Cast a Giant Shadow (1966) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: An American Army officer is recruited by Jews in Palestine to help them form an army. The surrounding Arab countries are opposed to the creation of the state of Israel. He is made commander... Runtime: 146 mins Release Date: 30 Mar 1966
This is a wonderful film, the actors superb, Kirk Douglas, Yul Brynner, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra and the brilliant Chaim Topol, I thought he along with Frank Sinatra were superb and funny. A definite film to watch! If u dont youll have missed a brilliant film. the music is glorious by Elmer Bernstein > It is unknown, both the film and the music, but it is one of elmers best scores and one of hollywoods most unknown but wonderful movies. A gr8 10/10
One of the greatest (by logjunk)
Kirk Douglas is at his best in this. The building of the road into Jerusalem had the most impact on me. If one wants to begin to understand the plight of the Jews this is the film to see. Yul Bryner is most convincing as Asher. I still am impressed by his arguing with one of Mickey's decisions but still being willing to do what is needed. This film could have just as easily been made more recently and still would have told a story that needs telling and re-telling. One of the few films of enduring impact. This story tells a side to the nation of Israel that is somehow lost today. Beyond <more>
just overcoming adversity it tells the story of the giantness of God's deliverance.
The Duke did not even have billing, yet the strength of what John Wayne stood for was the anchor of this movie.And this movie... the truth and the horror of why men fight.This movie should be required watching before anyone should be allowed to talk about either side of war, any war.It is not about religion, right, wrong, good or bad. It is about why men fight.dana
Tribute to Israel's Military Genius and Fighting Heart (by bkoganbing)
The great fighting heart and spirit of the Israeli people was not developed by one man. It was embodied in the dream of every Jewish peasant who for two previous generations contributed even pennies to Theodore Herzl's Zionist organization. And for the holocaust survivors it represented their last chance for a place in the world that was truly their's. No longer to be a guest in everyone else's country.The heart and spirit were there when part Palestine became the state of Israel, but the military leadership was provided by a man born like myself in Brooklyn, New York. Colonel <more>
David "Mickey" Marcus was a West Point graduate who opted for a civilian career as a lawyer and dabbled in politics. His political allies at one time or other were Fiorello LaGuardia and Tom Dewey. He held various appointive positions in the LaGuardia administration in New York. When World War II broke out, Marcus went back in the army and for the most part given his legal training worked in the Judge Advocate General's office, but later did see combat with the Third Army under George Patton.Kirk Douglas plays Marcus and for him, this must have been a role he relished given his background as the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. The film opens with James Donald representing the Haganah literally accosting Douglas in Macy's 1947 and explaining he's about the fiftieth person they've contacted to be a military adviser to the provisional government in Palestine. Douglas explains he hasn't been in Temple since his bar mitzvah and really doesn't consider himself much of a religious Jew or even a cultural one. By the end of the film, he's developed pride in his religion and ethnicity and earnestly commits to the struggle.You might have expected Douglas's own Bryna Productions to have produced Cast a Giant Shadow, but co-producing it with the Mirisch Brothers was Batjac Productions which was John Wayne's company. Wayne took a minor role in the production as General Mike Randolph who is clearly Patton. Made clear by the prominent two stars Wayne has on his helmet in flashbacks to World War II which later become three stars during the scene of a concentration camp liberation.Well Patton as we all know was killed in December 1945 in that jeep accident in occupied Germany. So obviously a decision was made to fictionalize Wayne's name in order to give him a bigger part as a man who encourages his former subordinate in his work.And if Wayne were fictionalized then some others had to be also. Yul Brynner as Asher was definitely Moshe Dayan who was winning the Six Day War when Cast a Giant Shadow came out. Luther Adler's character name was Jacob Zion and he was clearly David Ben-Gurion. Michael Hordern has a brief part and is just listed as British Ambassador in the credits and that would have been Lord Halifax then.Also fictionalized was Marcus's fling with his female aide who is played by Senta Berger. She serves kind of like his Kay Summersby. Should never have been part of the film, but maybe the producers decided a little sex was needed. Marcus's wife in America is played by Angie Dickinson.Even though Cast a Giant Shadow is based on a true story, the film does suffer in comparison to the film made of Leon Uris's novel about the founding of Israel, Exodus. Most of that novel did make it on the screen. It's characters were better developed in a much longer film that held the interest throughout.Cast a Giant Shadow also had its moments of silliness. There was a whole scene with Frank Sinatra as a mercenary pilot joining the new Israeli army dropping seltzer bottles on the enemy. Whatever possessed the powers that be to let that into the film?I will say that the battle scenes were well staged and the politics albeit one sided were clearly stated. Like Exodus in that way. One of the most moving scenes of the film was the announcement at the birth of Israel of the telegram from the American President Harry Truman announcing recognition of the new state accompanied with reverent singing of the Hatikvoh, Israel's national anthem. That same scene was also in Exodus, but both were done well.Of course the climax of the film is when Luther Adler makes the American visitor the commander over all the forces on the Jerusalem/Negev front. As he says, the last man who held this title is found in the Old Testament of the Bible and his name was Joshua. That's the scene when Kirk Douglas finally realizes what his heritage truly is and it is moving.Despite it's flaws, Cast a Giant Shadow is a wonderful tribute to the men and women who fought and still fight to maintain the State of Israel. Even though it does suffer in comparison to Exodus, it has plenty of merit on its own.
