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Spartans - The Last Stand Of The 300 [DVD]

3.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jeffery A. Baker, Orion Barnes, Erin Bennett, Kristopher Blount, Joshua Bradley
  • Directors: David Padrusch
  • Writers: David Padrusch, Alexander Emmert, Matt Koed
  • Producers: David Padrusch, Alexander Emmert, Gabriel Gornell, Linda Beck
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: IMC Vision
  • DVD Release Date: 21 May 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PFT1LO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,365 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An interesting DVD from the History Channel with a very comprehensive account of the famous battle, with reasonable background info regarding the history leading up to the Persian invasion. Production values are as expected from a television show, with none of the high budget CGI seen in films. It is all passable though and depicts the chain of events well, especially the all important marine offensive in the straits to ward off the Persian pincer movement against the army led by the Spartans.

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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Note to self: Next time you want to know the facts behind an event, buy a book by a reputable expert in the field.

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.
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Format: DVD
An ultra-low budget production that gives (as far as I can tell) a reasonably comprehensive picture of the battle of Thermopylae including a historical context, a brief but painfully clear picture of the upbringing of Spartan children and a little of adult life, the geography and technology of the battle including the marine aspect, the politics that shaped it on the day, and arguably its effect on the modern world's culture (based on the rather dubious claim that democracy could not have arisen elsewhere had Greece fallen). The almost completely pointless scenery of soldiers standing around and gashing each other is intercut with head shots of academics giving their considered and fascinating point of view on what and how and why.
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?).
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Format: DVD
The synopsis for this DVD is very misleading. I found it far from "spectacular" and the narration was, in my opinion, absolutely appalling with that terrible, film trailer voice and accent. Where did they drag up those "experts" from who couldn't even pronounce the place names and characters properly.
Sorry this should have stayed on US television!
Very informative though which is about it's only saving grace.
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Format: DVD
Well, knowing this was a real story and not the blockbuster film title, I was up for becoming more knowledgeable about the last stand of the 300 Spartans.
Since watching the film when it first came out all I can say about this title is.... what a waste of time!
Several PHd gentlemen rattling on about the same thing over and over again. Whithin 20mins this "2 hour spectacular!" could've been completed.
The film doesn't really lose any of the information that these guys prattle on about, repeating themselves, repeatedly.
If you interested in the last stand of the 300 spartans, just watch the film!
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Format: DVD
This documentary focusing on the Battle of Thermopylae utilises a comic book style consistently throughout, with lots of fake lightning bolts and red haze like blood, mimicking the stylistic values of the movie "300" - indeed the timing of the programme's airing was carefully orchestrated to capitalise on interest in the film - but though it appears as if the programme is going to be history lite, it actually holds the attention well.

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.
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