300 (film)

300 is an American peplum co-written and directed by Zack Snyder , released in 2007 . From the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley , the film gives a fantasticviewof the Battle of Thermopylae in -480 and was shot largely using the technique of inlay to render the imagery of Frank Miller’s comics.

In the weeks before and after its release, the film raised controversy over the portrayal of the Persians in the international context of tensions between the United States and Iran. Despite this controversy and shared criticism, the film was a huge commercial success.

A sequel, 300: The Birth of an Empire , directed by Noam Murro , was released in 2014 .


Related articles: 300 (comic) , Battle of Thermopylae and Laconism .

Leonidas became king of Sparta following the Spartan ritual tests which he triumphed. He learns from a Persian messenger that King Xerxes plans to invade Greece and submit his city but refuses to negotiate any arrangement. Against the advice of the Persian gold-spoiled ephors , he sets off to meet the enemy with the 300 best soldiers of his city, and is joined on the road by Daxos and his Arcadians . Leonidas chose to fight the Persian army in the narrow and rocky passage of the Thermopylae , called the Hot Gates in the film. He refuses to enlist Ephialtes, an exiled Spartan, because this one, hunchbacked, can not lift his shield properly because of his handicap on the back and the neck.

Faced with the gigantic army led by King Xerxes in person, the resistance is heroic but desperate. Xerxes, struck by the heavy losses suffered by his army during the first attacks, tried to win Leonidas to his cause but suffered a failure. He then sends his best warriors, the Immortals , these being also repulsed by the Spartans. But Ephialtes, bruised by the refusal of Leonidas, reveals to Xerxes the existence of a secret path that bypasses the Thermopylae. The Arcadians retreat upon learning the news and Leonidas, aware that his fate is now sealed, sent Dilios, one of his warriors, Sparta with order to narrate the story of the sacrifice of his comrades.

Meanwhile in Sparta, Queen Gorgo , wife of Leonidas, faces the machinations of Theron, a politician in the pay of the Persians who seeks to remove Leonidas from his title for thwarting the ephors. Théron blackmails Gorgô and abuses her in exchange for the promise of her support when she pleads the cause of her husband before the Council of the city. But when the time comes, he accuses him of adultery and Gorgo stabs him to death. The dagger pierces Theron’s purse, and the falling Persian gold reveals his betrayal.

At the Thermopylae, the Persians surrounded the surviving Spartans and Xerxes demanded their submission. Leonidas pretends to accept before hurting Xerxes on the cheek with his spear. Leonidas and his men are then massacred. A year later, Dilios concludes his story in front of an army of Spartans, explaining how this valiant resistance touched the morale of the Persian army and pushed the Greek cities to unite, 40 000 Greeks now facing 100 000 Persians on the battlefield of Plataea .

Technical sheet

Unless otherwise stated, this sheet is based on the credits of the film.

  • Title: 300
  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Scenario: Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad and Michael B. Gordon , based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley
  • Artistic direction: James Bissell
  • Photography: Larry Fong
  • Sets: Paul Hotte
  • Costumes: Michael Wilkinson
  • Editing: William Hoy
  • Music: Mark Mancina
  • Production: Mark Canton , Bernie Goldmann , Gianni Nunnari and Jeffrey Silver
  • Production Companies: Warner Bros. Pictures , Legendary Pictures , Virtual Studios , SODEC , Hollywood Gang Productions and Atmosphere Entertainment MM
  • Distributor companies: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Budget: 65 000 000 USD 1
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Language: English
  • Format: Technicolor , Kodak and Fujifilm colors – 2.35: 1 – Dolby Digital sound , DTS , SDDS – 35 mm – Filmed with Panavision material
  • Kind: peplum , fantastic
  • Duration: 115 minutes
  • Release dates
    •  Canada , United States : 
    •  Belgium , France and Switzerland :  
  • Classification:
  • United States : R Rated R for graphic battle over, some sexuality and nudity
  • France : Not allowed under 12 years


