Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Zack Snyder|
by Frank Miller
|Music by||Tyler Bates|
|Edited by||William Hoy|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$456.1 million|
300 is a 2006 American epic fantasy war film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae within the Persian Wars. The film was directed by Zack Snyder, while Miller served as executive producer and consultant. It was filmed mostly with a super-imposition chroma key technique, to help replicate the imagery of the original comic book.
The plot revolves around King Leonidas (Gerard Butler), who leads 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian "god-King" Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his invading army of more than 300,000 soldiers. As the battle rages, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) attempts to rally support in Sparta for her husband. The story is framed by a voice-over narrative by the Spartan soldier Dilios (David Wenham). Through this narrative technique, various fantastical creatures are introduced, placing 300 within the genre of historical fantasy.
300 was released in both conventional and IMAX theaters in the United States on March 9, 2007, and on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and HD DVD on July 31, 2007. The film received mixed reviews, receiving acclaim for its original visuals and style, but criticism for favoring visuals over characterization and its depiction of the ancient Persians in Iran, a characterization which some had deemed racist; however, the film was a box office success, grossing over $450 million, with the film's opening being the 24th largest in box office history at the time. A sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, which is based on Miller's unpublished graphic novel prequel Xerxes, was released on March 7, 2014.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Soundtrack
- 5 Promotion and release
- 6 Reception
- 7 Depictions of Persians and Iran's reaction
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 Background
- 10 Differences between the film and the historical accounts
- 11 Sequel
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
In 479 BC, one year after the famed Battle of Thermopylae, Dilios, a hoplite in the Spartan Army, begins his story by depicting the life of Leonidas I from childhood to kingship via Spartan doctrine. Dilios's story continues and Persian messengers arrive at the gates of Sparta demanding "earth and water" as a token of submission to King Xerxes; the Spartans reply by killing and kicking the messengers into a well. Leonidas then visits the Ephors, proposing a strategy to drive back the numerically superior Persians through the Hot Gates; his plan involves building a wall in order to funnel the Persians into a narrow pass between the rocks and the sea. The Ephors consult the Oracle, who decrees that Sparta will not go to war during the Carneia. As Leonidas angrily departs, a messenger from Xerxes appears, rewarding the Ephors for their covert support.
Although the Ephors have denied him permission to mobilize Sparta's army, Leonidas gathers three hundred of his best soldiers in the guise of his personal bodyguard; they are joined along the way by Arcadians. At Thermopylae, they construct the wall made up of stones and slain Persian scouts as mortar, angering the Persian Emissary. Stelios, an elite Spartan soldier, orders him to go back to the Persian lines and warn Xerxes after cutting off his whipping arm. Meanwhile, Leonidas encounters Ephialtes, a deformed Spartan whose parents fled Sparta to spare him certain infanticide. Ephialtes asks to redeem his father's name by joining Leonidas' army, warning him of a secret (goat) path the Persians could use to outflank and surround the Spartans. Though sympathetic, Leonidas rejects him since his deformity physically prevents him from properly holding his shield; this could compromise the phalanx formation. Ephialtes is enraged.
The battle begins soon after the Spartans' refusal to lay down their weapons. Using the Hot Gates to their advantage, plus their superior fighting skills, the Spartans repel wave upon wave of the advancing Persian army. During a lull in the battle, Xerxes personally approaches Leonidas to persuade him to surrender, offering him wealth and power in exchange for his allegiance; Leonidas declines and mocks Xerxes for the inferior quality of his fanatical warriors. In response, Xerxes sends in his elite guard, the Immortals later that night. Despite some Spartans being killed, they heroically defeat the Immortals (with slight help from the Arcadians). On the second day, Xerxes sends in new waves of armies from Asia and other Persian city-states, including war elephants, to crush the Spartans once and for all, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Ephialtes defects to Xerxes to whom he reveals the secret path in exchange for wealth, luxury, and (especially) a uniform. The Arcadians retreat upon learning of Ephialtes' betrayal, but the Spartans stay. Leonidas orders an injured but reluctant Dilios to return to Sparta and tell them of what has happened, a "tale of victory".
In Sparta, Queen Gorgo tries to persuade the Spartan Council to send reinforcements to aid the 300. Theron, a corrupt politician, claims that he "owns" the Council and threatens the Queen, who reluctantly submits to his sexual demands in return for his help. When Theron disgraces her in front of the Council, Gorgo kills him out of rage, revealing within his robe a bag of Xerxes' gold. Marking his betrayal, the Council unanimously agrees to send reinforcements. On the third day, the Persians, led by Ephialtes, traverse the secret path, encircling the Spartans. Xerxes' general again demands their surrender. Leonidas seemingly kneels in submission, allowing Stelios to leap over him and kill the general. A furious Xerxes orders his troops to attack. Leonidas rises and throws his spear at Xerxes; barely missing him, the spear cuts across and wounds his face, proving the God-King's mortality. Leonidas and the remaining Spartans fight to the last man until they finally succumb to an arrow barrage.
Dilios, now back at Sparta, concludes his tale before the Council. Inspired by their King's sacrifice, the Persians will now face a larger Greek army 40,000 strong, led by 10,000 Spartans. After one final speech commemorating the 300, Dilios, now head of the Spartan Army, leads them into battle against the Persians across the fields of Plataea, ending the film.
- Gerard Butler as Leonidas, King of Sparta.
- David Wenham as Dilios, narrator and Spartan soldier.
- Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo, Queen of Sparta (Gorgo has a larger role in the film than she does in the comic book, where she only appears in the beginning).
- Giovanni Cimmino as Pleistarchus, son of Leonidas and Gorgo (Pleistarchus does not feature in the comic book).
- Dominic West as Theron, a fictional corrupt Spartan politician (Theron is not featured in the comic book).
- Vincent Regan as Captain Artemis, Leonidas' loyal captain and friend.
- Tom Wisdom as Astinos, Captain Artemis' eldest son. In the film Astinos has a constant presence until he dies. In the comic book Astinos is only mentioned when he dies.
- Andrew Pleavin as Daxos, an Arcadian leader who joins forces with Leonidas.
- Andrew Tiernan as Ephialtes, a deformed Spartan outcast and traitor.
- Rodrigo Santoro as King Xerxes, King of Persia.
- Stephen McHattie as The Loyalist, a loyal Spartan politician.
- Michael Fassbender as Stelios, a young, spirited and highly skilled Spartan soldier.
- Peter Mensah as a Persian messenger who gets kicked into the well by Leonidas.
