Latest Movie News Headlines

01.10.2014by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Movies Based On Greco-Roman Mythology

The first of two movies featuring Hercules open in 2014 with the first one starring Kellan Lutz opening today. Renny Harlin's film looks to be squarely in the cheesy category with an abundance of green screen effects and middle of the road actors. In the history of movies there have been numerous movies based on or inspired by Greek and Roman myths, some good and a lot bad. Here are the top 10 movies from that sub-genre based purely on the enjoyment of watching them. If your favorite didn't make the cut, please mention it in the talk back below.

#10 - HERCULES IN NEW YORK

What an awful movie that is so bad, it is great. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his wooden debut as an actor in this comedy about the Greek demi-god coming to New York City as hijinks ensue. You know what the saddest part is? It is already better than THE LEGEND OF HERCULES.

#9 - IMMORTALS

Not a great movie but damn if it doesn't look great. Director Tarsem Singh essentially photocopies 300 while adding his signature visual flair. Does it work? Not completely, but it did serve as our introduction to Henry Cavill. Mickey Rourke chews the scenery with gusto and that makes this at least a fun diversion whenever it pops up on cable.

#8 - TROY

Few directors do big budget as well as Wolfgang Petersen. Featuring Eric Bana, Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Peter O'Toole, Brian Cox, Rose Byrne, and Diane Kruger, TROY conveniently ignores the gods in favor of a "historical" action epic along the lines of GLADIATOR and KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. The director's cut is superior to the theatrical release and the war sequences still rank as some of the best put to film.

#7 - HERCULES (1983)

Lou Ferrigno will always be The Hulk to many, but for me I instantly think of HERCULES. This Golan-Globus schlockfest features Hercules battling robots and bad special effects while wading through bad Italian dubbing, but this movie is a childhood favorite.

#6 - THE HUNGER GAMES

Believe it or not but THE HUNGER GAMES is based on Greek mythology. Author Suzanne Collins drew her inspiration from Roman gladiators as well as the myth of the Minotaur and the labyrinth. Katniss and her fellow tributes are forced into a battle for survival which is a theme common in Greek myth. The myth of Theseus has to do with games every seven years when girls and boys are sent to Crete for a competition never to be seen again.

#5 - BLACK ORPHEUS

Probably the most unique interpretation of a Greek/Roman myth, BLACK ORPHEUS transplants the story of the man who is able to charm all living things using music to one of the most lyrical places on the planet: Rio De Janeiro. Set during Carnaval, BLACK ORPHEUS is a beautiful movie that went on to win the Palm D'Or at Cannes and Best Foreign Film at the Oscars. Check out the Criterion edition of the movie and you will not regret it.

#4 - JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS

Ray Harryhausen's classic creature designs abound in this oldie but goodie. The skeleton fight alone makes JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS worthy of this list. But, it is the incredibly cool design of Talos that makes this movie rank so high on the list. A big budget remake of this movie may be a cool thing to see, but for my money you can always go back to this one for a good time at the movies.

#3 - WEIRD SCIENCE

Of the Greek myths, one of the easiest to translate into film is that of Pygmalion. The myth concerns a man who sculpts the woman of his dreams out of ivory only to have her brought to life by the goddess Aphrodite. Kelly LeBrock was absolute perfection when WEIRD SCIENCE was made so you cannot argue the connection to the myth.

#2 - CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981)

Unlike the soulless remake starring Sam Worthington, the 1981 take on the Perseus and Medusa myth is where many of us movie fans learned to love Greek mythology. The Ray Harryhausen effects and the action sequences may look cheesy by today's standards, but this is and will always be one hell of a fun fantasy adventure.

#1 - 300

Hate on Zack Snyder all you want, but 300 is a damn fun piece of movie magic. From Gerard Butler's immortal portrayal of Leonidas to the unique visual style of the film, 300 is one of those movies that will always be remembered. From quotable lines (THIS IS SPARTA!) and buckets of blood, 300 is the perfect amalgam of modern movies and ancient myths,

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

11:09AM on 01/17/2014
Great list. A few of these I havent seen. Black Orpheus intrigues me. Great to see Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the titanss and 300 on here.
Great list. A few of these I havent seen. Black Orpheus intrigues me. Great to see Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the titanss and 300 on here.
Your Reply:



11:58PM on 01/15/2014

How about The Greatest Story Ever Told?

