens for an incredible movie!


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