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20 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

An Eye for an Eye

Author: baccamon from United States
5 December 2005

With the upcoming release of Steven Spielberg's film Munich, I think it would be a good idea for many people interested in this subject to go out and find this gem (and little known) film to watch first.

There are a few films out there that I never tire of watching -- this is one of them. This is an intelligent film that doesn't gloss over the inner conflicts that each of the Mossad agents must struggle with while performing a "righteous act" for their country to avenge the murders of their fellow Israelis (the 11 athletes).

Moreover, the incorporation of a very well played Golda Meir and her reverberating quotes really bumps this movie up a notch in my view. The makers of this film could have easily sidestepped the decision makers roles, leaving it as a viewer assumption, but fortunately they did not.

This is not a campy "Delta Force" revenge movie from a Chuck Norris/Steven Segal genre of films. The Sword of Gideon challenges us to ponder the real and complex problems of ethics, righteousness, honor, and duty. I'll be interested in seeing how much of this movie Spielberg leverages in "Munich."

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19 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Above average TV movie

Author: Rich Noble from Denver, CO
3 November 2000

Very good film, above average than most TV movies. The first-rate acting and storyline makes this very watchable, from beginning to end. You actually feel for the characters, and identify with their burdens and shortcomings. Highly recommend. I only regret it's not out on video.

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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Good Solid Movie, action, emotion and timely

Author: jrperi from Los Angeles, CA, USA
20 March 2004

Details accounts of the Israeli goverment seeking out and destroying the terrorists of 1972 Olympics. This movie is in the same vein as The Assignment and Clear and Present Danger. It also explores the emotional component of the assassins and their families. It got spies, action , sex, love, happiness, sadness and it is based on true accounts. What else could you ask for?! Steven Bauer's portrayal as an Israeli is very true to form and impressive. You really do feel his emotional roller coaster and his internal conflict about his role as justice maker or simple revenge. Although the movie begins with a primer of the terrorist attacks at the 1972 Olympics, I recommend seeing One Day in September, directed by Kevin MacDonald and narrated by Michael Douglas, to give yourself a better understanding of the motivation behind this docu-drama. This is a very timely movie considering the upcoming Olympics and the war on terror.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Excellent,, fast-paced thriller

Author: dweezilzappa from United States
2 January 2006

This movie is on my top ten list. As a character study the actors are very believable; you can feel the tension and emotion. In a nutshell the story is about a hit-squad recruited by the Mossad (Israel's version of the CIA) to find and kill the PLO members responsible for engineering the kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. As they travel the globe, one by one they pick them off. Avner (Steven Bauer) is perfect as Avner, a commando leader in the Israeli army, and Colleen Dewhurst even looks like Golda Meir. Each member of the team has a specialty, and their performances are realistic - or at least what you would expect. The scene where Robert checks his apartment for booby traps is riveting. Don't even blink during that! While Steven Spielberg's Munich isn't out as of this review, I can't compare, but I understand the story is basically the same, though at 2-1/2 hours Munich may delve deeper into the story. No matter, I'll still watch Sword of Gideon every time it's on cable.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:


Author: dunsuls from nyc
29 June 2002

With the events of 9/11 and the middle east suicide bombings,this is still a topical movie.There seem to be 2 versions of this movie,strive for the longer one.Its a HBO film that I saw on a different cable station and then bought the film on EBAY.The film on e-bay was a unedited still in its original box for 86 minutes but with a few scenes cut out.Maybe there was a European vs US issue?At any rate the scenes cut out hightened as point of view in favor of Isreal which I share.This film is propaganda to be sure,but isn't all film? In a powerful scene that was shortened to cut out this statement,Golda Mair the Isreal Premire is explaining to the new Mossad recruit why their cause is rightous.This paraphrase was cut from the short version where she says,"The killed our children while the world played games" Its a haunting film.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Tense, fascinating film with several chilling scenes

Author: donby from ohio
6 October 2002

This tense, fascinating film details how men are recruited into the Israeli Mossad to search for and kill those responsible for the Munich Olympics murders. Also, we see how the men are pressured to stay in the group. Great acting and real locations make it all the more compelling. The morality of what they're doing is questioned at several points, and we see some very chilling assasination scenes.

The ending is a bit of a let-down, but then since it is based on actual events . . . I am not Jewish but found this film to be suspenseful and very involving -- a humdinger.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

First-class thriller based on real events

Author: ( from Philadelphia, PA
3 January 2006

This made-for-TV movie is based on the book "Vengeance" by Jonas. Both are told from the viewpoint of "Avner" (played by Steven Bauer), an agent in Israel's secret service, who is recruited to lead a covert assassination squad dedicated to eliminating the terrorists responsible for the "Black September" attack on Israeli Olympians in Munich in 1972.