Based on the myth of Jesus.
Based on the myth of Jesus.
Your Reply:



1:01PM on 01/11/2014
sure, it looks great, but Tarsem Singh is just a really bad storyteller. None of his films could deliver likeable characters which made me care about their fate. He should work in commercials or step down to co-directing or being director of photography and let someone with a sense for story and character take the lead.
sure, it looks great, but Tarsem Singh is just a really bad storyteller. None of his films could deliver likeable characters which made me care about their fate. He should work in commercials or step down to co-directing or being director of photography and let someone with a sense for story and character take the lead.
Your Reply:



+3
1:12PM on 01/10/2014
I agree with dark stream! Where's O Brother Where Art Thou??? That beats EVERY flick on this list!

Also, how did 300 beat the original Clash of the Titans? 300 isn't half the film it is!
I agree with dark stream! Where's O Brother Where Art Thou??? That beats EVERY flick on this list!

Also, how did 300 beat the original Clash of the Titans? 300 isn't half the film it is!
Your Reply:



3:47PM on 01/10/2014
Yes! Where is Where's O?
Yes! Where is Where's O?
1:10PM on 01/10/2014
This might be my new favorite Top 10 list! Two Harryhausen movies, learned new things, wonderful!
This might be my new favorite Top 10 list! Two Harryhausen movies, learned new things, wonderful!
Your Reply:



1:09PM on 01/10/2014
Well damn! Having grown up with this movie, I never realized the mythology connection until right now; it was just always what it was. But now my mind has been blown and that's an awesome thing to now know!
Well damn! Having grown up with this movie, I never realized the mythology connection until right now; it was just always what it was. But now my mind has been blown and that's an awesome thing to now know!
Your Reply:



1:06PM on 01/10/2014
I love this cheesefest! I am super excited to see it on here! Is it good? Not really. Is it insanely fun? Hell yeah!
I love this cheesefest! I am super excited to see it on here! Is it good? Not really. Is it insanely fun? Hell yeah!
Your Reply:



11:25AM on 01/10/2014
Finally a good film on this list.
Finally a good film on this list.
Your Reply:



11:24AM on 01/10/2014
Sure the film butchered Greek mythology, but it was visually striking and managed to be just as violent as 300 with less than half of the unnecessary slow-motion.
Sure the film butchered Greek mythology, but it was visually striking and managed to be just as violent as 300 with less than half of the unnecessary slow-motion.
Your Reply:



+14
10:57AM on 01/10/2014
I think it would have been better to make a separate list for movies based on Greco-Roman mythology that don't actually take place in ancient times. Then you could have included films like The Hunger Games and Weird Science, as well as The Warriors and My Fair Lady.
I think it would have been better to make a separate list for movies based on Greco-Roman mythology that don't actually take place in ancient times. Then you could have included films like The Hunger Games and Weird Science, as well as The Warriors and My Fair Lady.
Your Reply:



12:32PM on 01/10/2014
Totally agree.
Totally agree.
+12
9:34AM on 01/10/2014
Considering 300 is based on an actual battle, and features no actual Gods, I'm not sure if it belongs on this list. I would almost make the same argument about Troy except it's based on the Iliad, and Achilles still has somewhat mythic origins.
Considering 300 is based on an actual battle, and features no actual Gods, I'm not sure if it belongs on this list. I would almost make the same argument about Troy except it's based on the Iliad, and Achilles still has somewhat mythic origins.
Your Reply:



3:49PM on 01/10/2014
Where to write the same thing.
Where to write the same thing.
9:23AM on 01/10/2014

Good call with HUNGER GAMES

A lot of guys try to act smart by saying, "It's a BATTLE ROYALE rip-off!" but its influences run a whole lot deeper. Surprised and impressed that you put it on this list. Nicely done.
A lot of guys try to act smart by saying, "It's a BATTLE ROYALE rip-off!" but its influences run a whole lot deeper. Surprised and impressed that you put it on this list. Nicely done.
Your Reply:



9:00AM on 01/10/2014
love it i love me some harryhausen
love it i love me some harryhausen
Your Reply:



