After the destruction of the Second Temple, nine hundred Jewish zealots hold out against a five thousand man Roman legion on the mountaintop fortress of Masada.
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1981  
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Peter O'Toole ...  General Cornelius Flavius Silva 4 episodes, 1981
Peter Strauss ...  Eleazar ben Yair 4 episodes, 1981
Barbara Carrera ...  Sheva 4 episodes, 1981
Alan Feinstein ...  Aaron 4 episodes, 1981
Giulia Pagano Giulia Pagano ...  Miriam 4 episodes, 1981
Anthony Quayle ...  Rubrius Gallus 4 episodes, 1981
Paul L. Smith ...  Gideon 4 episodes, 1981
David Warner ...  Senator Pomponius Falco / ... 4 episodes, 1981
Clive Francis ...  Attius, Head Tribune 4 episodes, 1981
David Opatoshu ...  Shimon 4 episodes, 1981
Richard Pierson Richard Pierson ...  Ephraim 4 episodes, 1981
Joseph Wiseman ...  Jerahmeel, Head Essene 4 episodes, 1981
David A. Block David A. Block ...  Reuben 4 episodes, 1981
Vernon Dobtcheff ...  Chief Priest 4 episodes, 1981
David Mauro David Mauro ...  Epos 4 episodes, 1981
Alexander Peleg ...  Zidon 4 episodes, 1981
Joey Sagal ...  Seth 4 episodes, 1981
Michael Shillo Michael Shillo ...  Ezra 4 episodes, 1981
Christopher Biggins ...  Albinus 3 episodes, 1981
Heinz Bernard Heinz Bernard ...  Elder 3 episodes, 1981
Warren Clarke ...  Plinius 3 episodes, 1981
Ken Hutchison ...  Fronto 3 episodes, 1981
Reuven Bar-Yotam ...  Butcher 3 episodes, 1981
Denis Quilley ...  General Marcus Quadratus 2 episodes, 1981
Anthony Valentine ...  Merovius, Head Tribune 2 episodes, 1981
Jack Watson ...  Decurion 2 episodes, 1981
Derek Newark Derek Newark ...  Engineering Officer 2 episodes, 1981
Michael Elphick ...  Vettius 2 episodes, 1981
Nick Brimble ...  Milades 2 episodes, 1981
Michael Schneider 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the lengthy location filming, Peter O'Toole was the only cast member who didn't fall ill. This was due to the fact that these were similar locations to Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and he knew how punishing and gruelling the region could be. See more »

Goofs

During the scene in which the Jews are ascending the trail up to the summit of Masada, a vehicle the size of a bus can clearly be seen travelling on a road in the background See more »

Quotes

Kophar: [in a patronizing tone] Your excellency, what an honor.
Cornelius Flavius Silva: Hello, Kophar. I see you're still one step ahead of leprosy.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An extremely edited, two-hour version was released on video c. 1982. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Striptease (1996) See more »

User Reviews

 
One man's freedom fighter is another's fanatic... but which is which...?
2 April 2021 | by CinemaSerfSee all my reviews

I remember watching this mini-series on the BBC and throughly enjoying every minute (I was 14!). It marries historical fact, legend and drama creating a cracking action adventure that sees nine hundred Jewish people take refuge in the eponymous and impregnable mountain fortress, fleeing the brutal regime of the Vespasianic legions under the command of Peter O'Toole's ("Silva"). The other principal casting maybe isn't the best - Peter Strauss didn't work for me at all and the seriously wooden Barbara Carrera also stretches the imagination just a tad, but the pace of the story builds well as the besieging Romans face all the desert environment and the Jewish freedom fighters can throw at them. There is an inevitability about it - the engineering prowess of the army soon starts to sound a death knell for the brave souls gathered above, and there are some strikingly brutal examples of just how ruthless the occupying forces could be - a whole new set of uses for catapults, for example. A solid cast including Sir Anthony Quayle, David Warner and Dennis Quilley give the proceedings extra gravitas and O'Toole manages to resist any temptation to ham it up delivering a strong, considered, performance as the reasonably minded general/governor who has long since tired of fighting never ending wars. It takes 6½ hours, give or take recaps etc., which might explain why it is rarely seen nowadays, but it is a taut and compelling grand scale historical epic that is well worth sticking through (and visiting should you ever get the opportunity).


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Masada See more »

Filming Locations:

Masada, Judean Desert, Israel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical) | (cut) (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed