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300 and Frank Miller

Saw the movie 300 tonight and it was a beautiful looking movie. Not exactly heavy on plot but a good, solid, stylish action film. Of course there are historical inaccuracies. yada yada yada. Still, it is worth seeing.


The main problem I have with the film is the inclusion of a gratuitous rape of the Queen of Sparta. I'm reading on various comic related sites how people are putting this all down to Frank Miller's hatred of women, how women he portrays are always "whores who are asking for it."

First: the rape scene wasn't written by Miller. It was added by the people who wrote the screenplay. Don't blame Miller for it. Blame the screenwriters and their lazy attempts at padding the plot. They obviously wanted to concentrate on the fighting but that would not fill 117 minutes. My guess is it is supposed to show the Queen was willing to go to any lengths to help her husband and her son but it fails in this.

*End Spoiler*

Second: In my opinion, Miller does have issues with women in his writing but it is a dichotomy of love/fear. Miller loves beautiful sexy women but has fear of the power they wield via sex. He shows this by his female characters using sex as a weapon very effectively in his comic world.
In order to understand this, you have to understand Miller's comic world. He is very much a person raised and immersed in the hard-boiled, film noir genre. In this world, things are at their most primal. Men are tough and physical. They use their fists more often than their brains and maybe not as often as they use their guns. There are good guys and bad guys and the bad guys are taken down by the good guys. Women are mysterious, secretive, alluring and deadly. Their bodies and their minds are their weapons. They control the men behind the scenes with words and with sex. They are the cause and the reason for men's actions. They have power over men in a way men will never have over women. They are never purely good or purely evil, they are survivors. They do what they must to live: they are the grey in a primarily black and white world.

Sometime, I should sit down with a bunch of Frank Miller written materials and expound upon this but not now. Now, I'll just sum it up with:
300 - see it in the theatre. It is too big and beautiful to be seen on anything smaller than 10 feet.
The weak "strong" female character in the movie is not Frank Miller's fault.
Go buy and read the comic or the graphic novel or the hardcover book that is now out.

and oh my libido, but that movie had the best male eye candy I have ever seen. Abs and arms and thighs, oh my.

Posted by Marmy on March 14, 2007 12:13 AM


From what I've read elsewhere, the scenes with Queen Gorgo were added not simply for padding, but to make the film more appealing to women.

Because I know I love to watch poorly written blatantly sexist portrayals of women.

Posted by: Ceri at March 23, 2007 04:22 PM