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Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 30 March 1966 (USA)
In 1947, following the U.N. decision to split British Palestine into separate Jewish and Palestinian states, a former U.S. Army officer is recruited by the Jews to reorganize the Haganah.

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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
...
Immigration Officer
...
Senior British Officer
Sean Barrett ...
Junior British Officer
Michael Shillo ...
Andre Simon
...
Rona
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Storyline

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 of the Israeli forces just before the war begins. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jew | u.s. army | jewish | israel | arab | See All (109) »

Taglines:

Everywhere They Lived and Fought - They Cast a Giant Shadow! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | 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

The scene where Frank Sinatra's spotter plane is attacked by an Arab fighter uses a brief clip from '633 Squadron' showing a Nord 2002 (French -built Messerschmitt Bf108). See more »

Goofs

Colonel Marcus gives Magda his good conduct medal before he departs the first time. The good conduct medal is only awarded to enlisted soldiers. Colonel Marcus graduated from West Point and was a commissioned officer during his entire army career, and therefore would not have received this medal. See more »

Quotes

Emma Marcus: Did you ever notice we don't have any children?
Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus: Only me.
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

Referenced in Il marchio di Kriminal (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Hava Negila
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User Reviews

 
CAST A GIANT SHADOW (Melville Shavelson, 1966) **1/2
15 July 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Earnest, well-mounted but essentially dreary epic about the real-life involvement of an American Jew in the post-war struggle for Israel's independence – thus sharing its theme with EXODUS (1960), and clearly aiming (but failing) for a "Marcus Of Israel" feel!

Kirk Douglas stars as Mickey Marcus – perhaps chosen due to the character's similarities to another historical figure forced by circumstances into leadership, Spartacus, whom Douglas had portrayed in 1960. He's supported by an eclectic cast which includes Angie Dickinson as his neglected(!) wife, Senta Berger as the Israeli girl he falls for, Topol as an ill-tempered Arab sheik, Luther Adler as a local politician, a plethora of reliable British character actors – and even guest appearances by Frank Sinatra (which doesn't amount to much), a glum Yul Brynner as a fellow freedom fighter, and John Wayne as a U.S. General whom Douglas initially falls foul of but the two eventually end up respecting one another (still, seeing Wayne at the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp is about as incongruous as his stint playing the Roman Centurion at Christ's crucifixion in THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD [1965]!).

Despite a sharp script and good individual sequences, the film is compromised by its necessity to be both a spectacle and a message picture (the WWII flashbacks, for instance, are unnecessary and merely render the film overlong); unsurprisingly, it works best during the action highlights (complemented by a typically fine Elmer Bernstein score). Apparently, the events have been partially fictionalized – I wonder whether these embellishments concerned the romantic complications and the Hollywood-style ironic ending. For the record, Shavelson had started out as a scriptwriter (and later director) of Bob Hope and Danny Kaye vehicles; this was his most serious effort – a brave try, but not quite the 'giant' film he clearly intended...


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