Greek mythology is the ideal place to start for a hit Hollywood movie. The tales, which have been told for generations, include all the ingredients of drama, violence, love, and imagination necessary to make a thrilling blockbuster story. Therefore, it is not surprising that throughout cinematic history, the tales have frequently been incorporated into Hollywood films.
May 4, 2023: Danilo Raal has added even more films based on Greek myths and tales to this article.
Greek mythology is vast and filled with imperfect individuals, even the gods. In this universe, the range of possibilities is growing; its politics and personalities are fascinating and, more significantly, alter according to each story. Hollywood has loved adapting traditional tales both directly and in new, contemporary ways. The top Greek mythology films are listed here, in order.
Table Of Content
- 1 300 (2007)
- 2 Clash of the Titans (1981)
- 3 Hercules (1997)
- 4 Immortals (2011)
- 5 Iphigenia (1977)
- 6 Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
- 7 Medea (1969)
- 8 Minotaur (2006)
- 9 Oedipus Rex (1967)
- 10 Percy Jackson Franchise (2010)
- 11 Saint Seiya: Legends of Crimson Youth (1988)
- 12 The Odyssey (1997)
- 13 Troy (2004)
- 14 Wonder Woman (2017)
Another well-received movie at the time of its debut, 300 went on to have enormous success both with audiences and critics. The Battle of Thermopylae as it occurred in actual life is dramatically imagined in the narrative. The Spartan troops are led by King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) as they battle the Persian army in 300. The film has stunning visual effects and is packed with action and gore. Zack Snyder’s reputation was cemented by this film.
Clash of the Titans (1981)
The 1981 film Clash of the Titans features the Greek warrior Perseus. As Perseus sets out on a mission to kill the Gorgon Medusa and slay a Kraken, the plot closely resembles the myth of Perseus. Along the way, Perseus comes across a wide variety of creatures, all of which have visually unique effects. It is one of the best screen representations of Greek mythology and is still pleasant today. In the 2010 remake, actor Sam Worthington played the part of Perseus.
In 1997, the Disney animated film Hercules was released, telling the traditional Hercules story in a new way. Together with his companion Philoctetes, Hercules proves himself to his father Zeus and gains an understanding of what it means to be a god. The hilarious plot and numerous references to Greek mythology make the tale interesting for both parents and kids. When compared to other animated Disney films, this one stands out for its unique animation and storytelling, which still feels contemporary. Director Guy Ritchie’s live-action version is currently being developed by Disney.
Henry Cavill, a former Superman, plays the Greek character Theseus in the film Immortals. Theseus is tasked with preventing King Hyperion from gaining the long-lost Bow of Epirus and preserving the gods on Mount Olympus. The director of the film is Tarsem Singh Dhandwar, who is most known for creating visually stunning films like The Cell and The Fall. The movie has interesting heroes, big fight scenes, and stunning special effects. Although Immortals didn’t get the best reviews, its visuals are striking and continue to be so.
Iphigenia is directed by Michael Cacoyannis. The film, which is based on the theatrical play Iphigenia at Aulis, follows the eponymous character as she wrestles with problems of life, responsibility, and faith with those around her. The character is the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra (the sister of Helen of Troy). Unlike previous Greek mythology-based films, this one is heavily character-focused and goes deeply into the characters’ thoughts.
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Even though Jason and the Argonauts didn’t do particularly well at the box office, it has nonetheless become a cult favourite and one of the most well-known films about Greek mythology. Ray Harryhausen, a renowned special effects artist, created stop-motion animation for the movie. The visuals, which follow Jason on his search for the Golden Fleece, were revolutionary at the time of its premiere in 1963. It is thrilling, adventurous, and it is still regarded as a classic.
Famous Italian soprano Maria Callas leads the cast in her sole acting appearance in Pier Paulo Pasolini’s Italian film Medea. One of the rare films to explore the sinister tale of Medea, a lady who deserts her country to join Jason and the Argonauts, is this one.
We can see Mede plotting to destroy Jason’s family in a fire and damning his soul to forever as part of her vengeance. It’s a sombre tale of retribution told with the kind of uncompromising dedication to realism that audiences have come to expect from European productions, which don’t embellish their tales in order to provide a satisfying conclusion.
Greek mythology serves as the foundation for the fantasy and horror movie Minotaur. It functions as a loose retelling of the well-known tale concerning the monster in question. A man-monster created in sin is sent into a labyrinth after being disowned by the Gods. It is a first performance by Tom Hardy in which he portrays Theo, a man overcome with grief after his best friend perished in the Minotaur’s labyrinth.
