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43 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Nice program to give "300" its historical perspective

Author: return_to_cinder from United States
11 March 2007

I watched this program the night before I saw "300," and I was glad that I did.

I had heard people complaining about "300" not being historically accurate, and while being true, that movie was meant to entertain, not teach history.

This program goes into depth about the lives of the Spartans and circumstances surrounding the battle at Thermopylae.

As far as documentaries go, it is above average quality and certainly worth seeing of you have or plan to watch "300" or are just interested in this part of history period. The reenactments are good and the scholarly commentary is very informative. I also think that they had the movie in mind when they produced this show, so that the progression overlaps and lets the viewer make a good pre- or post-viewing comparison between Hollywood and history.

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25 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

The battle was great, the documentary boring.

Author: siderite from Romania
22 May 2007

I really despise documentaries that repeat over and over again the same information, then the break for publicity, then summarizing the information repeated before. The actors in the reenactment were very well chosen, the historians charismatic, the graphics OK, but the information could have been gathered in a few pages. Therefore I rate this movie below average.

But the battle was pretty amazing. There wasn't only a heroic component, but also a naval battle, a great Greek strategist (Themistocles), the burning of Athens and another naval battle.

As an easy documentary, it's OK, but the repetition of information makes it annoying.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Sensational documentary about Persian and Greece history and focusing the battle of Thermopylae

Author: ma-cortes
17 April 2009

This is a magnificent documentary produced by BBC in similar style to ¨Anibal¨, here again are splendidly brought the life the heroics events about the battle of Thermopylae. The deeds(480 B.C) are correctly re-enacted by a plethora of actors and extras, adding background made by computer generator.Every little detail has been given so much attention, as costume, environment and production design. This historic tale completes to enlarge extending the deeds developing in the picture titled ¨300¨(2006) by Zack Snyder, starred by Gerard Butler as Leonidas, and ¨The 300 Spartans¨(1962) by Rudolph Mate with Richard Egan and Ralph Richardson as Themistocles, both movies limit the story to the battle . As ¨The last stand¨ adds the history about kings Persians : Ciro the Great and riots Jonics; king Dario and the battle of Marathon, including the race by Filipides until Athens, the fire of Athens ordered by Xerxes and his imperial body guard of 10.000 immortals, etc... These events aren't exposed in ¨300¨ by Snyder that restricts its filming on the preparation and battle of Thermopylae, the only way to arrive to Athens. The impact of the battle was impressive and the Hellens lost their fear for the Persian conqueror and organized their defense and allowing the Greek city states to create an army to retain the Persians.

Thanks this documentary movie we learn amount knowledges. As of how king Leonidas led a small army called Falange formed by 300 Spartans named Hoplitas and wielding the shield Heplon, plus 700 Thespians, while the soldiers Phocios sent by Leonidas to protect passages to their flanks flee . They hold off an invading Persian army by thousands soldiers, the great historian Heredotus, possibly exaggerating, wrote that they were 1.700.000, commanded by king Xerxes. We also know of how the Athenian leader Themistocles manages as leader by formally placing the Athenas polis under supreme command of Sparta and navigating along strait at Artemisum gets defeat Persian navy . Themistocles commands a large navy formed by ships called Trirremes which vanquish the Persian warships in the battles of Salamian, Platea and Mycala. This phenomenal documentary-movie will like to history and epic events buffs.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Historical Documentary

Author: jackneefus from Beltsville, Maryland (US)
24 March 2007

Covered the background, culture, tactics, military equipment and personalities in an interesting an evenhanded way. In particular, the program emphasized the dual land/sea attack of the Persians and the coordination of the Greek infantry and navy needed to defend against the attack. Also the leadup to Thermopylae -- not only Marathon, but the revolt in Asia Minor which the Greeks supported and during which they burned a Persian city.

As a result, I think it actually told a better story than the movie "300". I learned a lot and felt compelled to watch until the end.

My only wish is that I had seen this program AFTER seeing the movie. Constantly finding discrepancies between the plot and the underlying history was very distracting.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Designed to cash in

Author: smithldooi from Adelaide, Australia
14 September 2016

This came out just after the movie 300 and was so obviously designed to cash in on the hype. The only difference is the Spartans are not fighting in leather nappies with painted on abs.

As such it falls flat for me. And its mostly just the same old glorified re hash with a little more detail, like why the Persian fleet did not just sail pass Thermopylae and drop men off and surround the Greeks.

A lot is generalized and a few key events appear to differ from the original account by Herodotus. It may not appear significant but if you think where people are, what they were doing and what did they know at what time, the story does not stack up.

There is more recent, interesting and different analysis out there, just google 300 Spartans the real story.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:


Author: spartanwarrior23 from United States
6 May 2008

On the pure theatrical side, Last Stand was great, as the reenactments and soundtrack are very entertaining, but there are better accounts of this battle found elsewhere that, while not as long or as flashy, are far more historically comprehensive.

Certain little details, such as the misuse of the word "hoplon" for the Greek hoplite shield and the mispronounciations of various names and words, really ate at me.

My guess would be, that because "Last Stand of the 300" was aired the eve of the theatrical release of "300", the History Channel was only trying to ride the coattails of the movie's hype.

If you're looking for a depiction that's historically accurate in all respects possible, you'd have better luck elsewhere.

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