8:58AM on 01/10/2014
my nuts are half way up my ass but other then that im perfect
my nuts are half way up my ass but other then that im perfect
Your Reply:



8:56AM on 01/10/2014
loved this movie as a child and love it now a classic
loved this movie as a child and love it now a classic
Your Reply:



8:55AM on 01/10/2014
i own this not the best better then the 2nd one
i own this not the best better then the 2nd one
Your Reply:



8:25AM on 01/10/2014

...oh yeah, 300

300 is fine for what it is - a fantasy piece in historical clothing - it's a fun mishmash of fact and fiction, like JFK, but my major gripe with the film is the heavy-handed use of digital photographic grain - the image fizzes with fake photo grain throughout and whereas I can get what they were after with the effect, its implementation was horrible and distracting.
300 is fine for what it is - a fantasy piece in historical clothing - it's a fun mishmash of fact and fiction, like JFK, but my major gripe with the film is the heavy-handed use of digital photographic grain - the image fizzes with fake photo grain throughout and whereas I can get what they were after with the effect, its implementation was horrible and distracting.
Your Reply:



8:20AM on 01/10/2014
If we're going for non swords and sandals movies / reinterpretations of ancient Greek stories, O Brother Where Art Thou has it's roots in Homer's Odyssey, and is clearly an awesome film, so fits the bill.
If we're going for non swords and sandals movies / reinterpretations of ancient Greek stories, O Brother Where Art Thou has it's roots in Homer's Odyssey, and is clearly an awesome film, so fits the bill.
Your Reply:



8:16AM on 01/10/2014
The best movie Snyder has done. The graphic novel is brought to life beautifully in every which way. Look past how cool the fight scenes and scenery are, but to what some nations in time have sacrificed for freedom. From the opening scene of a young boy braving the harsh elements to be king, to the last one of a hand full facing total annihilation, one has to agree that so few warriors in history are ever given a beautiful death.
The best movie Snyder has done. The graphic novel is brought to life beautifully in every which way. Look past how cool the fight scenes and scenery are, but to what some nations in time have sacrificed for freedom. From the opening scene of a young boy braving the harsh elements to be king, to the last one of a hand full facing total annihilation, one has to agree that so few warriors in history are ever given a beautiful death.
Your Reply:



8:10AM on 01/10/2014
If films like Weird Science and The Hunger Games are counted, I'd like to nominate My Fair Lady (based on the Pygmalion story like Weird Science) for this list as well.
If films like Weird Science and The Hunger Games are counted, I'd like to nominate My Fair Lady (based on the Pygmalion story like Weird Science) for this list as well.
Your Reply:



8:07AM on 01/10/2014
That skeleton fight will live on in cinematic history forever. A salute to Ray Harryhausen!
That skeleton fight will live on in cinematic history forever. A salute to Ray Harryhausen!
Your Reply:



7:53AM on 01/10/2014
300 is a visual spectacle. With all the violence and blood splashing around, one wonders how something so gruesome can look so beautiful. With all the Starz series and other movies copying it, the style seems worn out too soon, but at least at the time 300 was fresh.
300 is a visual spectacle. With all the violence and blood splashing around, one wonders how something so gruesome can look so beautiful. With all the Starz series and other movies copying it, the style seems worn out too soon, but at least at the time 300 was fresh.
Your Reply:



8:10AM on 01/10/2014
The Legend of Hercules well and truly runs that style into the ground. It uses the ramping effect (slow motion followed by fast motion) to the point of unwitting self-parody.
The Legend of Hercules well and truly runs that style into the ground. It uses the ramping effect (slow motion followed by fast motion) to the point of unwitting self-parody.
7:46AM on 01/10/2014
This movie was underrated. No, it wasn't a masterpiece or anything but the visuals are gorgeous and the film itself works more often than it doesn't.
This movie was underrated. No, it wasn't a masterpiece or anything but the visuals are gorgeous and the film itself works more often than it doesn't.
Your Reply:



7:44AM on 01/10/2014
The scene in Central Park where he is fighting the bear is one of the funniest thing ever. The movie does suck, I mean really sucks, but that's actually what makes it fun to watch.
The scene in Central Park where he is fighting the bear is one of the funniest thing ever. The movie does suck, I mean really sucks, but that's actually what makes it fun to watch.
Your Reply:



Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More