After the destruction of the Second Temple, 900 Jewish zealots hold out against a 5000 man Roman legion on the mountaintop fortress of Masada.
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1981  
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shogun (1980)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.

Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Shimada
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This is the sequel to the mini-series, RICH MAN, POOR MAN. It begins with Rudy Jordache apprehending the man who killed his brother, Falconetti. He then also takes in his nephew, Wesley. He... See full summary »

Stars: Peter Strauss, Gregg Henry, James Carroll Jordan
Imperium: Augustus (TV Movie 2003)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Caesar Augustus tells of how he became the emperor to his reluctant daughter, Julia following the death of her husband Agrippa.

Director: Roger Young
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Charlotte Rampling, Vittoria Belvedere
Peter the Great (TV Mini-Series 1986)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

This is the story of Peter I, Tsar of Russia from 1682, and the constant struggle between him, his sister Sophia and the Streltsy, an important Russian military corp. The story depicts the ... See full summary »

Stars: Maximilian Schell, Vanessa Redgrave, Omar Sharif
I, Claudius (TV Mini-Series 1976)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

The history of the Roman Empire as experienced by one of its rulers.

Stars: Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Siân Phillips
Drama | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The funny story of mad but kind and chivalrous elderly nobleman Don Quixote who, aided by his squire Sancho Panza, fights windmills that are seen as dragons to save prostitute Dulcinea who is seen as a noblewoman.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Sophia Loren, James Coco
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A member of the House of Lords dies, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other, somewhat more respectable, members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensue.

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe
Lord Jim (1965)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After being discredited as a coward, a 19th century seaman (Peter O'Toole) lives for only one purpose: to redeem himself. Based on Joseph Conrad's novel written in 1900.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Peter O'Toole, James Mason, Curd Jürgens
Becket (1964)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

King Henry II of England comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant Thomas à Becket, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the king's.

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud
Zulu Dawn (1979)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A dramatization of the Battle of Isandlwana, where the British Army met its match against the Zulu nation.

Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A shy, withdrawn English schoolteacher falls for a flashy showgirl.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Petula Clark, Michael Redgrave
Castle Keep (1969)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his isolated castle hoping they will defend it against the advancing Germans.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Patrick O'Neal, Jean-Pierre Aumont
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 General Cornelius Flavius Silva / ... (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Eleazar ben Yair (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Sheva (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Aaron (4 episodes, 1981)
Giulia Pagano ...
 Miriam (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Rubrius Gallus (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Gideon (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Falco (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Attius, Head Tribune (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Shimon (4 episodes, 1981)
Richard Pierson ...
 Ephraim (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Jerahmeel, Head Essene (4 episodes, 1981)
David A. Block ...
 Reuben (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Chief Priest (4 episodes, 1981)
David Mauro ...
 Epos (4 episodes, 1981)
Alexander Peleg ...
 Zidon (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Seth (4 episodes, 1981)
Michael Shillo ...
 Ezra (4 episodes, 1981)
...
 Albinus (3 episodes, 1981)
Heinz Bernard ...
 Elder (3 episodes, 1981)
...
 Plinius (3 episodes, 1981)
...
 Fronto (3 episodes, 1981)
Reuven Bar-Yotam ...
 Butcher (3 episodes, 1981)
Denis Quilley ...
 Gen. Marcus Quadratus / ... (2 episodes, 1981)
Anthony Valentine ...
 Merovius, Head Tribune (2 episodes, 1981)
Jack Watson ...
 Decurion (2 episodes, 1981)
Derek Newark ...
 Engineering Officer (2 episodes, 1981)
...
 Vettius (2 episodes, 1981)
...
 Milades (2 episodes, 1981)
Michael Schneider ...
 Surgeon (2 episodes, 1981)
Edit

Storyline

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 Cleo <frede005@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Масада  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical) | (cut) (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Josef Shaftel and Cinerama announced this as a major theatrical release in 1970. See more »

Goofs

At approximately 23 minutes in, we get a close-up of an obvious modern fiberglass bow covered in what appears to be black electrical tape. See more »

Quotes

Rubrius Gallus: [after the wind blows sand into his face] Damn wind!
Centurion: Could be rain, couldn't it?
Rubrius Gallus: [laconically] Ayhh, could be cantalopes from Egypt too, but it's not.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dead End (1985) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Wonderfully detailed
10 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Peter O'Toole (who starred in another great desert epic, Lawrence of Arabia) is wonderful as the general who knows peaceful negotiation is better than war, but is forced by political wrangling above and below his rank to try to crush the Jewish resistance group. The Romans learn that it is one thing to conquer a country, but it's altogether another thing to occupy it. And don't we still see that to the current day? In another telling analogy, if it considered valiant to kill yourself (& family) just to defy your enemy, what does that say about modern suicide bombers? I recall a bit of controversy when this film came out. Some critics worried that the mass suicide at Masada was too evocative of Jim Jones' cult suicide in Guyana.

There's lots of interesting historical detail about ancient social classes, technology, military strategy - even an example of early political satire shows! This is not just "Hollywood spectacle". The characters are realistically portrayed going through real human struggles. As I recall, the sole historical account of Masada comes from Josephus, a Jew serving Emperor Vespacian. Josephus supposedly got the inside story from one of the few Jews who didn't commit suicide. Therefore, 80% of the film and most of the characters are probably fictional, created to add drama. Even so, everything supports the main story and brings the event to life. The only bit that is too exaggerated is the opening credits in the first part, set in the present day, which comes across like nothing less than an advertisement for the Israeli army.

Oh, and the musical score is fabulous! I remember faith-healer and Christian evangelist Maurice Cerullo had a massive fund-raising campaign to help produce this film. For an adequate donation you got a commemorative bronze movie medallion.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The height of the real Masada makes this movie impossible? kinglerch
Deleted scenes? vanesselen
Masada Score da_mitchell
Masada Mini series hrh29
Masada coming to DVD in Sept stephanie-bruder
Out in R2 on Monday DSNForever
Discuss Masada (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?