The 300 Spartans is a 1962 historical drama directed by Rudolph Mat''. It is based on the true story of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae. In 480 B.C., King Xerxes I (David Farrar) of Persia wants to extend his empire by subjugating all the Greek city-states. The most powerful Greek city-states, Athens and Sparta, decide to work together to thwart the Persian king's plan. They know that they must round up a large army of soldiers to face off against Xerxes, but the Persian king is nearing the mountain pass at Thermopylae that will allow him access to the rest of Greece. Despite hearing warnings from the ephors, or holy men, that he will be defeated, King Leonidas (Richard Egan) of Sparta decides to lead an army of 300 Spartan soldiers to defend Thermopylae. Faced with thousands of Persian soldiers, the small group of Spartans vow to stay at the pass and fight to the death for their fellow Greeks.