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The 300 Spartans (1962)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | October 1962 (Austria)
2:37 | Trailer

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A small Army of Greeks spearheaded by three hundred Spartans do battle with the whole invading Persian Army.


Rudolph Maté


George St. George, Ugo Liberatore (original story material) (as Ugo Liberatori) | 3 more credits »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Egan ... King Leonidas
Ralph Richardson ... Themistocles of Athens (as Sir Ralph Richardson)
Diane Baker ... Ellas
Barry Coe ... Phylon
David Farrar ... Xerxes
Donald Houston ... Hydarnes
Anna Synodinou ... Gorgo
Kieron Moore ... Ephialtes
John Crawford ... Agathon the Spartan Spy
Robert Brown ... Pentheus
Laurence Naismith ... First Delegate
Anne Wakefield Anne Wakefield ... Artemisa
Ivan Triesault ... Demaratus
Charles Fawcett Charles Fawcett ... Megistias
Michalis Nikolinakos ... Myron (as Michael Nikolinakos)


Essentially true story of how Spartan king Leonidas led an extremely small army of Greek Soldiers (300 of them his personal body guards from Sparta) to hold off an invading Persian army now thought to have numbered 250,000. The actual heroism of those who stood (and ultimately died) with Leonidas helped shape the course of Western Civilization, allowing the Greek city states time to organize an army which repelled the Persians. Set in 480 BC. Written by Jes Beard <jesbeard@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

army | persian | greek | spartan | greece | See All (51) »


Thermopylae... mighty battle epic of a handful of men forming the invincible "flying wedge" - against a killer horde five million strong!


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

October 1962 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Lion of Sparta See more »

Filming Locations:

Athens, Greece See more »


Box Office


£500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This movie is listed in the annual "Screen World" for 1961 releases as "The Lion Of Sparta", but reappeared with full photo coverage for the next issue (for 1962 releases) as "The 300 Spartans". See more »


When the Immortals attack, the javelins thrown by the Greeks have no points. Many of the Immortals can be seen dropping their weapons to grab the javelins and hold them under their arms or to their chests. A javelin with a blunt end can also be plainly seen hitting one of the extras in the mouth. See more »


Hydarnes, Commander of the Immortals: [Xerxes has sent an emissary to demand the Spartan surrender] yesterday, we only probed your positions. When we attack today, our arrows will blot out the sun!
Leonidas, Spartan King: Good; then we will fight in the shade.
Hydarnes, Commander of the Immortals: Leonidas; you cannot win this fight.
Leonidas, Spartan King: Every day we stand is another day for Greece.
[Starts to walk off]
Hydarnes, Commander of the Immortals: Leonidas, wait! Xerxes says that if you and your men lay down your arms, he will allow you to leave peaceably.
Leonidas, Spartan King: [In Greek] Come and take them!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In the Year 480 B.C. King Xerxes of Persia set in motion his enormous slave empire to crush the small group of independent Greek states-the only stronghold of freedom still remaining in the then known world . . . See more »


Version of Last Stand of the 300 (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A real story of how Leonidas led a small army of Spartans to do battle with the whole invading Persian army commanded by Xerxes
20 February 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This compelling picture results to be an enjoyable flick combining historic events , drama and breathtaking fights . Big production that blends historical battles , cross-swords , feats and spectacular images. Here are magnificently brought to life the heroics deeds about battle of Thermopylae , the only trail to arrive Athens . The events (480 B.C) are well developed , these are the followings : King Leonidas (Richard Egan) establishes an alliance with Greeks polis facing the invading Persian army . There appears Themistocles (Sir Ralph Richardson has only four scenes, despite being second billed) who was an Athenian politician and general , he was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy ; Themistocles is forced to an unwilling alliance with the traditional rival of Athens, oligarchic Sparta whose might lies with its superior infantry troops . As Leonidas leading a small army formed by valiant warriors to carry out a mighty battle epic of a handful of men forming the invincible "flying wedge" . The army called Falange is constituted by 300 Spartans named Hoplitas wielding the shield Heplon and long lances , plus 700 Thespians, while the soldiers Phocios sent by Leonidas to protect separated pass flee. They fight against a killer horde five million strong soldiers . The 300 hold off an immense Persian army commanded by king Xerxes (the final film for David Farrar , after which he retired to South Africa), over 100.000, though the famous historian Heredoto, possibly excessive, wrote they were 1.700.000. Meantime in Sparta are happening intrigues surrounding the Greek council . Later on , a nasty traitor , actually a local shepherd , named Ephialtes (Kieran Moore) informed Persians of a hidden way that could utilize to besiege the Spartans . The real heroism of 300 Spartans helped shape the course of Western Civilization, allowing the Greek city states time to organize an army which repelled the Persians . The impact of the battle was enormous , as the Hellens lost their fright for the Persians and led by Themistocles created their proper defense and allowing the Greek city states organize their own army and retain the fearful enemy. Ultimately the Persians are vanquished in the battles of Salamina, Platea and Mycala.

This is an acceptable film produced and directed by Rudolph Mate with great cast as Richard Egan as king Spartan Leonidas and Ralph Richardson as Themistocles , Diane Baker as Ellas , Barry Coe as Phylon , David Farrar as Xerxes ,Donald Houston as Hydarnes , among others . The flick packs nice production design , characters with elaborate costumes and a seamless combination of natural sets as well as studios , including lots of battles . A spectacular and colorful version about Battle of Thermopylae between Leonidas leading his small army of Greeks spearheaded by 300 Spartans against Xerxes . Enjoyable movie blends historic events , drama and breathtaking fights . Every little scene has been given maximum detail, as gowns, environment and set design . Evocative and glimmer cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth , being shot on location in Perachora, Athens, Gulf of Corinth, Loutraki, Greece . Vibrating and shaking musical score by Manos Hatzidakis . This historical picture was professionally directed by Rudolph Mate.

Other adaptations about this historic tale are the followings : ¨300¨ by Zack Snyder with Gerard Butler , Lena Headey , Vincent Regan , David Wedham ; when Comic artist Frank Miller saw ¨The Lion Of Sparta", as a boy and said : "it changed the course of my creative life". His graphic novel "300", about the Battle of Thermopylae, was the basis for 300 (2006) ¨. Its follow-up ¨300: Rise of an Empire¨ (2014) by Noam Munro with Sullivan Stapleton , Eva Greene , Rodrigo Santoro . And a phenomenal documentary, ¨The Last stand of the 300¨, produced by History Channel which is totally necessary seeing it along with 300 . The film will appeal to epic deeds enthusiasts and history lovers.

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