- Kelly Craig as Pythia, an Oracle to the Ephors.
- Tyler Neitzel as young Leonidas.
- Robert Maillet as Uber Immortal (giant), a muscular and deranged Immortal who battles Leonidas during the Immortal fight.
- Patrick Sabongui as the Persian General who tries to get Leonidas to comply at the end of the battle.
- Leon Laderach as Executioner, a hulking, clawed man who executes men who have displeased Xerxes.
- Tyrone Benskin as the whip-wielding Persian Emissary.
Producer Gianni Nunnari was not the only person planning a film about the Battle of Thermopylae; director Michael Mann already planned a film of the battle based on the book Gates of Fire. Nunnari discovered Frank Miller's graphic novel 300, which impressed him enough to acquire the film rights. 300 was jointly produced by Nunnari and Mark Canton, and Michael B. Gordon wrote the script. Director Zack Snyder was hired in June 2004 as he had attempted to make a film based on Miller's novel before making his debut with the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Snyder then had screenwriter Kurt Johnstad rewrite Gordon's script for production and Frank Miller was retained as consultant and executive producer.
The film is a shot-for-shot adaptation of the comic book, similar to the film adaptation of Sin City. Snyder photocopied panels from the comic book, from which he planned the preceding and succeeding shots. "It was a fun process for me... to have a frame as a goal to get to," he said. Like the comic book, the adaptation also used the character Dilios as a narrator. Snyder used this narrative technique to show the audience that the surreal "Frank Miller world" of 300 was told from a subjective perspective. By using Dilios' gift of storytelling, he was able to introduce fantasy elements into the film, explaining that "Dilios is a guy who knows how not to wreck a good story with truth." Snyder also added the sub-plot in which Queen Gorgo attempts to rally support for her husband.
Two months of pre-production were required to create hundreds of shields, spears, and swords, some of which were recycled from Troy and Alexander. Creatures were designed by Jordu Schell, and an animatronic wolf and thirteen animatronic horses were created. The actors trained alongside the stuntmen, and even Snyder joined in. Upwards of 600 costumes were created for the film, as well as extensive prosthetics for various characters and the corpses of Persian soldiers. Shaun Smith and Mark Rappaport worked hand in hand with Snyder in pre-production to design the look of the individual characters, and to produce the prosthetic makeup effects, props, weapons and dummy bodies required for the production.
300 entered active production on October 17, 2005, in Montreal, and was shot over the course of sixty days in chronological order with a budget of $60 million. Employing the digital backlot technique, Snyder shot at the now-defunct Icestorm Studios in Montreal using bluescreens. Butler said that while he did not feel constrained by Snyder's direction, fidelity to the comic imposed certain limitations on his performance. Wenham said there were times when Snyder wanted to precisely capture iconic moments from the comic book, and other times when he gave actors freedom "to explore within the world and the confines that had been set." Headey said of her experience with the bluescreens, "It's very odd, and emotionally, there's nothing to connect to apart from another actor." Only one scene, in which horses travel across the countryside, was shot outdoors. The film was an intensely physical production, and Butler pulled an arm tendon and developed foot drop.
Post-production was handled by Montreal's Meteor Studios and Hybride Technologies filled in the bluescreen footage with more than 1,500 visual effects shots. Visual effects supervisor Chris Watts and production designer Jim Bissell created a process dubbed "The Crush," which allowed the Meteor artists to manipulate the colors by increasing the contrast of light and dark. Certain sequences were desaturated and tinted to establish different moods. Ghislain St-Pierre, who led the team of artists, described the effect: "Everything looks realistic, but it has a kind of a gritty illustrative feel." Various computer programs, including Maya, RenderMan and RealFlow, were used to create the "spraying blood." The post-production lasted for a year and was handled by a total of ten special effects companies.
In July 2005, composer Tyler Bates begun work on the film, describing the score as having "beautiful themes on the top and large choir," but "tempered with some extreme heaviness." The composer had scored for a test scene that the director wanted to show to Warner Bros. to illustrate the path of the project. Bates said that the score had "a lot of weight and intensity in the low end of the percussion" that Snyder found agreeable to the film. The score was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and features the vocals of Azam Ali. A standard edition and a special edition of the soundtrack containing 25 tracks was released on March 6, 2007, with the special edition containing a 16-page booklet and three two-sided trading cards.
The score has caused some controversy in the film composer community, garnering criticism for its striking similarity to several other recent soundtracks, including James Horner and Gabriel Yared's work for the film Troy. The heaviest borrowings are said to be from Elliot Goldenthal's 1999 score for Titus. "Remember Us," from 300, is identical in parts to the "Finale" from Titus, and "Returns a King" is similar to the cue "Victorius Titus." (see copyright issues.) On August 3, 2007, Warner Bros. Pictures acknowledged in an official statement:
... a number of the music cues for the score of 300 were, without our knowledge or participation, derived from music composed by Academy Award winning composer Elliot Goldenthal for the motion picture Titus. Warner Bros. Pictures has great respect for Elliot, our longtime collaborator, and is pleased to have amicably resolved this matter.
Promotion and release
The official 300 website was launched by Warner Bros. in December 2005. The "conceptual art" and Zack Snyder's production blog were the initial attractions of the site. Later, the website added video journals describing production details, including comic-to-screen shots and the creatures of 300. In January 2007, the studio launched a MySpace page for the film. The Art Institutes created a micro-site to promote the film.
At Comic-Con International in July 2006, the 300 panel aired a promotional teaser of the film, which was positively received. Despite stringent security, the trailer was subsequently leaked on the Internet. Warner Bros. released the official trailer for 300 on October 4, 2006, and later on it made its debut on Apple.com where it received considerable exposure. The background music used in the trailers was "Just Like You Imagined" by Nine Inch Nails. A second 300 trailer, which was attached to Apocalypto, was released in theaters on December 8, 2006, and online the day before. On January 22, 2007, an exclusive trailer for the film was broadcast during prime time television. The trailers have been credited with igniting interest in the film and contributing to its box-office success.
In April 2006, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced its intention to make a PlayStation Portable game, 300: March to Glory, based on the film. Collision Studios worked with Warner Bros. to capture the style of the film in the video game, which was released simultaneously with the film in the United States. The National Entertainment Collectibles Association produced a series of action figures based on the film, as well as replicas of weapons and armor.
Warner Bros. promoted 300 by sponsoring the Ultimate Fighting Championship's light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, who made personal appearances and participated in other promotional activities. The studio also joined with the National Hockey League to produce a 30-second TV spot promoting the film in tandem with the Stanley Cup playoffs.
