By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
With the imminent theatrical release of “300: Rise of an Empire,” the sequel to the hit 2006 swords-and-sandals epic, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing for the first time a Blu-ray edition of “The 300 Spartans.”
The 1962 historic epic, directed by Rudolph Mate and shot on location in Greece, depicts the Battle of Thermopylae. It stars Richard Egan as Sparta’s fearless King Leonidas, who commands a small band of fearless Greek warriors defending the civilized world’s last bastion of freedom. Legendary British stage and film actor Ralph Richardson plays Themistocles of Athens while David Farrar plays the invading Persian king Xerxes, and Diane Baker depicts the Spartan beauty Elias.
The Blu-ray features lush Cinemascope widescreen as well as subtitles in English, Spanish and French and for the hard of hearing. Extras include the original theatrical trailer and TV spots.
This epic film, which was a box office hit, influenced comic book artist Frank Miller to pursue a career in storytelling. It also inspired him to create the graphic novel “300,” which was adapted into a motion picture of the same name starring Gerard Butler in the Leonidas role in 2006.