Greek Mythology Movies will transport you to another era, when the ancient Greek civilization flourished. This list includes famous blockbusters, as well as less known movies and TV shows.
Ancient Greece and Greek Mythology Movies
There are tons of movies inspired by Greece! Films like “Zorba the Greek” or “Mamma Mia” have become world-famous. This article on movies about Greece is a good starting point if you want to dive deeper.
Apart from these films, there is a whole genre of movies inspired by Greek mythology and Ancient Greek myths.
The impressive ancient Greek cities and monuments have proved to be a great setting for ambitious blockbusters – though, in reality, many of these films were mostly made in studios.
Greek myths, Olympian Gods and legendary heroes
These movies feature many of the twelve Olympian gods and goddesses, such as Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Hera and Aphrodite. These powerful creatures ruled the universe, and defined the fates of mortal men and women.
Legendary heroes like Hercules, Achilles and Odysseus, have been adapted into larger-than-life screen characters. They interact with the gods, and also fight against horrible mythical monsters, like the Cyclops, the Medusa and even the Kraken.
Some of these films have not followed Greek mythology very closely, and display the gods heroes under a very different light. In fact, they are not very historically accurate.
One could argue that it hardly matters. What is Greek mythology anyway, but a collection of stories and fables, written thousands of years ago?
So, here are some of the best movies based on Greek Mythology, to get you in the mood before your next trip to Greece!
This Italian film is based on Homer’s epic poem, Odyssey. It describes the ultimate journey of King Odysseus, the Trojan War hero, as he returns to his homeland, Ithaca. On his way, he comes across many difficulties and distractions.
Featuring Kirk Douglas, Silvana Mangano and Anthony Quinn, this classic movie was filmed in Italy and the Mediterranean.
You can watch Ulysses on YouTube.
More info on IMDB > Ulysses
Helen of Troy (1956)
Long before the 2004 blockbuster, there was another version of Homer’s Iliad. This cult film follows the love story between Paris and Helen of Troy, which was an excuse for the Greek tribes to start the Trojan War.
The movie was filmed in Italy, and you will find Brigitte Bardot in the role of Andraste!
Here’s the movie on IMDB > Helen of Troy
This classic black and white Greek movie is an adaptation of the ancient tragedy. The story begins with King Oedipus of Thebes, who killed his father and married his mother, Iokasti.
After the death of Oedipus, his two sons, Eteocles and Polynieces, agree to share the throne. Eteocles breaks the agreement, and eventually the two brothers murder each other.
Antigone, their sister, insists that their burial ceremonies are similar, going against the wishes of the new King of Thebes, Creon. The plot unfolds with more tragic events.
This is a highly atmospheric movie, featuring several prominent Greek actors, like Irene Papas and Manos Katrakis.
You can watch Antigone on YouTube, with English subtitles.
Here is some IMDB info > Antigone
The story is set right after the Trojan War. The King of Mycenae, Agamemnon, returns to his homeland. He is soon murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus. Agamemnon’s children, Orestes and Electra, swear to take revenge.
This is another classic Greek movie, starring Irene Papas and Giannis Fertis. Directed by the acclaimed director Michael Cacoyannis, the film won a Best Film Award (Best Cinematic Transposition) at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival.
You can watch Electra on YouTube, with English subtitles.
More information on IMDB > Electra
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
This cult Greek mythology movie follows the famous Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts. Jason was the son of Aristos, the King of Thessaly.
When Jason was a child, Aristos was murdered by Pelias, who became the illegitimate king. Several years later, when Pelias finally encounters Jason, he is afraid of his revenge.
He encourages him to take part in a dangerous mission, retrieving the legendary Golden Fleece, hoping that he will perish.
Jason gathers an army of brave men, including Hercules, and they sail in a boat by the name of Argo. Their expedition proves to be dangerous, but they have Hera, the Olympian goddess, on their side.
When watching this movie today, we can’t help but smile at the special effects. However, remember this was 1963! Overall, it still remains a captivating film, one of the best Greek mythology films out there.
You can watch the full movie on YouTube.
Check this movie on IMDB > Jason and the Argonauts
Iphigenia is the central character in two tragedies by Euripides. This classic movie is based on his play “Iphigenia in Aulis”.