In August 2006, Warner Bros. announced 300's release date as March 16, 2007, but in October the release was moved forward to March 9, 2007. 300 was released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and HD DVD on July 31, 2007, in Region 1 territories, in single-disc and two-disc editions. 300 was released in single-disc and steelcase two-disc editions on DVD, BD and HD DVD in Region 2 territories beginning August 2007. On July 21, 2009, Warner Bros. released a new Blu-ray Disc entitled 300: The Complete Experience to coincide with the Blu-ray Disc release of Watchmen. This new Blu-ray Disc is encased in a 40-page Digibook and includes all the extras from the original release as well as some new ones. These features include a Picture-in-Picture feature entitled The Complete 300: A Comprehensive Immersion, which enables the viewer to view the film in three different perspectives. This release also includes a digital copy.
On July 9, 2007, the American cable channel TNT bought the rights to broadcast the film from Warner Bros. TNT started airing the film in September 2009. Sources say that the network paid between $17 million and just under $20 million for the broadcasting rights. TNT agreed to a three-year deal instead of the more typical five-year deal.
300 was released in North America on March 9, 2007, in both conventional and IMAX theaters. It grossed $28,106,731 on its opening day and ended its North American opening weekend with $70,885,301, breaking the record held by Ice Age: The Meltdown for the biggest opening weekend in the month of March and for a Spring release. Since then 300's Spring release record was broken by Fast and Furious and 300's March record was broken by Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. 300's opening weekend gross is the 24th highest in box office history, coming slightly below The Lost World: Jurassic Park but higher than Transformers. It was the third biggest opening for an R-rated film ever, behind The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8 million) and The Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million). The film also set a record for IMAX cinemas with a $3.6 million opening weekend. The film grossed $456,068,181 worldwide.
300 opened two days earlier, on March 7, 2007, in Sparta, and across Greece on March 8. Studio executives were surprised by the showing, which was twice what they had expected. They credited the film's stylized violence, the strong female role of Queen Gorgo which attracted a large number of women, and a MySpace advertising blitz. Producer Mark Canton said, "MySpace had an enormous impact but it has transcended the limitations of the Internet or the graphic novel. Once you make a great movie, word can spread very quickly."
Since its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 14, 2007, in front of 1,700 audience members, 300 has received generally mixed reviews. While it received a standing ovation at the public premiere, it was panned at a press screening hours earlier, where many attendees left during the showing and those who remained booed at the end. Critics are divided on the film. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 60% of critics gave the film a positive review, based upon a sample of 225, with an average score of 6.1 out of 10. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gave the film an average score of 51 based on 35 reviews.
Some of the most unfavorable reviews came from major American newspapers. A.O. Scott of The New York Times describes 300 as "about as violent as Apocalypto and twice as stupid," while criticizing its color scheme and suggesting that its plot includes racist undertones; Scott also poked fun at the buffed bodies of the actors portraying the Spartans, declaring that the Persian characters are "pioneers in the art of face-piercing", but that the Spartans had access to "superior health clubs and electrolysis facilities". Kenneth Turan writes in the Los Angeles Times that "unless you love violence as much as a Spartan, Quentin Tarantino or a video-game-playing teenage boy, you will not be endlessly fascinated." Roger Ebert, in his review, gave the film a two-star rating, writing, "300 has one-dimensional caricatures who talk like professional wrestlers plugging their next feud." Some critics employed at Greek newspapers have been particularly critical, such as film critic Robby Eksiel, who said that moviegoers would be dazzled by the "digital action" but irritated by the "pompous interpretations and one-dimensional characters."
Variety's Todd McCarthy describes the film as "visually arresting" although "bombastic" while Kirk Honeycutt, writing in The Hollywood Reporter, praises the "beauty of its topography, colors and forms." Writing in the Chicago Sun Times, Richard Roeper acclaims 300 as "the Citizen Kane of cinematic graphic novels." Empire gave the film 3/5 having a verdict of "Visually stunning, thoroughly belligerent and as shallow as a pygmy's paddling pool, this is a whole heap of style tinged with just a smidgen of substance." 300 was also warmly received by websites focusing on comics and video games. Comic Book Resources' Mark Cronan found the film compelling, leaving him "with a feeling of power, from having been witness to something grand." IGN's Todd Gilchrist acclaimed Zack Snyder as a cinematic visionary and "a possible redeemer of modern moviemaking."
At the MTV Movie Awards 2007, 300 was nominated for Best Movie, Best Performance for Gerard Butler, Best Breakthrough Performance for Lena Headey, Best Villain for Rodrigo Santoro, and Best Fight for Leonidas battling "the Über Immortal", but only won the award for Best Fight. 300 won both the Best Dramatic Film and Best Action Film honors in the 2006–2007 Golden Icon Awards presented by Travolta Family Entertainment. In December 2007, 300 won IGN's Movie of the Year 2007, along with Best Comic Book Adaptation and King Leonidas as Favorite Character. The movie received 10 nominations for the 2008 Saturn Awards, winning the awards for Best Director and Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film. In 2009, National Review magazine ranked 300 number 5 on its 25 Best Conservative Movies of the Last 25 Years list.
Since few records about the actual martial arts used by the Spartans survive aside from accounts of formations and tactics, the fight choreography led by stunt coordinator and fight choreographer Damon Caro, was a synthesis of different weapon arts with Filipino martial arts as the base. This can be seen in the blade work and the signature use of the off hand by Arnis/Kali/Eskrima in the offensive use of the shields. The Spartans' use of the narrow terrain, in those particular circumstances, is a military tactic known as "defeat in detail".
Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History at Cambridge University, advised the filmmakers on the pronunciation of Greek names, and said they "made good use" of his published work on Sparta. He praises the film for its portrayal of "the Spartans' heroic code", and of "the key role played by women in backing up, indeed reinforcing, the male martial code of heroic honour", while expressing reservations about its "'West' (goodies) vs 'East' (baddies) polarization". Cartledge writes that he enjoyed the film, although he found Leonidas' description of the Athenians as "boy lovers" ironic, since the Spartans themselves incorporated institutional pederasty into their educational system.
Ephraim Lytle, assistant professor of Hellenistic History at the University of Toronto, said 300 selectively idealizes Spartan society in a "problematic and disturbing" fashion, as well as portraying the "hundred nations of the Persians" as monsters and non-Spartan Greeks as weak. He suggests that the film's moral universe would have seemed "as bizarre to ancient Greeks as it does to modern historians".
