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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
The 300 Spartans [Blu-ray] [1962]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 July 2015
Great classic film the 300 spartans who stood theyer ground over theyer enemy the film is in colour starring richard egan and Sir Ralph richardson this film gives you the effect of how it would have been like as one of the spartans. The spartans stand for the last time to protect theyer country but are betrayed by a farmers son who showed the enemy a old goat path over the mountains that the spartans had no nowledge off so the spartans loose theyer vantage point and are surrounded completely and slaughtered till no man stands. Great story line great scenery a real joy to watch a classic to any collection highly recommend.
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on 12 December 2015
A somewhat hammy but overall really good film. I still prefer this to the OTT 300. I believe because of the original film stock there's not much can be added by blu-ray but I didn't get this for flashy bangs and special effects.
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on 7 March 2017
very good
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on 19 October 2017
Great film.
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on 13 August 2014
There are currently four options for this film: the 2014 Blu-ray for Regions A and B; a 2004 Region 1 NTSC release; and a 2007 Region 2 PAL release. The Blu-ray and the Region 1 NTSC release have a run time of 114 minutes. The Region 2 PAL release has a run time of 109 minutes (because PAL runs 4% faster than NTSC). All four are described as having an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 resembling the film’s original CinemaScope format.

I purchased the Region 2 PAL version from Amazon UK and I’ve compared its screen image on a 16x9 HDTV with the Blu-ray screen images reproduced at blu-ray dot com. There are differences: (1) the Blu-ray images are wider (i.e. showing more of the original CinemaScope image) and consequently with deeper letterbox mattes than the DVD; and (2) the Blu-ray images appear to have some greater colour saturation and a fair dose of digital noise reduction (since skin tones are blander than in the DVD).

The Blu-ray, according to Amazon, is available for Region A with English and Spanish soundtracks and for Region B with just English. These Blu-rays may not be interchangeable since Twentieth Century Fox is well known for releasing most of its titles region-coded.

The Region 2 PAL release has English, German, Italian and Spanish audio, and subtitles in 12 languages.

# 38
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on 23 March 2014
This is a brilliant film from the 1950s, to have together with modern version, of "300". It is good to compare if you are a fan of this ancient cult story of Sparta, as they are both very good films, and very different looking in style in every way. I love them both. The older version this DVD tells a straight forward story, filling in the background of the Spartan culture and its very difficult and trying upbringing of children and young people in order to make them tough and unyielding. Richard Egan makes an attractive, tough, and strong personality of the leader. It is a neatly made film with every part and character slotted in well, building up until the fateful end against a horrible enemy.
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on 21 January 2005
I will begin my review of this film with the only notable flaw in it's production.
There is a scene where the Persian Immortal Army of King Xerxes is advancing into a hail of javelines and arrows and some are picked off before they could reach the Greek front line.
This scene is very well choreographed apart from one Persian soldier who get's hit. I won't dwell on this because the whole battle scene is very well staged and is virtually 100% true to the historicity of the Battle of Thermopylae.
The character inter-relations and the attention to detail is very realistic and is in accordance with Herodotus' Histories.
The film focuses very well on the cultures of both sides of the conflict (Persians and Greeks) and also touches on the religious practices of the Greeks, particularly in their sacrificial beliefs.
To summarise, Richard Egan and the rest of the cast demonstrated that acting could be as impressive then as it is in the present day. Good costumes, good acting, good scenery (possibly filmed in the region of Thermopylae, but I am unsure) and a complement to any History enthusiast of this era.
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on 23 July 2015
only ok
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon 3 November 2005
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. Leonidas learns of the treachery in time to evacuate the rest of the Greek army, but the Spartans will never retreat.
This was one of the last films directed by Maté, a respected cinematographer ("Pride of the Yankees," "Lady From Shanghai") who directed movies as different as "D.O.A." and "When Worlds Collide." The battle sequences are the best part of "The 300 Spartans," making excellent cinematic use of the contrast between the Spartans in their gold armor and red cloaks versus the black draped Persians with their wicker armor. Eagan does not do much with the role of Leonidas, but he certainly gives the character the requisite sense of honor and nobility. But perhaps the most memorable part of this film, which is one of the most cherished from my youth, is the marching music of the Spartans written by Manos Hadjidakis. Clearly I am not alone in that regard. "The 300 Spartans" is not a great film, but it has its moments and the tale is worth the telling. Recently Frank Miller ("Batman: The Dark Night") did his own graphic novel version of this story, which has inspired Hollywood to tell this story on film again. About time.
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on 18 March 2005
Hampered by a somewhat lame script and perhaps not enough high wattage star power to head the cast, this epic is nevertheless quite watchable; based on actual events in the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, where a King Leonides of Sparta held the vast Persian army of Xerxes I at bay for three days defending a narrow pass.
The battles are brilliantly staged with its 1001 extras, in massive mano a mano fights, as well as on horseback and in chariots.
A secondary plot consists of a young couple (Diane Baker and Barry Coe) in love against all odds, and are the diversion to an otherwise rather one-note story of Spartans/Greeks vs. Persians.
Richard Egan ably leads his men as Leonides the Lion King of Sparta, but somehow does not have the stature as an actor to really captivate our attention, and other actors include Ralph Richardson as Themistocles of Athens, and David Farrar as Xerxes I.
The cinematography by Geoffrey Unger ("2001: A Space Odyssey") is spectacular, and the transfer to DVD excellent with rich reds in the costumes and the deepest of blue seas, and the score by Manos Hadjidakis ("Never on Sunday") is marvelous and adds a lot to the film.
Director Rudolph Mate had a long career as a brilliant cinematographer going back to the silent film era with the 1928 masterpiece "Passion de Jeanne d'Arc" to later films like "Pride of the Yankees", and this was to be his next to last film as a director.
One can learn history even from a Hollywood epic, as I never knew of the existence of Artemisia the Warrior Queen of Halicarnassus, here played by Anne Wakefield. When I first watched the film, I assumed she had been included to add some female pulchritude to the action, but on some reading on the subject after viewing the film, learned she had ruled after her husband's death and was an ally to Xerxes I in 480 B.C., taking part in the Battle of Salamis, and cleverly maneuvering to safety when the battle was lost. Herodotus even gave her the rare praise of having "the virtue of courage", normally only bestowed on men, as it also meant "manliness".
Well worth watching for its historical accuracy, battle scenes, terrific costuming, beautiful scenery and score, so that though the film is not particularly involving, it has quite a lot to offer. .
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