Israel launched different initiatives against the "Black September" terrorist organization. Avner's was deeply covert, involving a team of former Mossad agents, officially resigned from the secret agency, who operated completely independently and were paid like mercenaries. In this way the Israelis hoped to avoid disasters like the botched Lillehammer operation that killed an innocent man and resulted in the arrest of agents linked directly to Mossad.

Avner and his team create their own mercenary network using Israeli money and set about their eye-for-an-eye operation. However the stress and paranoia of their task begins to eat away at their resolve and, when a team member is himself assassinated, the team takes its own revenge. Soon they feel unable to trust even their own countrymen...

The telemovie is well done with good pacing and suspense. The moral and ethical issues that are the central theme are handled creditably and you come to care about the team members. There are strong supporting characters, particularly Rod Steiger as the team's Mossad contact "Mordechai Samuels" and Colleen Dewhurst as Israeli PM Golda Meir. Michael York also turns in a nice performance as the team's explosives expert.

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17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Purported docudrama about Mossad vengeance falls a little short.

Author: FISHER L. FORREST ( from Jacksonville, OR, USA
30 January 2000

This is a well produced TV movie which purports to be a docudrama about the beginning of the program by the Israeli Mossad to destroy all of the terrorists responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. In fact, it seems to me to have very little semblance to authenticity about it. One cannot be sure, of course, but it does not seem that a powerful secret organisation like Mossad would operate as shown here: an independent squad, operating on its own with minimal help beyond the financial from its parent, and depending in part on hired outside organisations for information and assistance. At worst, this film has the smack of anti Israel propaganda; at best, weak-minded, turn-the-other-cheek pacifism. While taking an ostensible stand against vengeance as an effective means of combating terrorism, the philosophy clearly advocated is: do nothing about terrorist murderers and perhaps they will get tired and go away.

The film is not without some merit, though. The psychological pressures on agents of organisations like Mossad, CIA, MI-5, MI-6, the Deuxieme Bureau, etc. must be harrowing for some, perhaps not for others, and of this we are given a good glimpse in the film. The cast and direction are first rate, though editing is typically careless as in most TV movies. It is a film worth watching provided you are on your guard for the propaganda. A portion of the film was done in Israel with an Israeli crew and presumably without opposition from the Israeli government. If this story were turned around and portrayed a Palestinian group unfavorably in going against, say, Mossad agents, can one imagine the government of Libya,Syria, or the like permitting filming within its borders. It is to the credit of Israeli freedom of expression that such a movie was made, even though it would not appear to be friendly in intent.

There is one aspect of Mossad's campaign against the terrorists responsible for the Munich horror which the film omits to mention in its final statement that all the targetted people were killed. This is not quite historically accurate. Mossad is a pretty thorough outfit, but they also killed one more palestinian than targetted--a man who was actually totally innocent of any involvement. This happened in Lillehammer, Norway, a tragic case of mistaken identity. As for the nine terrorists involved directly in the Munich massacre, six were killed in the shootout with the German police, three were captured. These three were later released by the Germans in a hostage deal with the terrorist organisation. Two of these were killed by Mossad, one is still alive.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

I think the Summary in IMDB is a little misleading...

Author: minastirith ( from Marlborough Massachusetts
7 October 2001

Re the summary of this movie... It is a few years since I saw it, but I do not recall any of the "anti-war" or "anti Israel" sentiment suggested in the summary. Of course one takes movies like this with a pinch of salt from a historical point of view, but the message I got from it was distinctly "Don't Mess With Israel(is)".

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Made-for-TV Fare Worth the Rental Price If . . .

Author: John from Ohio, USA
5 June 2002

This drama about the Israeli secret service's attempts at avenging the terrorist murderings of their Olympic athletes in the '70s might not leave you on the edge of your seat, but definitely makes for good watching, and is worth the rental price. (Rod Steiger makes a good showing as a retired Jewish spy!)

Basically, Israeli intelligence (called Mossad) carries out an assassination campaign against the alleged terrorists with varying success. Made-for-TV action sequences have a tendency to be a trifle stale, but in this movie they actually come across with a sense of realism, if not necessarily "edge-of-your-seat" exciting (unlike Hollywood which, while fun & exciting, is about as realistic as the National Enquirer).

This movie will be much more enjoyable to watch if you have at least some background/interest in modern Israeli history, otherwise it's just typical made-for-TV fare...

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