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:
...  General Cornelius Flavius Silva 4 episodes, 1981
...  Eleazar ben Yair 4 episodes, 1981
...  Sheva 4 episodes, 1981
...  Aaron 4 episodes, 1981
Giulia Pagano ...  Miriam 4 episodes, 1981
...  Rubrius Gallus 4 episodes, 1981
...  Gideon 4 episodes, 1981
...  Falco 4 episodes, 1981
...  Attius, Head Tribune 4 episodes, 1981
...  Shimon 4 episodes, 1981
Richard Pierson ...  Ephraim 4 episodes, 1981
...  Jerahmeel, Head Essene 4 episodes, 1981
David A. Block ...  Reuben 4 episodes, 1981
...  Chief Priest 4 episodes, 1981
David Mauro ...  Epos 4 episodes, 1981
...  Zidon 4 episodes, 1981
...  Seth 4 episodes, 1981
Michael Shillo ...  Ezra 4 episodes, 1981
...  Albinus 3 episodes, 1981
Heinz Bernard ...  Elder 3 episodes, 1981
...  Plinius 3 episodes, 1981
...  Fronto 3 episodes, 1981
...  Butcher 3 episodes, 1981
...  General Marcus Quadratus 2 episodes, 1981
...  Merovius, Head Tribune 2 episodes, 1981
...  Decurion 2 episodes, 1981
Derek Newark ...  Engineering Officer 2 episodes, 1981
...  Vettius 2 episodes, 1981
...  Milades 2 episodes, 1981
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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Action | Drama | History

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Release Date:

5 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Масада  »

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| (theatrical) | (cut) (theatrical)

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his opening monologue on April 7th 1981, Johnny Carson described the miniseries Massada as a "Kosher Shogun." After watching the series, Carson joked that he learned all Romans spoke with an English accent. See more »

Goofs

At approximately 23 minutes in, we get a close-up of an obvious modern fiberglass bow covered in what appears to be black electrical tape. 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.
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant! Why isn't this on DVD?
29 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

Honor is due all around. First, credit must go to Joel Oliansky, who developed Gann's slender book into full-range drama with wit and wisdom. Boris Segal directs a huge cast so well, and so unobtrusively...You never wonder where you are, or which side you're listening to; there are so many characters that are memorable, even if they only have two lines...It's the best performance of Peter Strauss's career, and one of O'Toole's crown jewels. Jerry Goldsmith can furnish haunting melodies and epic marches. In short, nobody in this miniseries has fallen down on the job...

Except for ABC, who took more than a decade to get it out of the vault and onto videotape, and still hasn't gotten "Masada" put on DVD.

The strongest kind of drama is when you can sympathize with both sides; Silva has been saddled with irrational orders for a military conquest (sound familiar?) where none is possible - or even necessary. Eleazar knows only one thing for sure: "No man should be another man's slave." But Rome must prove a point. Rome cannot allow defiance to succeed; the Jewish zealots cannot submit to Roman enslavement. "You can take their victory from them." Mesmerizing...and well worth your time.


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