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
In his opening monologue on April 7th 1981, Johnny Carson described the miniseries Massada as a "Kosher Shogun." After watching the series, Carson joked that he learned all Romans spoke with an English accent. See more »
During the scene in which the Jews are ascending the trail up to the summit of Masada, a vehicle the size of a bus can clearly be seen travelling on a road in the background See more »
Honor is due all around. First, credit must go to Joel Oliansky, who
developed Gann's slender book into full-range drama with wit and
wisdom. Boris Segal directs a huge cast so well, and so
unobtrusively...You never wonder where you are, or which side you're
listening to; there are so many characters that are memorable, even if
they only have two lines...It's the best performance of Peter Strauss's
career, and one of O'Toole's crown jewels. Jerry Goldsmith can furnish
haunting melodies and epic marches. In short, nobody in this miniseries
has fallen down on the job...
Except for ABC, who took more than a decade to get it out of the vault
and onto videotape, and still hasn't gotten "Masada" put on DVD.
The strongest kind of drama is when you can sympathize with both sides;
Silva has been saddled with irrational orders for a military conquest
(sound familiar?) where none is possible - or even necessary. Eleazar
knows only one thing for sure: "No man should be another man's slave."
But Rome must prove a point. Rome cannot allow defiance to succeed; the
Jewish zealots cannot submit to Roman enslavement. "You can take their
victory from them." Mesmerizing...and well worth your time.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?