6.4/10
2,956
40 user 22 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 hurled back their answer in flesh and flame! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script never explains how David Marcus acquired the nickname Mickey. In fact, it stems from his boyhood; his older brother was named Michael, so he was called "Little Mike," which eventually became "Mickey." See more »

Goofs

Colonel Marcus gives Magda his good conduct medal before he departs the first time. The good conduct medal is only awarded to enlisted soldiers. Colonel Marcus graduated from West Point and was a commissioned officer during his entire army career, and therefore would not have received this medal. See more »

Quotes

Magda Simon: Remember, if we are stopped by a British patrol, we are off for a weekend in the country.
Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus: And you are my sister.
Magda Simon: Do you have good sex with your wife?
Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus: What goes on in that pretty head of yours?
Magda Simon: Andre's not very good in bed.
Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus: Well, just close your eyes and tell the doctor everything.
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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 The Saint: The Fiction Makers: Part 1 (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Hava Negila
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User Reviews

 
Terrific story of Israel's 1st general in 2000 years
16 May 2009 | by magboSee all my reviews

Excellent cast, intelligent script, heart-warming scenes of loyalty, determination, re-discovered faith, sobering scenes of the cost of freedom, wow! I was completely engrossed watching this film, the story of General David "Mickey" Marcus (Kirk Douglas), who in 1948 became the first Israeli general since Joshua of Biblical times. This film came out when I was 14 and I have somehow missed seeing it all these years. I had no idea what I was missing.

What I don't understand is the grumbling and complaining about what a "bad" film this is. Huh? I loved it! Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Yul Bryunner, Senta Berger and Frank Sinatra were perfectly cast in their roles. The script covered the highlights of the War of Independence during the brief time time Marcus was involved, and I don't know what more you could expect for a feature film. To tell the story of the war completely and thoroughly would take a miniseries of 20 hours or more. Yes, the special effects look dated now, but you can't fault something because it doesn't use technology that hadn't been invented yet. Also, learning that Senta Berger's character was fictional and apparently only inserted to make a good story, was a disappointment. However, her character was a wonderful metaphor for Marcus' newly found love for Israel and re-discovery of his faith, after living as a secular American Jew for his entire life. (At one point Marcus says he hasn't been to temple since his bar mitzvah).

Also, I must say that I think the person who complained here on IMDb about John Wayne's reaction to seeing the Dachau concentration camp in the World War II flashback is completely off the mark. Wayne, as Pattonesque American general Mike Randolph, struggles to keep his emotions intact as he looks at the horror of the camp his troops have recently liberated. He orders his adjutant to give Marcus whatever he needs to tend to the Dachau survivors and turns away, his back to the camera. He leans against a fence, head down, physically and emotionally overcome. What would you want him to do in such a situation? I suspect the objecting person just doesn't like John Wayne no matter what the film or what his role.

His son Michael Wayne was co-producer with the film's director and screenwriter Mel Shavelson, and Wayne's Batjac Productions is one of four production companies listed. Another reviewer here has cynically suggested most of the budget went to Wayne's salary and I say balderdash! I'm quite sure the Wayne family's interest and participation in this film was not merely financial. I'm equally sure they wanted to help tell this story of the Israeli struggle for freedom they thought the world should hear. Then and now, for that matter.

I want to thank the Showtime networks for airing this film in the USA on May 16, 2009, which happened to be two days after the 61st anniversary of Israeli independence day. Nice touch, and a terrific weekend to see this film.


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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:

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

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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