  • Gerard Butler (VF: Eric Hérson-Macarel and VQ: Benoît Rousseau ) : King Leonidas
  • Lena Headey (VF: Rafaele Moutier and VQ: Anne Bédard ) : Queen Gorgô
  • Dominic West (VF: Jean-Pol Brissart and VQ: Paul Sarrasin ) : Théron
  • David Wenham (VF: Michel Papineschi and VQ: Sébastien Dhavernas ) : Dilios
  • Vincent Regan (VF: Bruno Choël and VQ: François Godin ) : Captain Artemis
  • Tom Wisdom (VQ: Hugolin Chevrette ) : Astinos
  • Andrew Pleavin (VF: Pascal Monsegur and VQ: Patrick Chouinard) : Daxos
  • Andrew Tiernan (VF: Philippe Bozo and VQ: Daniel Lesourd) : Ephialtès
  • Rodrigo Santoro (VF: Bernard Gabay and VQ: Daniel Picard ) : Xerxes
  • Michael Fassbender (VF: Axel Kiener and VQ: Patrice Dubois ) : Stelios
  • Stephen McHattie : the senator
  • Giovanni Cimmino : Pleistarchos
  • Peter Mensah (VF: Daniel Lobé): the Persian messenger
  • Kelly Craig : Pythia , the oracle of the Ephors
  • Tyler Neitzel : Young Leonidas
  • Patrick Sabongui : the Persian general who tries to convince Leonidas at the end
  • Dennis St John : The Spartan in charge of checking the appearance of newborns
  • Robert Maillet : Uber, the giant Immortal
  • Leon Laderach : the Persian hangman
  • Tyrone Benskin : the Persian emissary
  • Tim Connolly : the father of Leonidas
  • Marie-Julie Rivest : the mother of Leonidas
  • Jere Gillis : a spartan general
  • David Francis : one of the Ephors
  • Deke Richards : a spartan soldier

Sources and legend : French version (VF) on Allodoublage 2 . Quebec Version (VQ) on Doublage Quebec 3



Zack Snyder directed the film in 2006 . The film uses the same techniques as Sin City (also adapted from a comic book by Frank Miller ), with the massive use of computer graphics .

Even if all the scenes present in the original comic are faithfully reconstructed on the big screen, the scenario has been completed with some additional characters and scenes:

  • in the comics, Ephialtes , who ends up betraying the Spartans (and who is a sort of deformed monster in the film), tries to commit suicide when Leonidas refuses to make him a warrior. In the film, the scene was shot, but cut to the editing.
  • all the scenes taking place in Sparta that involve the queen and show the political intrigues within the city were added to reinforce the unique female role.
  • fantastic elements and various beasts like the rhinoceros have been added.


The film was almost entirely shot on a blue and green background at the Ice Storm Studios in Montreal 4 . Only the scene of ride of the messengers at the beginning of the film, impossible to realize in studio, was turned outside.

Nearly 1,300 visual effects were required, an average of one visual effect per shot.

The actors underwent intensive sports training more than eight weeks before shooting began.

In this film, the actors Gerard Butler and andrew pleavin play together again, five years after their collaboration in Attila the Hun of Dick Lowry . Gerard Butler again had the leading role, while Andrew Pleavin played Flavius Oreste, a faithful general of Attila .


Box office

The film grossed 456,068,181 $ worldwide including 210 614 939 $ just in the US 1 . It made 1,661,288 entries in France , 449,512 entries in Quebec and 150,062 entries in Switzerland 5 .

He holds the record of attendance in Greece with 325,000 spectators in 4 days.

Global box office by country of film 300 (in descending order)
Country Box Office Country Box Office Country Box Office
 United States 210,614,939  Brazil 11,207,791  Norway $ 2,246,901
 UK 27,994,700  Mexico 10,101,034  Belgium $ 2,216,126
 Spain 20,762,055  Russia 10,040,438  Venezuela $ 2,030,133
 South Korea 19,902,209  Turkey $ 4,861,226  Hong Kong 1,963,536 $
 Italy 14,618,081  Argentina $ 4,587,738  Denmark $ 1,942,519
 Germany 14,570,919  Poland $ 3,091,535  Swiss $ 1,851,658
 la France $ 13,900,000  India $ 2,582,794  New Zealand 1,848,409 $
 Japan 13,036,817  Netherlands $ 2,546,452  Thailand $ 1,806,471
 Australia 12,304,031  Austria $ 2,458,709  philippines 1,671,166 $
 Greece 11,376,293  Taiwan $ 2,281,146  Colombia $ 1,662,904

Home Review

The film receives 60% of positive reviews, with an average score of 6.1 / 10 and based on 223 reviews collected, on the website Rotten Tomatoes 6 . He scores 51/100, based on 35 reviews, on the Metacritic 7 website . In 2008 the magazine Empire has ranked in the 337 th place in its list of the 500 best films of all time 8 .

