6.4/10
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38 user 21 critic

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:

Outnumbered - unarmed - unprepared - they stunned the world with their incredible victory! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

30 March 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Schatten des Giganten 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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Melville Shavelson and Kirk Douglas fought throughout the shoot. At one point, Shavelson even walked off the set, leaving his assistant to take over for the day. See more »

Goofs

When returning home to his ailing wife, Col. Marcus arrives from the airport in a "Checker" cab that was built in the mid to late fifties. The movie takes place in 1947 and 48. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Safir: Colonel Marcus?
Bert Harrison: Merry Christmas.
Maj. Safir: My name is Safir, and my business is private.
Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus: Bert Harrison, my law partner. Mr. Safir, who conducts his private business in Macy's window.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Giant shadow.
19 May 2005 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

I don't know why this movie doesn't work, but it doesn't. I guess I'd hold the writers and the actors responsible -- the direction is efficient and the score good.

The script tells us things that most of us already know, without adding much that we didn't. Thankfully it avoid extensive shots of the death camps. If anyone needs to be told about that, he's hopelessly benighted anyway. That mass genocide was perhaps the most horrible expression of the baser impulses of human nature, and like any transcendental event should be treated with caution, not with an eye to the box office.

Still, the dialog is flat and ordinary. Giant closeups of faces telling us important things -- "For the first time, I've realized I'm a Jew" -- doesn't really help. It's like being hit over the head by someone wielding a crowbar and yelling -- "GET IT? GET IT?" Yes, we get it. Stop already.

Kirk Douglas isn't bad. In fact he's pretty good, outdone only by Topol as an Arab sheyk -- "I course your Faddair." Cheese, Topol is good. And so is his role. He plays "The Sheik of Arabie" on a Victrola and rolls his eyes with glee.

John Wayne's performance is perfunctory and so is Frank Sinatra's, but the latter's involvement is interesting. At one point in the film he protests, "Don't leave me alone -- I'm anti-Semitic." Far from being anti-Semitic he was, let's say, pro-Semitic. Like a lot of recent immigrant families in the Northeast his had a keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of ethnicity, and Sinatra plumped for the strengths in Judaism. He envied and admired Jews for their family values and their solidarity, and even learned to read a little Hebrew. A scene in which he spurts seltzer water at an attacking Arab fighter is beneath comment.

Overall the film is not a success because it doesn't spell out in any detail exactly what Mickey Marcus actually DID for the Israelies. It won't do to have two minutes of Marcus telling them "Attack! Attack!," when ten times that amount is spent on an unconvincing adulterous affair with Senta Berger -- not that having such an affair with such a magnificent woman would be a blot on anyone's escutcheon. (I could never spell that word. It means "shield".) I guess it's worth watching once, just to remind us of a part of history that some of us have not bothered to look into. As a film, (shrug).


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