Flavius Silva, commander in Roman Judea, wants to reach a reasonable compromise with the Jewish Zealots and withdraw his legion. Events and personalities in Rome, however, lead to his besieging the fortress of Masada. There the engineering genius of the Romans must fight both the harsh climate and landscape, and the passion and ingenuity of Eleazar Ben Yair and his people. Written by
During the lengthy location filming, Peter O'Toole was the only cast member who didn't fall ill. This was due to the fact that these were similar locations to " Lawrence of Arabia ", and he knew how punishing and gruelling the region could be. See more »
When Eleazar and his party descend down the mountain during their nighttime mission, notice their feet. All of them appear to be wearing 20th century sneakers. See more »
Masada is amazing, in part, because it is a true story and also because it is truly a fascinating drama. Originally filmed as a mini-series, at 6 plus hours, it has been released in short (movie length) form but don't bother with that edition. Even though it (the six hour video set) is quite long, not one minute will bore you. It is a story of the military...in a battle of wits against (Jewish) patriots. The cast is superb, with Americans playing the Jews and British actors as the Romans. The lowly soldiers speaking in "middle class" dialect while the officers sound more aristocratic...a really nice touch. Peter O'Toole has never been better in his role as Flavius Silva commander of the Roman regiment dispatched by Rome to capture the Jews holding out at Masada...a huge, almost impregnable mountain fortress. Anthony Quayle and David Warner also do some of their best work ever. Peter Straus as Eleazar, leader of the Jews is passionate in his convictions and the rest of the cast shines also. The mind games they utilize on each other are fascinating and make for engrossing drama. It is truly one of the best mini-series, or historical epics ever put to film. The newly released 4 video set consists of 90 mins. per video so one can enjoy Masada over four evenings. Note: As of 2007 it is now available on DVD. The viewer will feel it is time well spent.
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