10 Best Greek History Movies

Friday, February 25 by Walter Turner

The list of 10 bes Greek history movies reflects the rich complexity of Greek culture. Many of the best Greek history movies focus on the pivotal military battles and campaigns that shaped the course of Western civilization, while others dramatize the lives of important Greek historical figures. The events that these films attempt to cover and the scope of the issues involved challenge the ability of even the best directors to make accurate movies that account for all of the known historical facts.

  1. “The 300 Spartans.” This film, featuring exceptional performances by Richard Egan and Ralph Richardson, is one of the best Greek history movies because it tells the story of one of the most important military engagements in Western civilization's history, the Battle of Thermopylae.
  2. “Socrates.” Director Roberto Rossellini based this movie about Greek history on Plato's account of the last days of Socrates. Jean Sylvere is outstanding as the title character.
  3. “Helen of Troy” (2003). There are plenty of battle scenes in this Greek history movie, but the emphasis in this film, unlike other accounts of the Trojan War, is on Helen and her family. Sienna Guillory plays the title character.
  4. “Troy.” Brad Pitt stars in this film version of one of the most significant events in Greek history. The movie was extraordinarily expensive to make and market, but the worldwide box office receipt justified the cost, as Pitt's star power filled theaters.
  5. “300.” Frank Miller saw the movie “The 300 Spartans” as a child, and it inspired him to write a graphic novel about the Spartans at Thermopylae. This movie is an adaptation of that novel. The Greeks are buffed, the special effects are excellent, and the action is fast-paced. This is an extremely violent movie that was panned by many critics. Audiences, however, loved it.
  6. “Barefoot in Athens.” This is one of the best Greek history movies because it features an Emmy-winning performance by Peter Ustinov as Socrates. This made-for-TV film about the trial of Socrates is difficult to find because it is not yet out on DVD.
  7. “Ulysses.” Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn star in this adaptation of Homer's epic poem, “The Odyssey.” This movie lacks the spectacular special effects employed in films today, but its focus on the story and the exceptional performance by Douglas make this one of the best Greek history movies ever made.
  8. “The Odyssey.” Eric Roberts and Armand Assante star in this TV movie about the adventures of Odysseus. This is one of the best Greek history movies because it won an Emmy and was nominated for a Golden Globe.
  9. “Alexander.” No list of the best Greek history movies would be complete without a film about the life of Alexander the Great. Many such movies have been made, but few of them have been good. This one, while controversial, did well at the box office. This picture was directed by Oliver Stone and stared Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie. However, Alexander's life story was too big and eventful to be told in one movie, so Stone had to take many shortcuts in this film by including significant historical inaccuracies.
  10. “Jason and the Argonauts.” This adaptation of the story of the Greek hero Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece may be the most entertaining Greek history movie on this list. This film is famous for its stop motion special effects animation by Ray Harryhausen, who also worked on the Sinbad films.
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COMMENTS

  1. February 25, 2011 12:48 am

    tom daylight

    You mean “Ancient Greece”. Half of those stories aren’t history.


  2. February 25, 2011 12:48 am

    tom daylight

    You mean “Ancient Greece”. Half of those stories aren’t history.