Victor Davis Hanson, National Review columnist and former professor of Classical history at California State University, Fresno, who wrote the foreword to a 2007 re-issue of the graphic novel, said the film demonstrates a specific affinity with the original material of Herodotus in that it captures the martial ethos of ancient Sparta and represents Thermopylae as a "clash of civilizations". He remarks that Simonides, Aeschylus, and Herodotus viewed Thermopylae as a battle against "Eastern centralism and collective serfdom", which opposed "the idea of the free citizen of an autonomous polis". He also said the film portrays the battle in a "surreal" manner, and that the intent was to "entertain and shock first, and instruct second".
Some passages from the Classical authors Aeschylus, Diodorus, Herodotus and Plutarch are split over the movie to give it an authentic flavor. Aeschylus becomes a major source when the battle with the "monstrous human herd" of the Persians is narrated in the film. Diodorus' statement about Greek valor to preserve their liberty is inserted in the film, but his mention of Persian valor is omitted. Herodotus' fanciful numbers are used to populate the Persian army, and Plutarch's discussion of Greek women, specifically Spartan women, is inserted wrongly in the dialogue between the "misogynist" Persian ambassador and the Spartan king. Classical sources are certainly used, but exactly in all the wrong places, or quite naively. The Athenians were fighting a sea battle during this.
Robert McHenry, former editor-in-chief of Encyclopædia Britannica and author of How to Know said the film "is an almost ineffably silly movie. Stills from the film could easily be used to promote Buns of Steel, or AbMaster, or ThighMaster. It's about the romanticizing of the Spartan 'ideal', a process that began even in ancient times, was promoted by the Romans, and has survived over time while less and less resembling the actual historical Sparta."
The director of 300, Zack Snyder, stated in an MTV interview that "the events are 90 percent accurate. It's just in the visualization that it's crazy.... I've shown this movie to world-class historians who have said it's amazing. They can't believe it's as accurate as it is." Nevertheless, he also said the film is "an opera, not a documentary. That's what I say when people say it's historically inaccurate". He was also quoted in a BBC News story as saying that the film is, at its core "a fantasy film". He also describes the film's narrator, Dilios, as "a guy who knows how not to wreck a good story with truth".
In an interview 300 writer Frank Miller said, "The inaccuracies, almost all of them, are intentional. I took those chest plates and leather skirts off of them for a reason. I wanted these guys to move and I wanted 'em to look good. I knocked their helmets off a fair amount, partly so you can recognize who the characters are. Spartans, in full regalia, were almost indistinguishable except at a very close angle. Another liberty I took was, they all had plumes, but I only gave a plume to Leonidas, to make him stand out and identify him as a king. I was looking for more an evocation than a history lesson. The best result I can hope for is that if the movie excites someone, they'll go explore the histories themselves. Because the histories are endlessly fascinating."
Dr. Kaveh Farrokh in a paper entitled "The 300 Movie: Separating Fact from Fiction"  notes that the film falsely portrays "the Greco-Persian Wars in binary terms: the democratic, good, rational 'Us' versus the tyrannical, evil and irrational, 'other' of the ever-nebulous (if not exotic) 'Persia'". He reminds the reader about three commonly accepted historical pieces of evidence that demonstrate the fundamental and essential contribution of the Achaemenid Empire to the creation of democracy and human rights. "The founder of the Achaemenid Empire, Cyrus the Great, was the world's first world emperor to openly declare and guarantee the sanctity of human rights and individual freedom", "Cyrus was a follower of the teachings of Zoroaster, the founder of one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions" , and to put his own words in action "When Cyrus defeated King Nabonidus of Babylon, he officially declared the freedom of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity. This was the first time in history that a world power had guaranteed the survival of the Jewish people, religion, customs and culture."
Before the release of 300, Warner Bros. expressed concerns about the political aspects of the film's theme. Snyder relates that there was "a huge sensitivity about East versus West with the studio." Media speculation about a possible parallel between the Greco-Persian conflict and current events began in an interview with Snyder that was conducted before the Berlin Film Festival. The interviewer remarked that "everyone is sure to be translating this [film] into contemporary politics." Snyder replied that, while he was aware that people would read the film through the lens of current events, no parallels between the film and the modern world were intended.
Outside the current political parallels, some critics have raised more general questions about the film's ideological orientation. The New York Post's Kyle Smith wrote that the film would have pleased "Adolf's boys," and Slate's Dana Stevens compares the film to The Eternal Jew, "as a textbook example of how race-baiting fantasy and nationalist myth can serve as an incitement to total war." Roger Moore, a critic for the Orlando Sentinel, relates 300 to Susan Sontag's definition of "fascist art." Alleanza Nazionale, an Italian neoconservative political party formed from the collapse of the neo-fascist party MSI, has used imagery from the work within candidate propaganda posters titled: "Defend your values, your civilization, your district".
Newsday critic Gene Seymour, on the other hand, stated that such reactions are misguided, writing that "the movie's just too darned silly to withstand any ideological theorizing." Snyder himself dismissed ideological readings, suggesting that reviewers who critique "a graphic novel movie about a bunch of guys...stomping the snot out of each other" using words like "'neocon,' 'homophobic,' 'homoerotic' or 'racist'" are "missing the point." Snyder, however, also admitted to fashioning an effeminate villain specifically to play into the homophobia of young straight males. Slovenian critic Slavoj Žižek pointed out that the story represents "a poor, small country (Greece) invaded by the army of a much large[r] state (Persia)," suggesting that the identification of the Spartans with a modern superpower is flawed.
The 300 writer Frank Miller said: "The Spartans were a paradoxical people. They were the biggest slave owners in Greece. But at the same time, Spartan women had an unusual level of rights. It's a paradox that they were a bunch of people who in many ways were fascist, but they were the bulwark against the fall of democracy. The closest comparison you can draw in terms of our own military today is to think of the red-caped Spartans as being like our special-ops forces. They're these almost superhuman characters with a tremendous warrior ethic, who were unquestionably the best fighters in Greece. I didn't want to render Sparta in overly accurate terms, because ultimately I do want you to root for the Spartans. I couldn't show them being quite as cruel as they were. I made them as cruel as I thought a modern audience could stand."
Ephraim Lytle, assistant professor of Hellenistic history at the University of Toronto, commented: "Ephialtes, who betrays the Greeks, is likewise changed from a local Malian of sound body into a Spartan outcast, a grotesquely disfigured troll who by Spartan custom should have been left exposed as an infant to die. Leonidas points out that his hunched back means Ephialtes cannot lift his shield high enough to fight in the phalanx. This is a transparent defence of Spartan eugenics, and convenient given that infanticide could as easily have been precipitated by an ill-omened birthmark."