The story develops right before the Trojan War, when the Greek tribes are getting ready to sail to Troy. However, there are no winds, and the ships cannot sail.
The only solution for the winds to blow, is for Agamemnon to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, to the gods.
This film features two of the greatest Greek actors, Kostas Kazakos and Irene Pappas. It was nominated in the Best Foreign Film category at the 1978 Oscar ceremony.
Watch Iphigenia on YouTube, with English subtitles.
Check out more info on IMDB > Iphigenia
Clash of the Titans (1981)
This cult Greek mythology movie follows Perseus, the illegitimate son of Zeus and Danae.
King Acrisius of Argos, Danae’s father, attempts to eliminate both Danae and Perseus, hoping to avoid a prophecy. Zeus makes sure that his demigod son is saved, and destroys Acrisius.
As Perseus grows into adulthood, he has to face the sea goddess Thetis, and her evil son, Callipos. He meets the beautiful Andromeda, and tries to win her heart. For this to happen, he will have to battle the mighty Kraken, the infamous sea monster.
Some of the claymation techniques featured in this movie, like in the Kraken – Medusa scene, are way ahead of their times. The fact that the Kraken comes from the Norse mythology is entirely irrelevant.
Fun fact – if you are looking for Titans, you won’t have much luck. Despite the title, there are none in the movie!
Here’s some info from IMDB > Clash of the Titans
This popular Disney cartoon follows Hercules, the legendary demigod, the son of Zeus and Alkmene. In the movie, Hades, the God of the Underworld, plans to eliminate Hercules and replace Zeus as the King of Gods.
However, Hercules gets help from Pegasus, the mythical flying horse, and a satyr by the name of Philoctetes. The story then revolves around Hercules’ encounter with a beautiful lady, Meg, and his further battles against Hades and the Titans.
This is a typical Disney movie, without any evil warlords or bloodthirsty armies. It brings out the funny and extravagant sides in the main characters, Hades in particular, and is a pleasant one to watch with kids. Have I mentioned I have a soft spot for cartoons? 🙂
IMDB info here: Hercules
O brother where art thou (2000)
As this popular Coen brothers movie takes place in the USA in the 1930s, you wouldn’t immediately find a connection with anything Greek.
Yet, this film is loosely based on one of the most famous Greek myths, the Odyssey. It’s a road movie, where the main heroes encounter many adventures and obstacles on their way to their final destination.
Starring George Clooney, John Turturro and Holly Hunter, the movie was filmed in Mississippi and California.
IMBD info: O brother where art thou
Oliver Stone directed this iconic movie, which follows the life of Alexander the Great, the King of Macedon. Alexander was a historical person, but he reached such levels of power that he might as well have been a mythological figure!
The cast includes many famous actors, such as Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins, Val Kilmer, Angelina Jolie and Rosario Dawson. Yet, it was rather unsuccessful, and did not receive many positive reviews.
Interestingly, Alexander was filmed in Thailand, Malta and Morocco, and no scenes were filmed in Greece!
Here is some more info: Alexander
No list of best Greek mythology films would be complete without Troy. This epic movie is based on Iliad, the famous poem by Homer. It portrays the long wars between the ancient Greeks and the Trojans.
The movie revolves around the hero Achilles and his legendary pride. It also describes his romance with a Trojan lady, Briseis, and his wrath when his best friend is killed.
There are several gruesome battle scenes, combined with intense dialogues.
Featuring big screen names such as Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana, and Diane Kruger, this is one of the best movies influenced by Greek mythology. It was filmed in Malta and Mexico, but I don’t think anyone could tell!
Here’s some IMDB info > Troy
In this interesting take on the story of Hercules, Dwayne Johnson playing the leading role is a mercenary for hire. To help his band of mercenaries, he claims to be the son of Zeus.
As the film progresses, he works for a ruthless king, facing his inner demons. At the end, he displays superhuman strength, indicating that he may well be the legendary son of Zeus.
Here’s some info on IMDB > Hercules
This visually impressive movie is based on a comic series, which was in turn based on an actual historic event, the Battle of Thermopylae. Director Zack Snyder used real actors, combined with a special technique, and the end result is similar to a graphic novel.
