The 300 Spartans (1962)

Genres - Historical Film  |   Sub-Genres - Historical Epic, Sword-and-Sandal  |   Run Time - 114 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Eleanor Mannikka

Another title for this stiffly acted, uneven costume drama could be the "Battle of Thermopylae" since that is the focus of this 108-minute production by Rudolph Maté. Set in the 5th-century B.C., the story begins with an impending invasion of Persian forces. King Leonidas of Sparta has only his 300 bodyguards to stand with him against an army of 60,000 men. Although Richard Egan may not do justice to the character of King Leonidas, charged with staving off the invading army, the actual battlefield scenes are captivating in their depictions of bravery during the terror and action of close combat. The Spartans' heroic last stand was destined to give the other Greek city-states time to organize a large fighting force and ultimately send the Persians packing. Several sub-plots only tend to distract from the main event here.