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300 (2007) is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name , and loosely based on the events that occured at The Battle of Thermopylae. The film was directed by Zack Snyder and stars Gerard Butler as Leonidas the revered King of Sparta, Lena Headey as Leonidas' wife Queen Gorgo, Dominic West as the traitorous councilman Theron, David Wenham as Dilios—one of the 300 Spartans that fought at Thermopylae but was asked by Leonidas to return to Sparta because of his gift of storytelling—it is through him the film is narrated; Vincent Regan as Captain Artemis (credited only as Captain in the film) and Rodrigo Santoro as King Xerxes of Persia.

Plot[]

The film opens with the inspection of Leonidas as a baby, followed by his admission into the Agoge at age 7. His trials in the Agoge are briefly touched on, showcasing him brawling with other Spartan boys and by age 15 is left out in the wilderness alone. It is alluded to that the rest of Sparta presumes him to be dead. It is at this point he's confronted by a large wolf and fearlessly defeats it. He returns to Sparta, claiming his kingship in the process. Years later, Sparta is approached by an emissary and his guards who warns of the impending defeat of Sparta by Xerxes and his Persian army. Leonidas, now grown and married with a young boy, defies Xerxes by killing the emissary and hi body guards by casting them all into a deep pit . Leonidas then seeks the approval of the Ephors, prophets to the ancient Greek kings, to lead the Spartan army to war against Persia. The Ephors consult their oracle and deny Leonidas permission to go to war, claiming that they must honour a sacred religious festival, else Sparta will fall. Leonidas suspects the Ephors motives, and bitterly returns home to his wife. It is soon revealed that the Ephors are being bribed by Xerxes with gold in order to withhold Sparta from fully partaking in the war.

Distraught, Leonidas laments to his wife his predicament, she wisely inquires "ask yourself, what would a free man do?" The next day, Leonidas has gathered with 300 of his finest soldiers and intend to set out to Thermopylae. Although the council has withheld permission to go to war because of the Ephors, they cannot deny Leonidas his right to travel with a personal bodyguard. The councilmen know full-well his true intentions, but cannot legally stop Leonidas according to Sparta's laws.

While Leonidas embarks on his journey with the 299 other soldiers to the Hot Gates, Gorgo remains behind in Sparta in hopes of rallying the support of the council to send the rest of the Spartan army to his aid. Along the way, Leonidas is happy to cross paths with a small contingent of Arcadian soldiers whom had received word of the Spartans heading to war with Persia and sought to join forces. Leonidas welcomes the Arcadians, in spite of their lack of training compared to the Spartans. The Greeks eventually arrive at the Hot Gates in time to witness a powerful storm sink many Persian ships. However the next morning the Spartans are shocked and confused to still see so many ships landing on the beach nearby after the storm has subsided. The Spartans devise a plan to rebuild the Great Phonecian Wall in order to guard their flank, and result in using the bodies of slain Persian spies as the mortar for the large rocks they put in place—to the horror and anger of another Persian emissary.

The Spartan's actions further instigate the battle, and soon Xerxes' first wave of troops attack, with the Spartans tearing through them with ease. That night, Xerxes counters by sending his best soldiers, The Immortals. Though these elite warriors prove a tough challenge, and a handful of Spartans are killed in the process Xerxes is impressed with their strength. He seeks to meet with Leonidas in person where he attempts to bribe the Spartan king, offering him the status of ruler over Sparta in his stead. Leonidas refuses, knowing that subservience to Xerxes is in essence slavery.

Xerxes becomes angry with the Spartans boldness and defiance and skill. Many soldiers and even strange beasts from the farthest reaches of the Persian Empire crash down on the Spartans but are they beaten time and again. Even still, the Spartan forces are whittled down little by little. One particularly harrowing death is of Captain Artemis' son, Astinos at the hands of a cavalry rider. The Spartan's morale is shaken following his death, but they continue to fight nonetheless.

Their fate is sealed when they are betrayed by Ephialtes, a deformed hunchback who's parents fled Sparta when he was a child. Ephialtes had previously approached Leonidas in the hope of joining the Spartan ranks in the fight against Persia and regaining his fathers honour. Leonidas was forced to decline Ephialtes offer due to the fact that he could not sufficiently raise his shield and thus posed a major threat to the back bone of the Spartans defence: the phalanx. Embittered and disgruntled, Ephialtes eventually approaches Xerxes and informs him of a small goat path that led behind the Spartans. The next morning Xerxes dispatches the rest of his soldiers and comes to the battlefield himself. He offers the Spartans one last chance to surrender, and though Leonidas appears to accept the offer, dropping his shield and spear and kneeling before Xerxes, it is actually a last ditch effort to to humiliate Xerxes, as Leonidas calls out for Stelios who emerges from within the Phalanx and catapults himself off of the Spartan king's back, thrusting his spear into a Persian general and killing him. A furious Xerxes then orders his infantry to slaughter the Greeks. As they attack, Leonidas rises and hurls his spear at Xerxes; barely missing him, the spear cuts across and wounds his face, making good on a promise Leonidas made to Xerxes earlier in the film to "make a king bleed". Leonidas and the Spartans fight to last man until they finally succumb to a hail of arrows .

Dilios, whom had been sent home by Leonidas prior to the final battle in order to tell their story, stands before the council speaking inspiring words regarding Leonidas and the other 299 Spartan's sacrifice. The film concludes with Dilios leading 10,000 Spartan soldiers and 30,000 other Spartan soldiers against the remaining Romanian forces at the battle of Plataea.