Michael M. Chemers, author of "'With Your Shield, or on It': Disability Representation in 300" in the Disability Studies Quarterly, said that the film's portrayal of the hunchback and his story "is not mere ableism: this is anti-disability."
Frank Miller – commenting on areas where he lessened the Spartan cruelty for narrative purposes – said: "I have King Leonidas very gently tell Ephialtes, the hunchback, that they can't use him [as a soldier], because of his deformity. It would be much more classically Spartan if Leonidas laughed and kicked him off the cliff."
Depictions of Persians and Iran's reaction
From its opening, 300 also attracted controversy over its portrayal of Persians. Officials of the Iranian government denounced the film. Some scenes in the film portray demon-like and other fictional creatures as part of the Persian army, and the fictionalized portrayal of Persian King Xerxes I has been criticized as effeminate. Critics suggested that this was meant to stand in stark contrast to the sheer masculinity of the Spartan army. Steven Rea argued that the film's Persians were a vehicle for an anachronistic cross-section of Western stereotypes of Asian and African cultures.
The film's portrayal of ancient Persians caused a particularly strong reaction in Iran. Azadeh Moaveni of Time reported that Tehran was "outraged" following the film's release. Moaveni identified two factors which may have contributed to the intense reaction: its release on the eve of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and the common Iranian view of the Achaemenid Empire as "a particularly noble page in their history." Various Iranian officials condemned the film. The Iranian Academy of the Arts submitted a formal complaint against the film to UNESCO, labelling it an attack on the historical identity of Iran. The Iranian mission to the U.N. protested the film in a press release, and Iranian embassies protested its screening in France, Thailand, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. The film was banned within Iran as "hurtful American propaganda". Reviewers in the United States and elsewhere "noted the political overtones of the West-against-Iran story line and the way Persians are depicted as decadent, sexually flamboyant and evil in contrast to the noble Greeks". With bootleg versions of the film already available in Tehran with the film's international release and news of the film's surprising success at the U.S. box office, it prompted widespread anger in Iran. Azadeh Moaveni of Time reported, "All of Tehran was outraged. Everywhere I went yesterday, the talk vibrated with indignation over the film". Newspapers in Iran featured headlines such as "Hollywood declares war on Iranians" and "300 AGAINST 70 MILLION" (Iran's population). Ayende-No, an independent Iranian newspaper, said that "[t]he film depicts Iranians as demons, without culture, feeling or humanity, who think of nothing except attacking other nations and killing people". Four Iranian Members of Parliament have called for Muslim countries to ban the film, and a group of Iranian film makers submitted a letter of protest to UNESCO regarding the film's alleged misrepresentation of Iranian history and culture. Iran's cultural advisor to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called the film an "American attempt for psychological warfare against Iran".
Moaveni identified two factors which may have contributed to the intensity of Iranian indignation over the film. First, she describes the timing of the film's release, on the eve of Norouz, the Persian New Year, as "inauspicious." Second, Iranians tend to view the era depicted in the film as "a particularly noble page in their history". Moaveni also suggests that "the box office success of 300, compared with the relative flop of Alexander (another spurious period epic dealing with Persians), is cause for considerable alarm, signaling ominous U.S. intentions".
According to The Guardian, Iranian critics of 300, ranging from bloggers to government officials, have described the movie "as a calculated attempt to demonise Iran at a time of intensifying U.S. pressure over the country's nuclear programme". An Iranian government spokesman described the film as "hostile behavior which is the result of cultural and psychological warfare". Moaveni reported that the Iranians she interacted with were "adamant that the movie was secretly funded by the U.S. government to prepare Americans for going to war against Iran".
Dana Stevens of Slate states, "If 300, the new battle epic based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, had been made in Germany in the mid-1930s, it would be studied today alongside The Eternal Jew as a textbook example of how race-baiting fantasy and nationalist myth can serve as an incitement to total war. Since it's a product of the post-ideological, post-Xbox 21st century, 300 will instead be talked about as a technical achievement, the next blip on the increasingly blurry line between movies and video games.
In popular culture
300 has been spoofed in film, television, and other media, and spawned the "This is Sparta!" internet meme. Skits based upon the film have appeared on Saturday Night Live and Robot Chicken, the latter of which mimicked the visual style of 300 in a parody set during the American Revolutionary War, titled "1776"; and in another episode there were several segments in which Leonidas shouts, "This is...(something)!" and kicks a nearby object. Other parodies include an episode of South Park named "D-Yikes!", and "BOO!" by Mad Magazine in its September 2007 issue #481, written by Desmond Devlin and illustrated by Mort Drucker. 20th Century Fox released Meet the Spartans, a spoof directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Universal Pictures was planning a similar parody, titled National Lampoon's 301: The Legend of Awesomest Maximus Wallace Leonidas.
On February 21, 2010, the German heavy metal band Heaven Shall Burn played a show at Szene in Vienna, Austria called "Defending Sparta"; the band dressed as Spartans on stage and ticket sales for the show were limited to 300.
300, particularly its pithy quotations, has been "adopted" by the student body of Michigan State University (whose nickname is the Spartans), with chants of "Spartans, what is your profession?" becoming common at sporting events starting after the film's release, and Michigan State basketball head coach Tom Izzo dressed as Leonidas at one student event. Nate Ebner, a football player with the New England Patriots in the National Football League and formerly with the Ohio State Buckeyes, was nicknamed "Leonidas," after the Greek warrior-king hero of Sparta acted by Gerard Butler in the movie 300, because of his intense workout regimen, and his beard.
Differences between the film and the historical accounts
While Leonidas was depicted as the main king of Sparta in the film, he was actually one of two Spartan kings in the historical accounts. Stelios, the young Spartan soldier who fights bravely alongside Leonidas during the three-day battle at Thermopylae is inspired by Leonidas' lieutenant Dieneces.
The prophecy of the Oracle at Delphi is worded differently in the film than the historical prophesy. According to Herodotus, the prophecy of the oracle states that either all of Sparta will fall into the hands of the Persian Empire or the entire city must mourn for the death of one of its kings. In the film, the prophecy states that despite the fact that Sparta and all of Greece would fall, the Spartans must honor the Carnea festival.
The 300 Spartans and the Arcadians are not the only Greek troops that Leonidas leads into the Thermopylae pass. According to Herodotus and other historians, Leonidas led a small force of not only his 300 Spartan hoplites, but also 7,000 Greek soldiers from other city-states, including Thespiae, Thebes, Arcadia, Phocia, and Corinth.
