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Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)

6.3
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Reviews: 34 user | 15 critic

An American Army officer is recruited by the yet to exist Israel to help them form an army. He is disturbed by this sudden appeal to his jewish roots. Each of Israel's Arab neighbors has ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus
...
Magda Simon
...
Emma Marcus
...
Maj. Safir
...
Ram Oren
...
Jacob Zion
...
Abou Ibn Kader
...
Mrs. Chaison
...
James MacAfee
...
British Ambassador
Allan Cuthbertson ...
Immigration Officer
...
Senior British Officer
Sean Barrett ...
Junior British Officer
Michael Shillo ...
Andre Simon
Rina Ganor ...
Rona
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Storyline

An American Army officer is recruited by the yet to exist Israel to help them form an army. He is disturbed by this sudden appeal to his jewish roots. Each of Israel's Arab neighbors has vowed to invade the poorly prepared country as soon as partition is granted. He is made commander of the Israeli forces just before the war begins. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Outnumbered - unarmed - unprepared - they stunned the world with their incredible victory! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 March 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Schatten des Giganten  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(archive footage)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though not really trivia, it is there for all who view it to see, this film's opening prologue states: "The major events in this film actually happened. Some of them are still happening. The major characters actually lived. Many of them are still living. Although it was not easy." At the time of release, this statement was probably the case. See more »

Goofs

Although the film takes place between 1947 and 1948, Magda's car is a 1954 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible. See more »

Quotes

Abou Ibn Kader: Not familiar with these hills? I was having women in these hills when your father was still sucking milk.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The major events in this film actually happened. Some of them are still happening. The major characters actually lived. Many of them are still living. Although it was not easy. See more »

Connections

Featured in Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Next Year in Jerusalem
Music by Dov Seltzer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Terrific story of Israel's 1st general in 2000 years
16 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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, 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.


16 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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