After the destruction of the Second Temple, 900 Jewish zealots hold out against a 5000 man Roman legion on the mountaintop fortress of Masada.
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1  
1981  
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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A dramatic and gripping telling of one of the most famous sieges in human History - Masada.

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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 ...  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
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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>

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Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Масада 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

British actors are cast as the Romans and American actors are playing the Jews. See more »

Goofs

In one scene General Silva is having a conversation with Eleazar ben Yair. One of the men's chain around is neck is stuck around a pin on his body armor in one camera view, but not in a different view. See more »

Quotes

Cornelius Flavius Silva: [to Gallus] We must face the truth. We laid out this camp for the prosecution of a siege. We didn't expect them to come visiting at all hours. We expected them to be stubborn, and they've turned out to be clever. I hate cleverness! It's the soldier in me, but we could use a little bit of it ourselves at the moment.
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Alternate Versions

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

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User Reviews

 
Very impressive, outstanding mini-series
7 March 2012 | by CinefanRSee all my reviews

Brilliant historical epic, and one of the finest productions I've had the pleasure to watch. Dealing from multiple points of view with perplexing issues such as honor, courage and patriotism, the series gets into the intricacies of military strategy and politics. 'Masada' is a fascinating character study, a most compelling commentary on the futility of war and a love story all together.

Outstanding performance given by Peter O'Toole and excellent acting from David Warner, Barbara Carrera and Anthony Quayle. O'Toole is the main star in any setting; he steals the show and his presence is overwhelming. O'Toole's Silva is so complex and believable, it's impossible to match.

Outstanding music score.

Excellent script, with strong character development and psychology, historical detail, complexity of themes and good dialogues. I was also impressed with the tact and sensitivity displayed given the subject matter, an intelligent approach that didn't diminish the emotional impact whatsoever.

Six-hour long series, and not a single minute to get bored. A cleverly built anticipation will keep your eyes on the screen.

Good 2-disc DVD release for its price. A must-have! However, it's about time for a properly restored and subtitled edition, and maybe some extras.


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