Greek mythology rests on the broad shoulders of the gods and deities such as Zeus, Athena, Hercules and Aphrodite. The names that fill you with awe and intrigue and compels you to learn more about the interesting Greek Mythology. These very characters and figures have influenced and shaped art and literature for centuries and continue to do so in the world of cinema (Greek mythology movies).
There are numerous films that are based on ancient Greek mythology which have been enthralling us mere mortals with their fascinating characters and subjects. These movies range from tragic love stories of romance, valor and strength of mortals and gods that controlled the ancient Greek culture. These very stories spring forth ideas and plots for many of the best movies about Greek mythology.
These timeless fables have been portrayed on film to appeal to a modern audience and have proved to have an everlasting power to engage and entertain the contemporary movie going crowd with these mythical stories.
Even after centuries the myths of ancient Greek is alive and continues to excite audiences and give inspiration for movies. There have been numerous adaptations of the many myths and tales, stories that glorified these legends through films that brought life to these stories and myths.
Here are the ten best and most notable movies based on Greek mythology.
The film is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name and was released in 2007. It is loosely based on the events that occurred at The Battle of Thermopylae. The film was directed by Zack Snyder and stars Gerard Butler as Leonidas I, the revered King of Sparta. The movie was a sleeper hit of the year and has become a cult classic and made a place for itself in pop culture. The plot revolves around Leonidas, who leads 300 Spartans into battle against the massive Persian army of 300,000 soldiers, led by their king Xerxes. The film may not be entirely and historically correct but it is one of the best action movies to be based on Greek mythology. The other cast includes Lena Headey and Dominic West. 300 most definitely is a hugely satisfying thrill ride, with superb writing, competent acting, and exemplary cinematography. Zack Snyder, with this film, created one of the most stylish and intense comic book movies ever made.
The film recounts the legend of the Trojan War, when the fortress city is attacked by a Greek army. The war is brought upon Troy because of the lust of the young Trojan prince named Paris, who during a peace mission to Sparta, seduces the host queen – Helen. The movie is based on Homer’s Iliad and is remembered mostly for its stellar cast that includes Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Peter O’Toole and Diane Kruger. The film was directed by Wolfgang Petersen and was extremely successful at the box office and also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. A hugely entertaining film, sprinkled with moments of brilliance like the spectacular fight scenes and the spectacle of the Greek army laying siege to the mightiest city of the ancient world. Troy is one of the best fantasy action movies and one of the best Greek mythology movies.
Alexander is an epic historical action movie directed by Oliver Stone. The film is based on the life of the greatest hero in history – Alexander the Great. The movie somewhat strays away from the realm of mythology and follows Alexander, who was a real person. Nevertheless, the storyline is sprinkled with bits of legends and other fictitious stories. The film has a very impressive cast that include the then reigning heartthrob of Hollywood – Colin Farrell with Angelina Jolie, Jared Leto, and Anthony Hopkins. The original screenplay of the film is based in part from the book ‘Alexander the Great,’ by historian Robin Lane Fox. A movie featuring a charismatic cast and stunning battle scenes, Alexander will satisfy your needs very nicely.
From the stables of DC and its superhero catalog of blockbusters, the story of Wonder Woman is steeped in Greek mythology. The movie tells the story of the Greek goddess Artemis, who in the movie is called by her Roman name Diana. The back story touches upon she being princess of the Amazons, which according to the Greek mythology were Artemis’ band of female warriors and hunters. The movie centers around Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, who leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and her true destiny. Wonder Woman is a terrific and fun film that has a good balance of action and emotions. Gal Gadot is charismatic and shines as the eponymous anti-war Amazon princess.
Helen of Troy
The Iliad’s story of the Trojan war, told from the Trojan viewpoint. This is another film based on the Trojan story which was released in 1956, much before the story was retold in the 2004 film – Troy. This previous version of the Trojan story had a young Rossana Podestà as Helen with the other leading figures in the movie being Stanley Baker, Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Brigitte Bardot as Helen’s handmaiden. The film strays from the original story several times which includes showing Paris as a hero and a great leader, and most of the Greek lords as treacherous and opportunistic pirates who are using Helen’s flight as an excuse to win the treasures of Troy. The film was directed by Robert Wise, from a screenplay by Hugh Gray and John Twist.
