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The 5 Most Badass Movies About Ancient Greece & Rome

Henry Cavill stars in Immortals, the latest swords and sandals epic. Henry Cavill stars in Immortals, the latest swords and sandals epic.


The latest edition of Rosebud Magazine features an exclusive interview with one of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars, Henry Cavill, whose new movie The Immortals opens this week. The film is based on ancient Greco-Roman mythology and features lots of cool action of “the swords and sandals” variety. This one is definitely worth checking out and it got us thinking of other movies we’ve loved in this genre. So we put together a roundup here for our faithful RosebudMag.com readers. Check it out.

Gladiator (2000)

This one’s a no-brainer. Gladiator was an instant classic the day it was released. Not only is Ridley Scott’s film a beautifully shot work of historical fiction, it’s one of the best revenge flicks ever (as outlined in this ever-fresh Top 10 list). Russell Crowe was the perfect choice as Maximus and he’s got the Oscar to prove it. The film also put Joaquin Phoenix on the map. Oh, and did we mention it earned an Academy Award for Best Picture as well?


Spartacus (1960)

Stanley Kubrick and Kirk Douglas set the gold standard for gladiator movies, ushering in a new era of epic films in the ‘60s. In fact, it wasn’t until the year 2000 when the above mentioned Ridley Scott film gave the subject of the gladiator the royal treatment again. That’s because Spartacus is one of the few nearly flawless epics ever produced. The imagery is iconic, the cast all-star, and the director legendary. This is as good as it gets, folks.


300 (2006)

Based on comics mastermind Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name, 300 introduced the world to Gerard Butler and gave the movie-going public notice that Zack Snyder was a director to watch. The pace of this film is steadily up tempo with action from beginning to end. It’s plenty gory and the Spartans do not mess around when it comes to doing violence. 300 is a guy’s film through and through, and so much fun that you want to watch it again and again. Just watching the trailer gives us goosebumps.


Clash of the Titans (1981)

Forget the modern remakes, we were raised on stop-motion animated gorgons and two-headed dogs. For kids of the ‘80s, Clash of the Titans was indispensible. Harry Hamlin, who went on to television's L.A. Law, played Perseus in a version of the Greek tale that takes a few liberties with the original but leaves the most important bits in tact. Okay, the film hasn’t aged terribly gracefully but your inner eight-year-old still loves it.


The Arena (1974)

This gladiator obscurity from the heyday of the exploitation film features a sexy Pam Grier as a female gladiator fighting to the death for her freedom. The premise is that the Roman powers that be decide they want to watch women fight each other instead of just men killing each other in the arena all the time. And because it’s the ‘70s, there’s a healthy dose of bare breasts and sex as well. It’s classic stuff really, as this NSFW trailer will attest. If you’re looking for some campy action that combines the gaudiness of the disco era with ancient Rome, look no further.


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Immortals is the latest swords and sandals epic to hit theatres.
Last modified on Friday, 12 October 2012 22:30

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