While the vast Persian army contained light and heavy infantry, archers, and cavalry, Xerses did not have magicians or great war beasts like war elephants and armored rhinos fighting in his forces. Also, while the film states that the Persian army numbered in the millions, many historians disagree. Herodotus placed the number of Persian troops, including Persian, Sargatian, Parthian, and Scythian horsemen, Libyan war chariots, and mounted Arab camel troops as high as 2.6 million, while modern-day historians place the actual size of the Persian army at around 200,000-300,000 in total strength.
The Immortals are described differently in Herodotus' account than in the film. According to Herodotus, the Immortals carried wicker shields, short swords, and spears as weapons. They wore colorful tunics over light shirts of scale mail, and over their heads was a wrapped cloth that covered their faces but was thin enough for them to see through. In the film, the Immortals resembled Japanese samurai warriors with katars as their weapons and silver face masks over their grimacing faces.
In the film, Leonidas and his three hundred Spartan troops remain behind to guard the pass, while the rest of the Greek troops retreated after receiving word that the Persians were about to outflank them from the rear. But in the true historical accounts, including Herodotus' Histories, Leonidas remained in the pass with a small force composing of the 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, 400 Thebans, and 900 Spartan helots.
The first two days of battle in the Thermopylae pass are described differently in the film than in the historical accounts. On the first day of battle, Xerxes ordered 5,000 archers fire arrows at the Greeks before he dispatched a force of 10,000 Medes and Cissians to attack the Greek lines. The Greeks inflicted heavy casualties on the Persians and suffered minor losses of their own. On the second day of battle, Xerxes dispatched his heavy infantry and personal bodyguard, the 10,000 Immortals against the Spartans and their allies, but they too suffered heavy losses and inflicted almost no damage on the Greek defenses.
On the third day of the battle, Herodotus wrote that Leonidas and his small Greek force of 1,000-2,000 hoplites advanced into the wider part of the Thermopylae pass to kill as many Persians as possible. Later on in the battle, the Immortals under their general Hydarnes smashed into the rear of the Greek defenses and caused the Greek phalanx to fall apart. All of the Greek spears were broken, and the Spartans and Thespians fought with swords, knives, and their fists. Leonidas fell at some point early in the battle, shot down by Persian bowmen, and the Greeks drove back the Persians four times before they could recover their dead king's body. Leonidas' lieutenant Dioneces and a few surviving Spartans then took their king's body and retreated to a small hilltop, where the Persian archers finished them off with a single volley of arrows.
In June 2008, producers Mark Canton, Gianni Nunnari and Bernie Goldmann revealed that work had begun on a sequel to 300, 300: Rise of an Empire. Legendary Pictures had announced that Frank Miller started writing the follow-up graphic novel, and Zack Snyder was interested in directing the adaptation, but moved on to develop and direct the Superman reboot Man of Steel. Noam Murro directed instead, while Zack Snyder produced. The film focused on the Athenian admiral, Themistocles, as portrayed by Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton. The sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire was released on March 7, 2014.
- Vespe, Eric (December 11, 2006). "Quint's BNAT wrap-up, part 1! Zack Snyder's 300! ROCKY BALBOA! BLACK SNAKE MOAN and DREAMGIRLS!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- Corliss, Richard (March 14, 2007). "7 Reasons Why 300 Is a Huge Hit". Time. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- "300 (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on March 13, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2009.
- "300 Comic To Movie Comparison." About.com. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
- Rob M. Worley (March 9, 2007). "Exclusive interview: Producer Gianni Nunnari's epic struggle for 300". Comics2Film.com. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Scott Mitchell Rosenberg (March 9, 2007). "March to Glory". Broken Frontier. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Stax (February 17, 2004). "The Stax Report: Script Review of 300". IGN. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Stax (June 22, 2004). "Who Commands the 300?". IGN. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Susan Wloszczyna (March 3, 2007). "An epic tale, told 300 strong". USA Today. Retrieved March 10, 2007.
- Todd Gilchrist (August 20, 2005). "Being Frank". IGN. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Stax (August 15, 2005). "Attila Leads the 300". IGN. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "300 Matches Miller Style". Sci Fi Wire. July 27, 2006. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Resa Nelson (February 1, 2006). "300 Mixes History, Fantasy". Sci Fi Wire. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Chris Brown (September 9, 2006). "Zack Snyder on keeping 300 sharp". Comics2Film.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2008. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
- "Jordu Schell: Avatar Lead Characters Designer". Avatar Movie Zone. Archived from the original on September 2, 2009. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- Douglas Edward (January 5, 2007). "300: The Set Visit!". SuperHeroHype.com. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved March 17, 2007.
- Pamela McClintock; Michael Fleming (May 15, 2005). "300 counts for WB". Variety. Retrieved October 29, 2006.
- Pamela McClintock (October 9, 2005). "Warners bets a bundle on swords-and-CGI 300". Variety. Retrieved October 29, 2006.
- Patrick Lee (July 23, 2006). "Butler Not Too Chafed By 300". Sci Fi Wire. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Edward Douglas (January 19, 2006). "300's Queen Gorgo". SuperHeroHype.com. Retrieved October 29, 2006.
- Mark Olsen (January 14, 2007). "An epic battle is pumped up". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2007.
- Jonah Weiland (February 6, 2007). ""300" – One-on-one with Gerard Butler". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved April 26, 2007.
- Sean Davidson (March 6, 2006). "Meteor hits 300". Playback. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Sean Davidson (March 8, 2007). "Meteor, Hybride pumped blood into 300". Playback. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Lev Grossman (March 2, 2007). "The Art of War". TIME. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
- Daniel Robert Epstein (July 13, 2005). "Exclusive Interview with Tyler Bates, Score Composer for The Devil's Rejects". UGO. Retrieved October 29, 2006.
- "WB Records to Release 300 Soundtrack". SuperHeroHype.com. January 19, 2007. Retrieved January 21, 2007.
- "300 Soundtrack To Hit Hard". IGN. January 31, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Justin Bielawa (February 27, 2007). "300". Music on Film. Archived from the original on September 28, 2008. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- James Southall. "300". Movie Wave. Archived from the original on March 20, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- Demetris Christodoulides. "300". Score Magazine. Archived from the original on September 28, 2008. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- "300 on DVD". August 3, 2007. Archived from the original on August 11, 2007. Retrieved August 3, 2007.