As the plot deviates a lot from the actual historical facts, the movie received a lot of negative criticism when it was first released in Greece. Another criticism it received is that there was little depth to it.
Yet, noone can deny that it was very well made. In fact, I thought that the visual effects were fantastic, and Gerard Butler was great as King Leonidas. It’s hard to forget the iconic “This is Sparta” scene!
Clash of the Titans (2010) – Wrath of the Titans (2012)
These two famous films feature Liam Neeson as Zeus, the King of the Olympians, and Ralph Fiennes as Hades, the God of the Underworld.
The first movie follows the legendary Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae, and princess Andromeda, who later became his wife. It describes his fight against Hades and the Kraken, the terrifying monster who had helped the Greek Gods defeat the Titans.
Several well-known Greek mythology characters and creatures are involved, such as Poseidon, Hermes, Io, Pegasus, Charon and the infamous Medusa. Much of the story takes place in the ancient Greek city of Argos.
In the sequel, Zeus once again summons Perseus to save humanity from Hades and Ares, who conspire against him. Perseus will need to fight against several monsters to protect the world from the re-emerging Titans.
Among others, he will have to face the scary Cyclops, and the horrible Chimera. Despite the popular actors and brilliant special effects, the sequel wasn’t particularly well received.
Fun fact – these epic movies were filmed in the UK and Spain!
IMDB info here: Clash of the Titans / Wrath of the Titans
Percy Jackson movies (2010 – 2013)
These two films are based on a famous book series, written by Rick Riordan. They include elements of Ancient Greek mythology, combining it with contemporary life.
It all begins when a teenager, Percy Jackson, finds out that he is a descendant of the god Poseidon.
In the first film, “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”, he is accused of stealing Zeus’ sword. He sets off on a quest to prove his own innocence, and to prevent a World War among the gods.
The second movie, “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”, brings together several Greek mythology characters. We will come across the Cyclops, the Golden Fleece and the Bermuda Triangle.
This epic movie follows the ambitious King Hyperion, who wants to overthrow the Gods and rule the world. But he first has to find Epirus Bow, a powerful weapon which will enable him to free the Titans.
This is where a peasant by the name of Theseus comes into the picture. Summoned by Zeus, Theseus steps forward to stop Hyperion, and save humanity.
Several ancient Greek characters appear in Immortals, such as the Greek goddess Athena, Poseidon, Apollo, Phaedra and the Minotaur. From a technical point of view it is fascinating, but I didn’t find the story or the characters that captivating.
Featuring Mickey Rourke and John Hurt, among others, this movie was shot in Canada!
More info here > Immortals
FAQs about Greek mythology films
Here are a few questions people often ask:
What movies are inspired by Greek mythology?
There are dozens of films which have been inspired by Greek mythology. Some of the best known ones are Troy, Clash of the Titans, various versions of Hercules, and the Percy Jackson movies.
What should I watch if I like Greek mythology?
Apart from the famous films, Greek mythology fans should look out for cult TV shows like Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The legendary journeys, and Helen of Troy.
Does Netflix have Greek mythology movies?
You can usually find several Greek mythology films on Netflix, such as Jason and the Argonauts, the Clash of the Titans and Troy.
Are there any series based on Greek myth on Netflix?
Some Greek mythology series on Netflix include Troy: Fall of a city, Blood of Zeus and Spartacus.
Are Alexander and 300 based on Greek mythology?
These two films are actually based on historical facts. Oliver Stone’s Alexander the Great, starring Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins, follows the life of Alexander, the great Macedonian king. 300, an animation movie, brings to life the real story of King Leonidas and his army of 300 Spartan men.
What is your favourite Greek mythology movie?
So this was my list of Greek mythology movies. If you have another best Geek mythology movie to suggest, please comment below – and let me know which one is your favourite!
While you are here, you might be interested in this cool story about how Athens got its name. Hint – Athena and Poseidon, the gods of Mount Olympus, are both there.
And here’s an article with famous quotes about Greece – many inspirational ones!
Hi! I am Vanessa from Athens, and I love helping people discover more about my country. As a child, I absolutely loved our mythology, and some of my favourite characters were Athena, Artemis, Hercules and Achilles. Putting this article together was a lot of fun. I hope that it has inspired you to watch a few films and TV mini series that you hadn’t heard of!