Reviving The Past: Cinematic History And Popular Memory In The 300 Spartans (1962)

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The paper investigates the artistic, economic, and sociopolitical context of The 300 Spartans (1962), from its conception as an Italian peplum to its realization as a Hollywood epic filmed in Greece. I argue that the classical past is recreated on screen in ways that violate the historical record and becomes a vehicle whereby gender hierarchies are reproduced and morality is preached to the viewers. I conclude by showing how the revival of ancient Sparta on film is informed by important events in post-Civil War Greek history and is deployed to propagate notions of national identity, memory, and pride.

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