- Stax (December 22, 2005). "300 Invades the Web". IGN. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "300 MySpace Page Launched". SuperHeroHype.com. January 2, 2007. Archived from the original on January 5, 2006. Retrieved January 3, 2007.
- "Frank Miller: Graphic Novelist & Filmmaker". The Art Institutes. Archived from the original on March 4, 2006. Retrieved March 5, 2007.
- George A. Tramountanas (July 23, 2006). "CCI Day 3: Warner Bros. Presents "300"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 19, 2006. Retrieved October 29, 2006.
- "UPDATE: The New 300 Promo Trailer!". SuperHeroHype.com. September 20, 2006. Retrieved October 29, 2006.
- "Official 300 Trailer Hits!". SuperHeroHype.com. October 4, 2006. Archived from the original on October 29, 2006. Retrieved October 29, 2006.
- "New TMNT and 300 Trailers this Week". SuperHeroHype.com. December 3, 2006. Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- "The 300 Theatrical Trailer!". SuperHeroHype.com. December 7, 2006. Archived from the original on December 16, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2006.
- "300 Premiering in Berlin". SuperHeroHype.com. January 23, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2007.
- "Weekend Box Office (March 9–11, 2007)". boxofficeguru.com. March 11, 2007. Archived from the original on March 16, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- Hatfield, Daemon (April 19, 2006). "300 Marches to PSP". IGN. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "Spartans! Tonight We Dine in Hell!". NECA. November 13, 2006. Archived from the original on November 16, 2006. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
- "Are You a Spartan or a Persian?". NECA. November 27, 2006. Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
- "300 Teams with UFC's Chuck Liddell". SuperHeroHype.com. December 28, 2006. Archived from the original on January 2, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2006.
- Pamela McClintock (March 4, 2007). "NHL promotes 300". Variety. Retrieved March 5, 2007.
- Stax (August 10, 2006). "Warners Shuffles Dates". IGN. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "300: The Complete Experience Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. July 23, 2009. Archived from the original on April 15, 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "TNT spears "300" for basic cable". Reuters. July 10, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "TNT Loves 300 Spartans". CanMag. July 9, 2007. Archived from the original on July 15, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
- "Movie '300' to Be Simultaneously Released as IMAX Film". KEYT-TV. January 25, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- "300". Box Office Mojo. March 11, 2007. Archived from the original on March 9, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
- "Top March Opening Weekends". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
- "Top Spring Opening Weekends". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
- "Biggest Opening Weekends at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. March 13, 2007. Archived from the original on March 9, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2007.
- "300... and 70 Million Dollars!". ComingSoon.net. March 11, 2007. Archived from the original on March 13, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
- "300 Sets IMAX Opening Records". SuperHeroHype.com. March 13, 2007. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2007.
- ""Homecoming" for 300 in Sparta". London Greek Radio. March 9, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "300 wows Sparta home crowd despite some critics' complaints".
- Michael Cieply (March 12, 2007). "Surprise! Spartans Assault Box Office". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved March 12, 2007.
- "300 a multi-pronged box-office triumph". Associated Press. March 11, 2007. Archived from the original on September 20, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
- "300 World Premiere Gets Standing Ovation". SuperHeroHype.com. February 2, 2007. Archived from the original on February 18, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
- Erik Davis (February 14, 2007). "Berlinale Update: 300 Screens To Chorus Of Boos In Berlin". Moviefone. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- "300 (2007)". MetaCritic. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
- "300 Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- A.O. Scott (March 9, 2007). "Battle of the Manly Men: Blood Bath With a Message". New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- Kenneth Turan. "The visually arresting 300 gets bogged down in blood and bodies". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved March 17, 2007.
- "300 :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved September 28, 2008.
- "Greek critics lash Hollywood's ancient epic 300". Phantis. Associated Press. March 8, 2007. Archived from the original on September 7, 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Todd McCarthy (February 14, 2007). "300". Variety. Archived from the original on February 27, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
- Kirk Honeycutt (February 15, 2007). "300". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on February 26, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
- Richard Roeper (March 9, 2007). "Battle worthy: gloriously violent 300 sets bar for cinematic "comic books"". Chicago Sun Times. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2007.
- Mark Cronan (August 14, 2006). "Review: "300" the movie". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 11, 2007.
- Todd Gilchrist (February 12, 2007). "IGN: 300 Review". IGN. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "MTV Movie Awards Nominees: Pirates, Spartans — And That Crazy Kazakh". MTV. May 8, 2007. Archived from the original on May 2, 2007. Retrieved May 13, 2007.
- "Zack Snyder's Film "300" tops in Golden Icon Awards". Axccess News. Archived from the original on December 22, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2007.
- "IGN: Best of 2007 — Movie Awards, Movie of the Year". IGN. Archived from the original on January 5, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- "IGN: Best of 2007 — Movie Awards, Best Comic Book Adaptation". IGN. Archived from the original on December 30, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- "IGN: Best of 2007 — Movie Awards, Favorite Character". IGN. Archived from the original on December 30, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- ""Enchanted" and "Lost" are the big winners at the 34th Annual Saturn Awards". Saturnawards.org. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- "The Best Conservative Movies on National Review / Digital". Nrd.nationalreview.com. February 23, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- "Frank Miller's 300 — Journal 5".
- Dan Vergano (March 6, 2007). "This is Sparta? The history behind the movie 300". USA Today. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- Paul Cartledge (April 2, 2007). "Another View: Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History, on 300". The Guardian (London). Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Ephraim Lytle (March 11, 2007). "Sparta? No. This is madness". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on March 23, 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- Victor Davis Hanson (March 7, 2007). "With Your Shield or On It". City Journal. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- Victor Davis Hanson (March 22, 2007). "300 Fact or Fiction?". Townhall.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- Touraj Daryaee (March 14, 2007). "Go tell the Spartans". iranian.com. Archived from the original on March 25, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "Romanticizing the Spartan: 300 (Movie Review)". Retrieved September 13, 2008.
- Josh Horowitz (March 13, 2007). "300 Trivia: Albino Giants, Sequel Chances — And Sienna Miller". MTV. Archived from the original on March 24, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- Steve Daly (March 13, 2007). "Miller's Tales". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- Kaveh Farrokh. "The 300 Movie: Separating Fact from Fiction".
- Sheigh Crabtree (March 4, 2007). "Giving 300 movie a comic-book grandeur" (PDF). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Michael Cieply (March 5, 2007). "That Film's Real Message? It Could Be "Buy A Ticket"". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 7, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2007.
