Controversy over the historical accuracy of the film 300 (screenplay by Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad and Michael Gordon, from the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley), released in the UK today, is in a rich Hollywood tradition, reports Greig Watson for the BBC.
The heroic westerner vs tyrannical Persian theme of 300 - based on Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC - has sparked indignation from some commentators in the US, and brought protests from the Iranian authorities.
And while not every movie provokes an international incident, bending the facts to fit the film is nothing new - as film historian Kevin Brownlow reveals.
"In his 1927 epic Napoleon, director Abel Gance showed his hero at the Club des Cordeliers when the Marseillaise was first sung. He was informed that Napoleon had not been present. 'He is now,' he said."
Trailer for Napoleon