Classical Greek Films


DVDs with Classical Greek Cultural Content

Director: Zack Snyder
In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army in the mountain pass of Thermopylae. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the enemy in one of the most famous last stands of history. Persian King Xerxes lead a Army of well over 100,000 men to Greece and was confronted by 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians and other Slave soldiers. Xerxes waited many days for King Leonidas to surrender or withdraw. When the Greeks did not leave, Xerxes was left with no option and he moved forward. The battle lasted for about 3 days and after which all 300 Spartans were killed. The Spartan defeat would not have happened if not for a local shepherd, named Ephialtes, who defected to the Persians and informed Xerxes of a separate path through Thermopylae, which the Persians could use to outflank the Greeks. 116 min.
Call number: DVD 300

Director: Oliver Stone
2005 (2004)
The story of Alexander the Great, who in 4th century BC conquered ninety percent of the known world of the time by defeating Greece, Persia, Afghanistan, and India in just eight years . 167 min.
Call number: DVD alex

Electra / Elektra
Director: Michael Cacoyannis
2002 (1962)
Desolation and despair reign supreme in the kingdom of Mycenae. The great Agamemnon has been brutally murdered; his son Orestes has fled and his daughter Electra has been imprisoned within the walls of the castle. All hope seems lost until the sacred oracle speaks and replaces Electra’s broken spirit with an unquenchable desire for justice and bloody vengeance. 113 min.
Call number: DVD elec

Electra, My Love
Director: Miklós Jancsó
2003 (1974)
A re-imagination of the classic myth, now set on a desolate Hungarian plain and in the future. Hungarian with English subtitles. 71 min.
Call number: DVD elec

The Gospel at Colonus
Director: Lee Breuer
2008 (1985)
Told from the perspective of a Black Pentecostal preacher and his congregation, this play dramatizes legendary Greek character Oedipus’ last days on Earth. Having blinded himself out of guilt, Oedipus makes a solace-seeking pilgrimage to Colonus, the place where he believes he is meant to die. Primarily through song, the preacher and his congregation translate this story of redemption into a Christian parable. 87 min.
Call number: DVD gosp

Iphigenia / Ifigeneia
Director: Michael Cacoyannis
2007 (1977)
Commander Agamemnon stands ready to launch his infamous thousand ships to retrieve the beautiful Helen of Troy. As the wind refuses to blow, a priest condemns him for sacrilege, and the powerful general is pressured to sacrifice his daughter to save the states. Threatened and tormented, Agamemnon is faced with sending his child like a lamb to the slaughter and betraying his wife. 129 min.
Call number: DVD iphi

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Director: Joel Coen
Loosely based on Homer’s “Odyssey”, this is the story of three convicts– escapees from a prison farm in Mississippi– and their adventure as they travel home in hopes of recovering buried loot before it’s lost forever in a flood. 103 min.
Call number: DVD obro

Storyteller: The Greek Myths
Directors: David Garfath, John Madden, Tony Smith, Paul Weiland.
A storyteller in a labyrinth tells his dog the stories of Perseus and Medusa, Icarus and Daedalus, Theseus and the Minotaur, and Orpheus and Euridyce. 95 min.
Call number: DVD stor

The Trojan Women
Director: Michael Cacoyannis
2004 (1971)
Based on the play by Euripides.
Call number: DVD troj

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
In 1193 B.C., Prince Paris, the son of the King of Troy falls in love with Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, and convinces her to follow him away from her husband, Menelaus, the result is an epic war. The Greeks sail to Troy and lay siege. Achilles, the greatest warrior in all the world, is called in to fight against Troy and give Greece the upper hand. Hector, the eldest son of Priam, King of Troy, and the greatest Trojan warrior embodies the hopes of the people of his city. 163 min.
Call number: DVD troy

