Exodus (1960)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  2 January 1961 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 6,537 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 18 critic

Following WW2, Israel is struggling to become an independent state and to secure its borders with its Arab neighbors.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Ratoff ...
Felix Aylmer ...
David Opatoshu ...
Marius Goring ...
Alexandra Stewart ...
Michael Wager ...


The theme is the founding of the state of Israel. The action begins on a ship filled with Jewish immigrants bound for Israel who are being off loaded on Cyprus. An Intelligence officer succeeds in getting them back on board their ship only to have the harbor blocked by the British with whom they must negotiate. The second part of the film is about the situation in Israel as independence is declared and most of their neighbors attack them. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

israel | jewish | arab | nurse | cyprus | See All (46) »


The drama and the passion of one of the epic events of the twentieth century !


Action | Drama | History | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 January 1961 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Éxodo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paul Newman and Otto Preminger did not get along while making the film. Preminger was not interested in hearing Newman's ideas. See more »


There are many moments throughout the film where the shadows of the camera equipment can be seen. See more »


[first lines]
Cypriot guide: The island of Cyprus, madame. World famous for beauty, and long, tragic history. Been conquered many times, conquered by Phoenicians, Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians; also conquered by Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Turks. Purchased from Turkey by your esteemed self, the British Empire. All Cyprus most wanted the British.
Kitty Fremont: [correcting him] I'm an American.
Cypriot guide: Fond of Americans, also; we Cypriots are fond of everybody.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits shown over a background of flames. See more »


Referenced in Terminal City: Episode #1.2 (2005) See more »


The Exodus song
(1960) (uncredited)
("This land is mine")
Music by Ernest Gold
Lyrics by Pat Boone
See more »

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User Reviews

Simplistic And Grim Melodrama
8 April 2005 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I guess when EXODUS was adapted from the Uris novel ( I've not read the book so any criticisms are to do with the book being translated to screen ) the creation of the Jewish State Of Israel and events surrounding would have been fresh in everyone's mind . This leads to a fairly serious problem watching the movie in 2005 and that's factual events are skimmed over with little explanation . Or maybe the facts presented are done so in such a simplistic manner they are totally confusing to a present day audience with no knowledge of the present Israeli Arab conflicts For example the Haganah and Irgun are important to the plot . Do we have any satisfactory explanation to what they are ? There is a brief throwaway line about the differences between the two but it's hardly factual unless you believe the Haganah were a sort of Jewish Greenpeace .Likewise we're shown the bombing of The St David Hotel but it's skated over so slightly as to be deemed offensive . Did you know that many Jews died in the atrocity ? Did you know that after the bombing David Ben Guerion ( Look him up in a search engine - He was far more important than this movie makes out ) described the Irgun as " The enemy of the Jewish people " ? And the prison breakout at Acre seems to be totally Hollywoodized

Okay it's not a documentary , but this simplicity seems to interfere with character motivation where Ari Ben Canaan decides to switch from the Haganah to the Irgun because " We'll need all the men we can get to fight the Arabs " . This unconvincing on screen character motivation combined with the length of the movie gives the whole scenario a feel of pot boiler mini series rather than a historical document , so by the time we're introduced to Ari's best friend from childhood - An Arab of course - and an escaped Nazi war criminal I was expecting Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Seymour to put in an appearance somewhere

I hope I'm not contradicting myself here but I found the tone of the movie very grim and much of this is down to bad things happening to good people and vice versa . Innocent people die while terrorists on both sides survive beyond the final reel , but I know that in real life karma ( The mystical concept that people get what they truly deserve in life ) doesn't exist so maybe I shouldn't criticise too hard . What I do know is that you won't be doing too much laughing watching this movie

EXODUS isn't a total waste of time and has some positives . Even reviewers who have expressed a dislike for the movie have credited the good cast and of course the score . It's also interesting to note that while movies featuring the Irish troubles are nearly always totally Anglophobic ( THE DEVIL'S OWN being a good example ) the Brits here while not exactly being shown as heroes aren't exactly shown as being villains either and a character does praise the conduct of the British Army during the mandate period along with General Sutherland being shown in a very sympathetic light - You don't have to be Jewish to sympathise with the Jews

As for my own opinions of modern day Israelis I would say I respect and admire them more than I actually like them while EXODUS is a film that is very difficult to admire and respect though is not entirely unlikable

30 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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