The 300 Spartans

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Richard Egan played King Leonidas I

The 300 Spartans is a 1962 Cinemascope movie depicting the Battle of Thermopylae. It was shot in the village of Perachora in the Peloponnese. It stars Richard Egan as the Spartan king Leonidas I, Ralph Richardson as Themistocles of Athens, and David Farrar as Persian king Xerxes. Diane Baker as Ellas and Barry Coe as Phylon provide the romantic element.

The movie is about a force of Greek warriors led by 300 Spartans which fights against an enormous Persian army. The Spartans will not flee or surrender, even if it means their deaths.

When it was released in 1962, critics saw the movie as a commentary on the Cold War. It was impossible to shoot at Thermopylae. The sea had receded about 3 miles farther away from the narrow pass. Some 5,000 members of the Royal Hellenic Army were loaned by the King of Greece to portray both the Spartans and the Persians.