In France , critics are totally divided. The Figaroscope evokes a challenge raised “with intelligence and brilliance” , The Fantasy Screen a “breathtaking adaptation of the eponymous comic book” , Paris Match “a work of breathtaking visual beauty but of incredible violence” , Ouest-France “a kitsch and Baroque delirium of extreme sophistication” , Premiere “a triumph of artistic direction” , Rolling Stone “beautifully rendered and surreal battle scenes but useless and absurd intimist scenes” ,The Parisian “an artistic flop” , L’Humanité “an aesthetic close to the fantastic leaded by pompous dialogues” , Les Inrockuptibles a result “seizing ugliness” , Libération “an atrocious propaganda film” , and Positif a film “without scenario neither characters » 9 .


Iranian Reviews

The film, although not broadcast in Iran , has raised criticism from the government and Iranian intellectuals 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 .

The criticism is about the travesty of reality, associated with a more political criticism: that of trying to undermine the image of Iran in a tense political context between this country and the United States .

Indeed, the representation that is made of the Persians in the Achaemenid period is false. This period is considered a golden age in the history of Iran , with in particular Cyrus’ Cylinder writing of what is considered the first human rights charter . In the graphic novel that inspired the film, the Persians are portrayed as a barbaric horde, decadent, opposed to the Greek nobles. In general, the film respects neither the costumes nor the Persian hairstyles of the Achaemenid era.

From a more political point of view, Javad Shamghadri, cultural advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , said that the United States was trying to change the historical reality in order to humiliate Iran, presenting the empire as a barbaric and stupid country. .

The daily Āyande No said in his pages that “the film depicts the Iranians as demons without culture, without feelings and without humanity, who think of nothing but attacking other nations and killing”, which newspaper likened to “a new effort to discredit the Iranian people and vis-à-vis civilization of international public opinion at a time when US threats against the Iran intensify” 15 .

Other reviews

Other critics have been voiced on various aspects of this film:

The newspaper The Arab American News speaks of “a rash war propaganda” ( mindless war propaganda ) 16 .

Ephraim Lytle, Hellenic history professor at the University of Toronto , wrote that “the way the film is selectively idealizes Spartan disturbing” 17 , including the fact that Xerxes st is portrayed as bisexual ; and that the Persians are shown in a monstrous aspect, while the Spartans are men with the advantageous physique (except the traitor Ephialtes , a deformed monster too). The Ephors , who oppose the heroic action of Leonidas, are also hideous.

The idealization of certain elements in the film is also criticized by Touraj Daryāi, professor of ancient history at the University of California at Fullerton . He criticized the central theme of the film, namely the opposition between the “free” and “loving democracy” represented by the Spartans and the Persian warrior world 18 .

It may be added that the Athenians, whom the film describes as pederastal philosophers, have also played a major role in the medical wars, an aspect that is left in the shadows.

Other critics dwell on the fascistic aspect of the film. For Kyle Smith, of the New York Post , “The film would have liked to the Hitler Youth ( Adolf’s boys )” . Dana Stevens, in Slate , compares 300 to the National Socialistpropaganda film Der ewige Jude ( The Eternal Jew 19 ). Roger Moore, film critic for the Orlando Sentinel , considers the film corresponds to the definition given Susan Sontag of fascist art 20 .

In response to these criticisms, the director , the producers of the film and the author of the comic have underlined [ref. necessary] that this cinematographic adaptation of a comic strip is only a heroic fantasy version of the Battle of Thermopylae and that there was no historical aspect to remember from film 21 . In an interview in, Frank Miller , asked about the political situation in the United States, noted that the United States act as a declining empire, and that the great civilizations are never conquered but they disintegrate from within . He also claims that the war of the US empire against the Iraq , as the Second World War , is in a struggle against a fascist global 22 .

