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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.

Director:

Melville Shavelson

Writers:

Ted Berkman (book), Melville Shavelson (written for the screen by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus
Senta Berger ... Magda Simon
Angie Dickinson ... Emma Marcus
James Donald ... Maj. Safir
Stathis Giallelis ... Ram Oren
Luther Adler ... Jacob Zion
Topol ... Abou Ibn Kader
Ruth White ... Mrs. Chaison
Gordon Jackson ... James MacAfee
Michael Hordern ... British Ambassador
Allan Cuthbertson ... Immigration Officer
Jeremy Kemp ... Senior British Officer
Sean Barrett Sean Barrett ... Junior British Officer
Michael Shillo Michael Shillo ... Andre Simon
Rina Ganor ... 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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though not really trivia, it is there for all who view it to see, the opening prologue states: "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." At the time of release, this statement was probably the case. See more »

Goofs

Just before the attack on the fort, Kirk Douglas complains to Yul Brenner that soon it will be light enough to "read their obituaries", but its already quite bright, in fact the shadows indicate the sun is almost directly overhead. See more »

Quotes

Magda Simon: From now on, I'm your sister.
Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus: Hmm, that's nice. What's the attitude on incest in this country?
Magda Simon: Very biblical. Especially since I'm also married. My husband is an officer in the Palmach... But you can try if you wish.
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
See more »

User Reviews

 
CAST A GIANT SHADOW (Melville Shavelson, 1966) **1/2
15 July 2007 | by Bunuel1976See 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

30 March 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cast a Giant Shadow See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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