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Masada 

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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.
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1  
1981  
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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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 ...  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
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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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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:

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his opening monologue on April 7, 1981, Johnny Carson described this mini-series as a "Kosher Shogun". After watching the mini-series, Carson joked that he learned all Romans spoke with an English accent. 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

Rubrius Gallus: [after the wind blows sand into his face] Damn wind!
Centurion: Could be rain, couldn't it?
Rubrius Gallus: [laconically] Ayhh, could be cantalopes from Egypt too, but it's not.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

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User Reviews

 
I thought it was masterful history and Peter O'Toole's greatest performance!
11 April 2002 | by Eagle1280See all my reviews

This story brings out the idealist and the need for faith in me whenever I view it. The historical accuracy and the sheer information provided about the Roman Empire, the province of Judea circa 70AD, and the Roman Legions, are truly astonishing. Every semester, whenever I teach World Civilizations I at Essex County College in Newark NJ, I always include a classroom viewing of the 2 hour version for my students (and lament not time enough to show the full saga). Peter O'Toole's performance as the competant but troubled Flavius Silva I humbly believe is his masterwork and the life he places in his character is thought provoking and emotionally stirring. The music, the material, the true story and the detail from building the ramp to the costumes and location re-create what actually happened better than any textbook or lecture could. By the way, Barbara Cararra almost steals the show from Peter O'Toole and her acting performance also deserves special mention. I proudly own the full saga on VHS and eagerly await the DVD edition. This is a must-see for anyone interested in Roman, Israeli, or general history.


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