The Oresteia
Director: Peter Hall
2003 (1983)
Aeschylus’ play, including pt. 1, Agamemnon; pt. 2, Choephori (The libation bearers) and pt. 3, Eumenides (The furies). Also available in VHS. Translation by Tony Harrison. National Theatre of Great Britain.
Call number: DVD PA 3827 .A7 2003

VHS tapes with Classical Greek Cultural Content

Black Orpheus / Orfeu Negro
Director: M. Camus
1997 (1958)
Story based on the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice set against the colorful background of the carnival in Rio de Janeiro. 130 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .B62

A Dream of Passion
Director: Jules Dassin
A woman who, Medea-like, has killed her children is drawn into an eccentric relationship with an actress playing Medea on the stage.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .D725 1987

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great
Director: David Wallace
1998 (1997)
Documentary. Brings to life one of the most pivotal events in human history, the creation of the Greek empire stretching from the Balkans to India. Michael Wood hosts this colorful journey across 20,000 miles, 16 countries and four war zones, retracing Alexander’s expedition that first joined East and West. 2 videos, 240 min.
Call number: VHS DF 234.2 I5 1998

Jason and the Argonauts
Director: Don Chaffey
1991 (1963)
Jason is a fearless sailor and explorer, who returns to the kingdom of Thessaly after a 20 year voyage to make his rightful claim to the throne. But to do so, Jason must first find the magical Golden Fleece which is guarded by a 100-foot bronze giant, the venomous Hydra, and an army of skeletons. 104 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1995.9 .J37

Film retelling of Lysistrata who convinced the women they could prevent war by withholding sexual favors from their husbands. 97 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .L94

Director: Paolo Pasolini
With Maria Callas. In Italian. 100 min.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .M42

Translation by Robinson Jeffers. With Zoe Caldwell and Judith Anderson. Eisenhower Theatre, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 90 min.
Call number: VHS PA 3975 .M4 .J43 1990

The Odyssey
Director: Andrei Konchalovsky
With Armand Assante. Aided by the goddess Athena, warrior-king Odysseus braves the terrors and temptations of a fantastic array of creatures as his return from the Trojan War becomes a decade-long quest to reach his homeland and his faithful wife, Penelope. 165 min.
Call number: VHS PA 4025 .A5 H34

The Oresteia
Director: Peter Hall
1990 (1983)
Aeschylus’ play, including pt. 1, Agamemnon; pt. 2, Choephori (The libation bearers) and pt. 3, Eumenides (The furies). Also available in DVD. Translation by Tony Harrison. National Theatre of Great Britain.

Part I of the Oresteia trilogy. 95 min.
Call number: VHS PA 3827 .A8 1990

Libation Bearers / Choephori
Part II of the Oresteia trilogy. The play opens as Orestes, Agamemnon’s son, returns from exile with his friend Pylades and dedicates a lock of his hair on his father Agamemnon’s tomb. His sister Electra and the Chorus of Trojan Women come to offer libation at the tomb. They swear to avenge their father’s death, as they have been directed to do by Apollo. Disguised as strangers, Orestes and Pylades enter Agamemnon’s palace and Orestes first kills Aegisthus and then his mother Clytemnestra. Threatened by the Furies, he flees to seek Apollo’s help. 61 min.
Call number: VHS PA 3827 .C5 .L54 1983

Furies / Eumenides
Part III of the Oresteia trilogy. 68 min.
Call number: VHS PA 3827 .E7 1983

Orpheus / Orphée
Director: J. Cocteau
The myth of Orpheus set in contemporary France.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .O76

Director: Pierre Jourdan
1983 (1968)
Racine’s adaptation of the legend of Thesus, king of Athens, his wife, Phedre, and his son, Hippolyte, written in 1677.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .P52 1983

Director: Mario Camerini
1999 (1955)
With Kirk Douglas. Ulysses’ return from the Trojan Wars sets him upon a legendary adventure. He and his crew sail under the curse of Cassandra, and encounter Circe, the sirens and the cyclops.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .U49