- Jason Silverman (February 22, 2007). "300 Brings History to Bloody Life". Wired News. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Kyle Smith (March 9, 2007). "Persian Shrug". New York Post. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Dana Stevens (March 8, 2007). "A Movie Only a Spartan Could Love". Slate. Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- Roger Moore (March 7, 2007). "300 as Fascist Art". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on March 21, 2007. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- "The cross-cultural appeal of Frank Miller". February 8, 2008.
- Gene Seymour (March 9, 2007). "On the field of this battle, war is swell" (Fee required). Newsday (AllBusiness.com). Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- Jonah Weiland (March 14, 2007). ""300" Post-game: One-on-one with Zack Snyder". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- Steve Daly (March 11, 2007). "Double-edged sword". Entertainment Weekly (Entertainment Weekly). Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- Slavoj Žižek. "The True Hollywood Left". www.lacan.com.
- Chemers, Michael M. (Summer 2007). "'With Your Shield, or On It': Disability Representation in 300". Disability Studies Quarterly (The Society for Disability Studies) 27 (3).
- Ali Jaafar (March 21, 2007). "Iran president irked by 300". Variety. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- "Iran outraged by Hollywood war epic "300"". Middle East Times. March 13, 2007. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "Iran condemns Hollywood war epic". BBC. March 13, 2007. Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2007.
- Edith M. Lederer (March 22, 2007). "Iran's U.N. Mission Outraged at 300". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- François Peneaud and Joe Palmer. "Frank Miller and 300's Assault on the Gay Past". AfterElton.com — Gay and Bisexual Men in Entertainment and the Media. Archived from the original on March 24, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- Wesley Morris (March 9, 2007). "300 Movie Review, Sweating it out at the Hot Gates". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on March 20, 2007. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
- Stephen Hunter (March 9, 2007). "300: A Losing Battle in More Ways Than 1". Washington Post. Retrieved March 9, 2007.
- Rea, Steven (March 9, 2007). "Just 300, but CG on their side". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- Gary Leupp (March 31, 2007). "A Racist and Insulting Film – 300 vs. Iran (and Herodotus)". Counterpunch. Archived from the original on April 8, 2007. Retrieved April 16, 2007.
- Azadeh Moaveni (March 13, 2007). "300 Sparks an Outcry in Iran". Time (magazine). Archived from the original on March 16, 2007. Retrieved March 14, 2007.
- "Iran official condemns Hollywood movie". Press TV. March 10, 2007. Archived from the original on March 16, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
- Robert Tait (March 15, 2007). "Spartans film is psychological war, says Iran". The Guardian (London). Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "Movie "300" an Insult to Iranians". Fars News Agency. March 13, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2007.
- Rober Tait (March 14, 2007). "Iran accuses Hollywood of "psychological warfare"". The Guardian (London). Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "Iranian Academy of Arts to submit UNESCO declaration against 300". Payvand News. March 16, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- "Iran complains to UNESCO". BBC. March 18, 2007. Archived from the original on March 20, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2007.
- "Iran's UN mission: Movie 300 is full of deliberate distortions". Islamic Republic News Agency. March 22, 2007. Archived from the original on March 25, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "Embassy of Iran Protests at Screening of 300 Film in France". Fars News Agency. March 22, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2007.
- "IRI slams 300 show in Thailand". IRIB News. March 30, 2007. Archived from the original on May 22, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "İran'ın '300'e tepkisi sürüyor". NTV (in Turkish). March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on December 23, 2007. Retrieved March 28, 2007.
- "Embassy protests to screening of anti-Iranian movie in Uzbekistan". Islamic Republic News Agency. April 1, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2007.
- "'300' – Fact or Fiction?". RealClear Politics. March 22, 2007.
- Karimi, Nasser (2007-03-13). "Iranians Outraged by `300' Movie" (reprint). London: Associated Press. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
- Moaveni, Azadeh (2007-03-13). "300 Versus 70 Million Iranians". Time (magazine). Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
- Tait, Robert (2007-03-14). "Iran accuses Hollywood of 'psychological warfare'". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
- See Baztab newspaper, accessed March 15, 2007 
- "واكنش مشاور رئیس جمهور به فیلم 300". Sharif News. Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
- Stevens, Dana (March 8, 2007). "A Movie Only a Spartan Could Love". Slate.com. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
- Steve Spalding (September 30, 2007). "How To Explore Internet Memes". How to Split an Atom. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
- "Saturday Night Live, March 24, 2007". Backwardfive.com. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
- ""Moesha Poppins", Robot Chicken episode #50".
- ""Ban on the Fun", Robot Chicken episode #53".
- Travis Fickett (April 12, 2007). "South Park: "D-Yikes" Review". IGN. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- "BOO! from Mad Magazine #481, Sept. 2007".
- Jeff Giles (October 3, 2007). "National Lampoon + Kevin Dillon = A 300 Spoof". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on November 14, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
- "HEAVEN SHALL BURN : official website — news".
- ""300" cheer shows unity, reflects Spartan history". The State News. September 18, 2007. Archived from the original on February 23, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- "Photograph of Tom Izzo at Midnight Madness". The State News. October 14, 2007. Archived from the original on February 25, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2009.
- "Nate Ebner Earns 'Leonidas' Nickname, Dubbed Ohio State's Most Valuable Player for Strong Work Ethic". NESN.
- Ito, Robert (November 26, 2006). "The Gore of Greece, Torn From a Comic". The New York Times.
- Frosty (June 25, 2008). "Producers Mark Canton, Gianni Nunnari and Bernie Goldmann Exclusive Video Interview". Collider.com. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved June 26, 2008.
- Diane Garrett (June 29, 2008). "New 300 rallies troops". Variety (Reed Business Information). Archived from the original on July 3, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2008.
- Mike Fleming (June 27, 2011). "'Xerxes' Pic Down To Noam Murro And Jaume Collett-Serra For '300' Spinoff". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "'300' The Prequel: Meet The New Xerxes". Moviepilot.com. February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 300 (film).|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: 300 (film)|
- Official website
- 300 at the American Film Institute Catalog
- 300 at the Internet Movie Database
- 300 at AllMovie
- 300 at Rotten Tomatoes
- 300 at Metacritic
- 300 at Box Office Mojo
- Gerri Miller. "Inside 300". HowStuffWorks.
- 300 production notes
- Neil Miller (February 14, 2007). "Interview: Director Zach Snyder talks 300".
- David C. Ryan (August 2007). "300 Lies? Give poetics a chance". Bright Lights Film (57).
- Victor Davis Hanson (March 28, 2007). "300: Fact or Fiction?". Tribune Media Services.