He sets off on a quest to slay the monster and save his friend and fiancée after learning that his beloved is about to be sacrificed to the Minotaur and that his friend most likely still lives. The film is directed by Jonathan English, and Nick Green and Stephen McDool wrote the script.
Oedipus Rex (1967)
Another Pier Paulo Pasolini film, Oedipus Rex, features Silvana Mangano, Franco Citti, Alida Valli, and Carmelo Bene. It is based on the same-named Greek tragedy. A father who is envious plans to get rid of the child as soon as it is born. The King and Queen of Corinth retrieve the child after abandoning him in the wilderness, giving him the name Oedipus.
The boy grows into a healthy adult, but he still struggles with guilt over his predicament. After going to the Oracle of Delphi, he learns his actual fate from a terrifying prophecy: He would eventually kill his father and wed his mother. Though he makes every effort to avoid it, the prophecy accidentally comes true at the cost of his love, soul, and sight. In 1967, Oedipus Rex was a Golden Lion Award nominee at the Venice Film Festival.
Percy Jackson Franchise (2010)
The Lightning Thief, a box office success that made $226.4 million worldwide, served as the catalyst for the Percy Jackson franchise. Logan Lerman, Jake Abel, Brandon T. Jackson, and Alexandra Daddario are the movie’s stars. Lerman portrays Percy Jackson, a demigod who attends a camp where other demigods train. Even though the sequel, Sea of Monsters, was a box office dud that made just under $200 million, it nonetheless contained many entertaining retellings of Greek stories.
Greek gods serve as the inspiration for the series, which has seen tremendous success at the movie office but less success with fans who object to how much the films depart from the books. Percy Jackson, which is based on the same-named YA novel series by Rick Riordan, provided young readers with a fantastic introduction to Greek mythology.
Saint Seiya: Legends of Crimson Youth (1988)
Japan is the source of the second animated entry on the list. In the United States, Saint Seiya is referred to as “Knights of the Zodiac,” and between 1986 and 2006, four full-length films were produced. Most people play Saint Seiya: Legends of Crimson Youth, which is the third entry. Ephebus Abel was exiled by Zeus and Apollo for seeking to claim the title of the Sun God, but he is now back in the land of the living.
Abel is back to judge people and bring Athena back to Olympus. Athena abandons his beloved protectors because she believes Abel is too strong for them. Athena is slain for betraying Abel for the benefit of humanity. Before her spirit can enter Elysium, his saints mount a rescue effort. A strong film with the skills of director Shigeyasu Yamauchi, Yoshiyuki Suga’s narrative, and Seiji Yokoyama’s stirring score.
The Odyssey (1997)
Homer’s timeless tale is retold in The Odyssey, a two-part epic. One of the most accurate versions of the Homeric poem ever produced, it was written and directed by renowned filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky. The movie tells the story of Odysseus’ ten-year odyssey after participating in the Trojan Wars.
If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, you’ll find it to be a really enjoyable film even though it’s a slow burn that concentrates more on the stories’ storyline than on widescreen epic action. Armand Assante, Vanessa Williams, Greta Scacchi, Eric Roberts, and Isabella Rossellini are among the film’s skilled cast members.
The important Greek mythology film Troy, in which Brad Pitt plays Achilles, is a favourite among moviegoers. Troy draws inspiration from Posthomerica and The Iliad by Homer. The movie, whose director is Wolfgang Peterson, depicts the Battle of Troy as occurring when King Agamemnon is in charge of the majority of the Greek Kingdoms.
When he finds out that his brother’s wife has been abducted and is having an affair, he uses this as justification to start a war and take over the Aegean Sea. The film also stars Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Krueger, Brian Cox, and Peter O’Toole, to name a few. Troy is highly worth watching and is renowned for its stunning cinematography and spectacular fighting scenes, especially the opening fight scene.
Wonder Woman (2017)
The mythology behind some of these characters is one of the best things about superhero movies. Greek mythology is a major inspiration for Wonder Woman because the Amazons revere the Gods of Olympus. The movie briefly discusses Diana’s beginnings and her transition from the warriors’ sect to society with men.
She is born during the First World War, which is at its most violent point. The movie has a palatable nuance that touches on a variety of issues, including women’s rights, the futility of conflict, and the power of love as a unifying force. Diana must ultimately triumph over Ares, the God of War, in order to prevent further conflict between people.
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