According to Florent Pallares, doctor of film studies and associate researcher at CRHISM, the statements of Frank Miller (co-producer of 300) date from 24 January 2007 23 and leave no doubt about the intentions of the film: “It seems obvious to me that our countries and the entire Western world are in conflict with an enemy who knows exactly what he wants – and we behave like a collapsing empire […]. I think part of it comes from our education. We are constantly told that all cultures are equal and that every belief system is as valid as another. […] For whatever reason, nobody speaks of those we are fighting and the barbarity of the VI thcentury that they actually represent. These people decapitate. They subject their wives to slavery and sexually mutilate their daughters. Their behavior does not obey any understandable cultural norm. […] Why did we attack Iraq? […] Well, we are attacking an ideology. Nobody asks why, after Pearl Harbor, we attacked Nazi Germany. It was because we were faced with a form of global fascism we do the same today ” 24 .


Unless otherwise stated, this list comes from information on the Internet Movie Database 25 .



  • BMI Film & TV Award for Tyler Bates
  • Golden Trailer Award
  • Best Film of the Year at the Hollywood Film Festival for Zack Snyder
  • MTV Movie Award for best fight for Gerard Butler (vs. Uber Immortal)
  • Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Special Effects
  • Satellite Award for Best Special Effects for Chris Watts , Grant Freckelton , Derek Wentworth and Daniel Leduc


  • Saturn Awards :
    • Best movie (action / adventure / thriller)
    • Best achievement for Zack Snyder
  • Taurus World Stunt Award for the best battle for Max White , Jon Valera , Daniel Hernandez , Ryan Watson , Matthew Rugetti , Tim Rigby , Jonathan Eusebio , Stéphane Julien , Mathieu Ledoux and Don Lew


Lena Headey at the premiere of the film in London in 2007.


  • MTV Movie Awards :
    • Best film
    • Best Actor: Gerard Butler
    • Best female revelation: Lena Headey
    • Best villain: Rodrigo Santoro
  • National Movie Awards : Best Movie (Action / Adventure)
  • Satellite Awards :
    • Best film
    • Best sound: Scott Hecker , Eric Norris , Chris Jenkins , Frank A. Montaño and Patrick Rousseau
  • Teen Choice Awards :
    • Best Action & Adventure Movie Actress: Lena Headey
    • Best action and adventure movie
    • Best fight: Spartans against Persians


  • Saturn Awards :
    • Best Actor: Gerard Butler
    • Best Supporting Actor: David Wenham
    • Best Supporting Actress: Lena Headey
    • Best Screenplay: Michael B. Gordon , Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad
    • Best costumes: Michael Wilkinson
    • Best Makeup: Shaun Smith , Mark Rappaport and Scott Wheeler
    • Best Special Effects: Chris Watts , Grant Freckelton , Derek Wentworth and Daniel Leduc
    • Best Music: Tyler Bates
  • Art Directors Guild Awards : Best artistic direction for a film: James D. Bissell , Isabelle Guay , Nicolas Lepage and Jean-Pierre Paquet
  • Cinema Audio Society Awards : Best Sound: Patrick Rousseau , Chris Jenkins and Frank A. Montaño
  • Costume Designers Guild Awards : Best Costumes for a Fantastic Film: Michael Wilkinson
  • Empire Awards :
    • Best fantasy movie
    • Best Actor: Gerard Butler
  • People’s Choice Awards : Favorite Action Movie
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards : Best Stunt Performance: Damon Caro , Richard Cetrone , Tim Connolly , Scott Cosgrove , Jared S. Eddo , Jonathan Eusebio , Tad Griffith , Dany Hernandez , David Leitch , Mike Mukatis , Tim Rigby and Matthew Rugetti
  • Visual Effects Society Awards : Best Special Effects Stage: Chris Watts , Gayle Busby and Kirsty Millar


Popular culture

Parody drawing of a movie scene.

Numerous parodies of 300 have emerged, usually based on the movie poster or the two iconic phrases ” This is Sparta!  ” And ” Tonight, we dine in Hell!  ” 26 . The film was the origin of an internet meme of embedding Leonidas’ head in images or videos accompanied by an often modified version of the phrase ” This is Sparta!  ” Including music techno Sparta Remix whose instrumental was itself taken over in other videos 27 , 28. Other media also parodied the film, such as the short film United 300 who got the Movie Spoof Award at the MTV Movie Awards in 2007 . 300 has also inspired many television sketches , such as on Saturday Night Live , the Robot Chicken series , and in G-Win! , an episode of South Park . Parodic films were also made: Spartatouille in 2008 and National Lampoon’s 301: The Legend of Awesomest Maximus in 2009. Several allusions to the movie 300 exist in the movie Yes Man : Carl Allen praises this video, and later visits his former boss Norman, during a costume party with the theme 300 .

