Saturday, 21 October 2017

The 300 Spartans

The 300 Spartans (1962) – purporting to tell the tale of the Battle of Thermopylae – is pretty silly but not as bad as I remember. When I first saw the film a few years ago, it struck me as a shoddy piece of Cold War propaganda that would have also satisfied the Greek state (particularly the Royal Family and Royal Hellenic Army) – which was heavily involved in facilitating the film. I found the crude patriotic exhortations and calls for Greek unity under the leadership of a brave and benevolent monarch a little hard to stomach. However, watching it again, I enjoyed the spectacle and David Farrar’s portrayal of the inept and bewildered King Xerxes. ‘This is no answer. I’m surrounded by incompetent fools,’ he bellows at his generals after the Spartans, in probably the best scene in the film, infiltrate and set alight the Persian camp. Above is the trailer for the film, which you can watch in its entirety, and in good quality, here.