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
It may come as a surprise that this movie is based on a Greek legend as it is not common knowledge. The Coen Brothers brought to us another of their cinematic gems in the form of this film which was released in 2000. The film which loosely follows Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ and incorporates the social fabric of the American South. The movie takes a satirical look at Mississippi in 1937 and the Great Depression. The film stars George Clooney John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson and was extremely successful, and was nominated for two Academy Awards. The film is most certainly the Coen brother’s most engaging and entertaining work since Fargo.
This animated musical film was released in 1997. A Walt Disney-produced film, it was inspired by the mythical Greek hero – Hercules. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the film was praised for its visuals, music and humor. The movie is based on the 12 tasks of Hercules. The film also included the most powerful and famous Olympian Gods and sheds light on the ancient Greek society in a humorous way. The film is furiously fast and fiendishly funny with James Woods and Danny DeVito who are hilarious and give the film its strength. The animated film
is a wonderful tale, cleverly told and wonderfully voiced by some great actors and is most definitely one of the best movies based on Greek mythology.
Clash of the Titans
The film was released in 2010 and is the remake of the 1981 film of the same name. Clash of the Titans. It is an action fantasy film which was released by Warner Bros. having acquired the rights from MGM. The new version is a film that takes the premise of the old film that wasn’t all that good and makes it better and gets it right the second time. The story of the film revolves around the dissatisfaction and disrespect of the mortals against the Olympian gods, when Zeus is persuaded by his brother Hades to order him to destroy Argos to set an example. The only ones who can stand in the way of their plans are the demi-god Perseus and a group of brave warriors. The film had some great visual effects and is one of the best movies based on Greek mythology. The cast includes Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton and Liam Neeson who plays the part of Zeus.
The film tells the story about Theseus, a mortal man chosen by Zeus to lead the fight against the ruthless King Hyperion, who is on a rampage across Greece to obtain a weapon that can destroy humanity. The gods and the titans, who fought before the creation of mankind, are immortalized, and the Olympian Gods are the winners and the latter imprisoned in Tartarus. The film’s protagonist is Theseus portrayed Henry Cavill – who is commissioned by Zeus to fight King Hyperion. The storyline is mostly inspired by the Athenian hero Theseus, the Minotaur of Crete and the Titanomachy. Immortals was released in 2011 and is absolutely fantastic with the CGI used with utmost imagination.
The film was released in 2014 movie and has impressive production values with some great battle scenes with some excellent stunts. This is the live action movie directed by Brett Ratner. The film is about the legendary Greek demi-god – Hercules and picks up from him having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, is now a sword-for-hire and is tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord. Dwayne Johnson is perfectly cast to play the powerful Hercules in this movie. The story is compelling and the characters interesting and is most definitely a movie to watch if you are a fan of Greek mythology and its legends.
The answer is a resounding yes and why wouldn’t that be as there is something naturally appealing about movies that are based on the interesting Greek mythology. There are so many to choose from and you will find the best of them in the list of the top 10 movies based on the Greek mythology.
There are a lot of these films, not just in English but in French and Italian as well. All of them timeless and modern, that have captured the interest of audiences around the world. These are some of the best English language blockbuster movies that are based on Greek Mythology. Take your pick from these Greek gems.
If you are interested in Greek mythology and compelling stories about gods, goddesses, heroes, and rituals of Ancient Greeks, then here is the list of the best Greek mythology movies, with their elaborate productions and sets.
Many of the films listed above are available on Netflix and the rest can be found on most streaming platforms. Since many of these movies are from Warner Bros, you can check out HBO Max to watch movies like Troy and Clash of the Titans.
The Greek mythology mostly featured Gods and Goddesses like Zeus, Athena and the Titans like Atlas, Apollo, Hercules, Venus, Poseidon and Aphrodite. The most popular amongst them would be Athena, after whom the Greek capital is named.