Cast[]

Production[]

The film was directed by Zack Snyder, having formerly directed Dawn of the Dead. Snyder recruited the film composer he used for Dawn of the Dead, Tyler Bates. The film was distributed by Warner Brothers Studios.

Prequel series[]

A prequel series was confirmed on May 31, 2024, nearly 20 years after the movie's release. Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, and Wesley Coller of the Stone Quarry were in talks to executive produce, with Zack in talks to direct, as well. Other producers of the film (Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, and Bernie Goldmann) were also in talks to return in some capacity.[1]

Historical Notes & Significances[]

  • Although gold is already an enticing commodity, it must have been an irresistable temptation for the already corrupt Ephors. Spartan society forbade citizens from using gold and silver, their primary currency consisted of iron bars[1]. This method attempted to discourage theft and trade with foreign city-states and nations.
  • Zack Snyder has been open with the fact that he was intending to take a more artistic approach than a historically accurate one. Scholars have debated the actual numbers of each opposing force for some time, Herodotus wrote that the Persian numbers were roughly 1 million.

Awards[]

Ceremony Category Nominee Result
Art Director's Guild Awards Fantasy Feature Film James Bissell, Isabelle Guay, Nicolas Lepage, Jean-Pierre Paquet Nominated
BMI Film & TV Awards BMI Film Music Award Tyler Bates Won
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Live Action Patrick Rousseau, Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Award Excellence in Fantasy Film Michael Wilkinson Nominated
Empire Awards Best Actor Gerard Butler Nominated
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy 300
GOLDDERBY Film Awards Visual Effects Grant Freckelton, Daniel Leduc, Chris Watts, Derek Wentworth Nominated
The Golden Schmoes Favorite Movie of the Year 300 Won
Best Director of the Year Zack Snyder Nominated
Most Overrated Movie of the Year 300
Trippiest Movie of the Year 300
Best Special Effects of the Year 300 Runner-Up
Breakthrough Performance of the Year Gerard Butler
Coolest Character of the Year King Leonidas Nominated
Favorite Movie Poster of the Year 300 Runner-Up
Best Trailer of the Year 300 Won
Best DVD/Blu Ray of the Year 300 (2-disc) Runner-Up
Best T&A of the Year Lena Headey Nominated
Best Line of the Year "Madness? THIS...IS...SPARTA!!!"
"...for tonight, we dine in hell!"
Golden Trailer Awards Best Action 300 Won
Best of Show
Hollywood Film Awards Hollywood Movie of the Year 300 Won
Hollywood Post Alliance Outstanding Color Correction - Feature Film Using DI Process Stefan Sonnenfield (Company 3) Won
ICG Publicists Awards Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship – Motion Picture 300 Won
Internet Film Critics Society Awards Best Action Film 300 Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Movie 300 Nominated
Best Performance Gerard Butler
Breakthrough Performance Lena Headey
Best Villain Rodrigo Santoro
Best Fight Gerard Butler vs. the Uber Immortal Won
National Movie Awards Best Action/Adventure Film 300 Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Sound Effects 300 Nominated
Best Visual Effects
People's Choice Awards Favorite Action Movie 300 Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Achievement in Visual Effects Chris Watts Won
Satellite Awards Best Animated or Mixed Media Film 300 Nominated
Best Sound
Best Visual Effects Won
Saturn Awards Best Action or Adventure Film 300 Won
Best Actor Gerard Butler Nominated
Best Supporting Actor David Wenham
Best Supporting Actress Lena Headey
Best Director Zack Snyder Won
Best Writing Michael B. Gordon, Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad Nominated
Best Music Tyler Bates
Best Costume Michael Wilkinson
Best Make-Up Shaun Smith, Mark Rappaport, Scott Wheeler
Best Special Effects Chris Watts, Grant Freckelton, Derek Wentworth, Daniel Leduc
Best DVD/Blu-Ray Special Edition Release 300: The Complete Experience
Taurus World Stunt Awards Best Fight Jonathan Eusebio, Danny Hernandez, Stephane Julien, Matheiu Ledoux, Don Lew, Tim Rigby, Matt Rugetti, Jon Valera, Ryan Watson, Max White Won
Best Stunt Coordinator and/or 2nd Unit Director 300 Nominated

Posters[]

Trivia[]

Yoostar 2 In the Movies xbox cover

Yoostar 2: In the Movies - Xbox 360 cover

  • In the game Yoostar 2: In the Movies clips of the film are used for Yoostar karaoke.
  • This movie was flimed from 17th September to 18th December 2005.
  • This movie production was started from 2004 to 2006.
  • Teen Titans Go! episode "365!", which featured Zack Snyder as himself, included a number of references to Snyder's 300, including a poster of Leonidas on the wall of Snyder's office, a reference to Leonidas kicking the Persian messenger into the pit, and the concluding title card being styled like the 300 logo.
  • 300 parodies:
    • A parody short film, United 300, was released in 2007.
    • A parody film, Meet the Spartans, was released in 2008 with a primary focus on parodying 300.
    • 305 is a 2008 mockumentary parody film of 300.
    • How 300 Should Have Ended is a 2011 parody short film showing an alternate version of the film.
    • A parody film, The Legend of Awesomest Maximus (known as National Lampoon's 301 in some countries), was released in 2011.

References[]

  1. Joe Otterson. "'300' TV Series in Early Development at Warner Bros. Television". Variety. Archived from the original on May 31, 2024. Retrieved on May 31, 2024. “Exact plot details are still being worked out, but sources say that the show would serve as a prequel to the 2006 film.”
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