There is an allusion to 300 in the movie Asterix and Obelix: In Her Majesty’s Service . The Bretons push the Romans from the top of the cliff, as the Spartans do with the Persians.

In the film The Teachers , Polochon has his pupils reconstruct the Russian retreat in the classroom. A student gets up and shouts, raising his fist “Long live the Emperor!” “. The other students imitate him. One of them shouts “Ahou! “(The war cry of the Spartans) to everyone’s surprise.

These famous quotes from the film have been taken up by Spartans fans , nicknamed sports teams of Michigan State University , with singing Spartans, what is your profession? 29 .

Around the film


Main article: 300: Rise of an Empire .

A sequel, titled 300: The Birth of an Empire ( 300: Rise of an Empire ), was released on March 5, 2014. The film is directed by Noam Murro starring Sullivan Stapleton as Themistocles , Eva Green as that of Artémise Ire and Rodrigo Santoro taking up the role of Xerxes I 30 .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ a and b (in) Sheet of the film  [ archive ] on Box Office Mojo
  2. ↑ “French dubbing sheet of the film”  [ archive ] on Allodoublage , accessed November 30, 2014
  3. ↑ “Quebec dubbing sheet of the film”  [ archive ] on Doublage Québec , accessed November 30, 2014
  4. ↑ Information visible in the credits of the film.
  5. ↑ ” 300 ”  [ archive ] , based on Light data (accessed September 24, 2011 )
  6. ↑ ” 300 ”  [ archive ] , Rotten Tomatoes
  7. ↑ ” 300 ”  [ archive ] , Metacritic
  8. ↑ (in) The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time ”  [ archive ] , Empire (accessed 26 March 2011 )
  9. ↑ « Press Reviews 300 »  [ archive ] , Screenrush
  10. ↑ iranian.com: Peyvand Khorsandi, 300 movie petitions  [ archive ]
  11. ↑ Review: ‘300’ far from perfect – CNN.com  [ archive ]
  12. ↑ article from Ghandchi  [ archive ]
  13. ↑ article from an Iranian archeologist  [ archive ]
  14. ↑ The epic battle 300 reviewed . – By Dana Stevens – Slate Magazine  [ archive ]
  15. ↑ Nasser Karimi, “Iranians Outraged by ‘300’ Movie, Guardian Unlimited , March 13, 2007
  16. ↑ “300” is mindless war propaganda  [ archive ]
  17. ↑ Sparta? No. This is madness  [ archive ] , Toronto Star , March 11, 2007
  18. ↑ Go tell the Spartans. How “300” misrepresented Persians in history  [ archive ] , by Touraj Daryāi on Iranian.com
  19. ↑ Spartan Could Love Movie  [ archive ] Dana Stevens, Slate
  20. ↑ 300 as Fascist Art  [ Archive ] Orlando Sentinel March 7, 2007
  21. ↑ The graphic novel also contains the following warning: “This book is pure fiction. “
  22. ↑ Transcript of an interview with Frank Miller on National Public Radio  [ archive ]
  23. ↑ The NPR radio site confirms it: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7002481  [ archive ]
  24. ↑ “Representations of war and peace in Hollywood-themed ancient cinema. “In Images of war, war of images, peace in pictures: war in art, art in war, PUP, 2013. p.117
  25. ↑ List of distinctions on IMDb  [ archive ]
  26. ↑ David Q., The 300 parodies come  [ archive ] , Scifi-universe.com, 28 March 2007 (accessed February 7, 2010).
  27. ↑ Steve Spalding How To Explore Internet Memes  [ archive ] , How to Split an Atom, 30 September 2007 (accessed February 7, 2010).
  28. ↑ Astrid Girardeau It meme a little, a lot …  [ archive ] , Ecrans.fr , April 13 2008, (accessed February 7, 2010)
  29. ↑ Doug Charron, “300” cheer shows unity, Reflects Spartan history  [ archive ] , The Stae News, 18 September 2007 (accessed February 7, 2010)
  30. ↑ (in) Sullivan Stapleton To Star In The Prequel Of ‘300’ ”  [ archive ] , on http://moviepilot.com  [ archive ] (accessed on 6 May 2012 )

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