Spartans - The Last Stand Of The 300 [DVD]
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This spectacular two hour documentary tells the amazing true story of the 300 Spartan warriors who so selflessly defended their country against the mighty Persian army, estimated at being a million strong for almost 7 days. This is the real story of the most famous last stand in history. At the height of the Persian-Greek war, Xerxes, King of Persia, intent on conquering all of Greece, led his mighty army into battle. But what awaited them was not to be anticipated . For seven days the King of Sparta Leonidas accompanied by just 300 Spartan warriors and a number of Greek regulars held off the Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae, so that the Greek army would have time to mobilise. Against impossible odds, the Spartans held the narrow pass, inflicting shocking casualty numbers on the Persians untill every last Spartan was slain. This program is visually stunning with breathtaking dramatisations and graphics helping to bring the true story of the Spartans last stand to life and tell the real story behind what happened at the pass at Thermopylae, which is still used in military academies and by tactitians around the world today.
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Top Customer Reviews
The explanations of the battles by the various academics and authors (including Steven Pressfield of 'Gates of Fire' fame) are absorbing and one is left in no doubt about the amazing sacrifice made by so few... but not as few as one is led to believe by certain Hollywood films. One small niggle with the DVD is that there are obvious pauses and fades to black, which are annoyingly dead give-aways for TV commercials when the programme was aired.
All in all an excellent addition to the truly stunning 300 Hollywood movie.
Note to David Padrusch & Matt Koed: Can I have the last 120 minutes of my life back please?
The thinking behind this film seems to have been "If you can say something once then why not say it five times." Perhaps this was orginally made for TV and the endless repetitions were designed to be recaps after a long advert break. In any case the repetions quickly became annoying.
The product description at Amazon says "visually stunning with breathtaking dramatisations and graphics." The dramatisations and animations weren't bad, but I think most of them were repeated at least twice and the documentary makers obviously decided that they could show simple pictures of swords, shields, helmets etc unless they had animated lines whizzing around them.
For all the content in this documentary it could have been easily compressed into 30-45 minutes simply by removing the repetition and the result would have been much better for it.
It's not actually too bad but the main narrator's running commentary was unnecessary repetitious and often simplified, doing a disservice to the professional historians employed (and was delivered in that deep, gravelly, oh-so-sincere accent loved by American documentary makers -- do they genetically engineer these people to sound this way or what?).
The contributors are mainly American academics, but well qualified, apart from a surprise appearance by historical fiction novelist Steven Pressfield. I found it interesting and commendable that the programme didn't just focus on the land battle, but points out that two battles were going on at the same time - the land battle at Thermopylae, and the naval battle at the straits of Artemisium. Far from focusing on Leonidas and praising his contribution to the exclusion of everyone else, the programme spends a lot of time talking about Thermistocles, an Athenian politician and general whose savvy political manoeuvring won the funding that the combined Greek forces needed, and who organised both the land and sea defence whilst taking personal charge of the naval forces.
The programme goes further, narrating a brief summary of the rise of the Persian Empire and how the Spartan education system worked, telling the story of the earlier Battle of Marathon, before launching into the pre-battle preparations, such as the Spartans' consultation of the oracle at Delphi and how the Persians successfully crossed the Hellespont.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent insight into what really went on at Thermopylae.
Forget Hollywood, forget the 300 and its sequel, this is what really happened and it is brilliant, a nice change to... Read more
The Battle of mighty warriors, the father of future conquering leaders and this unbelievable battles between a great empire and the might and the spirit of mighty gladiators.Published on 15 May 2013 by M. Lorenz-andree
I was not very impressed by the Spartans- The Last Stand of the 300 (dvd) it is not worth the time it took to unwrap,but thats only my oppinion. Read morePublished on 25 April 2013 by foxy lady
A Great History Channel documentary which was released at the same time as the film '300' hit the cinemas. Read morePublished on 15 Feb. 2011 by Brawny Withed
excellent documentry on sparta well worth to get to teach the kids proper history and so cheep to get at amazon.Published on 15 Jan. 2011 by MadGunnnerBull
If you have watched the 300 Spartans with Gerard Butler you must watch this. It reveals the real truth about what happend in the pass. Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2010 by Mr. T. Middleditch