Terrific story of Israel's 1st general in 2000 years (by magbo)
Excellent cast, intelligent script, heart-warming scenes of loyalty, determination, re-discovered faith, sobering scenes of the cost of freedom, wow! I was completely engrossed watching this film, the story of General David "Mickey" Marcus Kirk Douglas , who in 1948 became the first Israeli general since Joshua of Biblical times. This film came out when I was 14 and I have somehow missed seeing it all these years. I had no idea what I was missing. What I don't understand is the grumbling and complaining about what a "bad" film this is. Huh? I loved it! Kirk Douglas, <more>
John Wayne, Yul Bryunner, Senta Berger and Frank Sinatra were perfectly cast in their roles. The script covered the highlights of the War of Independence during the brief time time Marcus was involved, and I don't know what more you could expect for a feature film. To tell the story of the war completely and thoroughly would take a miniseries of 20 hours or more. Yes, the special effects look dated now, but you can't fault something because it doesn't use technology that hadn't been invented yet. Also, learning that Senta Berger's character was fictional and apparently only inserted to make a good story, was a disappointment. However, her character was a wonderful metaphor for Marcus' newly found love for Israel and re-discovery of his faith, after living as a secular American Jew for his entire life. At one point Marcus says he hasn't been to temple since his bar mitzvah . Also, I must say that I think the person who complained here on IMDb about John Wayne's reaction to seeing the Dachau concentration camp in the World War II flashback is completely off the mark. Wayne, as Pattonesque American general Mike Randolph, struggles to keep his emotions intact as he looks at the horror of the camp his troops have recently liberated. He orders his adjutant to give Marcus whatever he needs to tend to the Dachau survivors and turns away, his back to the camera. He leans against a fence, head down, physically and emotionally overcome. What would you want him to do in such a situation? I suspect the objecting person just doesn't like John Wayne no matter what the film or what his role. His son Michael Wayne was co-producer with the film's director and screenwriter Mel Shavelson, and Wayne's Batjac Productions is one of four production companies listed. Another reviewer here has cynically suggested most of the budget went to Wayne's salary and I say balderdash! I'm quite sure the Wayne family's interest and participation in this film was not merely financial. I'm equally sure they wanted to help tell this story of the Israeli struggle for freedom they thought the world should hear. Then and now, for that matter.I want to thank the Showtime networks for airing this film in the USA on May 16, 2009, which happened to be two days after the 61st anniversary of Israeli independence day. Nice touch, and a terrific weekend to see this film.
Enjoyable film, some great lines, marred by the usual tacked-on romance angles (by holdencopywriting)
I enjoyed Cast a Giant Shadow.Like so many films of its type, it has the obligatory love angles that only slow the film down. Angie Dickinson and Senta Berger are much better actors than their silly parts allow them to be. When Dickinson's characters says to Douglas: "Don't hate me for loving you so much," I wanted to scream. Oh, wait, I think I did scream. After that silliness, I fast-forwarded through the rest of the "love" scenes. As a result, I have no idea what happened in the last scene between Douglas and Berger; somehow I'll still be able to sleep at <more>
night.Another reviewer thinks the scene with John Wayne at the concentration camp is ridiculous and hard to believe. I actually thought it very believable and a remarkably directed and acted scene. Douglas's character has been there before. But Wayne as the general hasn't seen the camps first-hand and seems to think the stories have been exaggerated. Wayne and Douglas walk into the camp but the camera remains in a tight shot on them. So instead of showing us the scenes in the recently liberated camp, the camera shows us Wayne and Douglas's reactions to what they're seeing. It's only a short scene, but the few seconds of the look on Wayne's face register powerfully. It's subtle. He doesn't overplay it with a look of obvious horror, disgust, etc. Instead, there's a sort of confused, muffled pain in his eyes. John Wayne was a much better actor than he's usually given credit for. When Wayne turns to his right and goes over to lean on a fencepost with his head down trying to compose himself? trying not to puke? , well, that was a powerful moment for me. There was something about seeing that tall, broad-shouldered man have to walk away, shut his eyes, and hang his head. I forgot it was John Wayne for a few minutes, and that's a big compliment to any star actor. I won't forget any part of that scene.I agree with another reviewer. Douglas' part has too many wisecracks. It gets old. Still, there are some quite funny lines in this film, and not only spoken by Douglas. My favorite is when Douglas is telling the weapons- and manpower-strapped Haganah commander and the others that they have to attack, hit the enemy hard. And Yul Brynner deadpans: "With what? Noodle soup?" Cast a Giant Shadow is not the greatest film ever made, but it's an enjoyable one. Just fast forward through the romantic scenes and you'll be okay.
Since CAST A GIANT SHADOW bills itself as a "true story" . . . (by oscaralbert)
. . . perhaps it's best to examine it in that light. The time is 1948. America has the choice of either declaring that The Bible is "a fairy tale," as the Arab countries already have proclaimed, and becoming an Atheist Nation such as Russia, China, or France. On the other hand, the USA can recognize Israel's revival as a modern nation and the Old Testament as True History. SHADOW quotes the Saudi King of the 1940s as stating that he'd be happy to sacrifice 10 million fighters among his fellow Arabs in order to finish Adolf Hitler's Crusade to kill off all of the <more>
World's remaining Jews. In response, America festoons itself with Israel as its lapel pin. Though Kirk Douglas, representing our entire nation here, eventually succumbs to "friendly fire," in Real Life Kirk's pushing 100 years of age. If the United Nations has proved one thing--as SHADOW illustrates this at that organization's beginning--"majority rule" sometimes called "Democracy" --is the best possible recipe for Tyranny and Oblivion, because there's always been a plurality of Ignorant, Superstitious People during every minute of Human History. The Book of Revelation has been interpreted as saying that Armageddon cannot come as long as either Peter O'Toole or Kirk Douglas that is, "Gog & Magog" lives. Since Mr. O'Toole passed away in 2013, one can only say "Keep on Truckin,' Kirk!"