Cast a Giant Shadow


Action / Adventure / Drama / History / War


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 20,626 times
January 19, 2015 at 05:23 PM


Michael Douglas as Jeep Driver
John Wayne as Gen. Mike Randolph
Kirk Douglas as Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus
Frank Sinatra as Vince Talmadge
1.24 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 26 min
P/S 11 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by fastball1740 6 / 10

Good action but so-so writing

One of the greatest casts ever assembled for a single film including Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Yul Brynner, Senta Berger, Angie Dickinson and others was put completely to waste in this film of unfulfilled potential. Sadly, despite a disproportionate amount of Jews in influential positions in Hollywood, Exodus and Cast a Giant Shadow remain the only two major films on the subject of Israeli independence.

Clearly almost the entire budget was spent on a two minute cameo by John Wayne because even for 1966 the special effects were poor, the dialogue was flat, the plot was boring, many scenes made little sense, and every actor either seemed bored with his or her role or they overacted. For a movie based on actual events the filmmakers due an incredibly poor job of explaining how things actually come to pass in the movie, maybe the truth was just too boring. The film sends a message but it is poorly conveyed and in the end I simply am left unsatisfied with a desire to see a Longest Day type caliber movie about the Israeli War of Independence.

Reviewed by MARIO GAUCI ([email protected]) 6 / 10

CAST A GIANT SHADOW (Melville Shavelson, 1966) **1/2

Earnest, well-mounted but essentially dreary epic about the real-life involvement of an American Jew in the post-war struggle for Israel's independence – thus sharing its theme with EXODUS (1960), and clearly aiming (but failing) for a "Marcus Of Israel" feel!

Kirk Douglas stars as Mickey Marcus – perhaps chosen due to the character's similarities to another historical figure forced by circumstances into leadership, Spartacus, whom Douglas had portrayed in 1960. He's supported by an eclectic cast which includes Angie Dickinson as his neglected(!) wife, Senta Berger as the Israeli girl he falls for, Topol as an ill-tempered Arab sheik, Luther Adler as a local politician, a plethora of reliable British character actors – and even guest appearances by Frank Sinatra (which doesn't amount to much), a glum Yul Brynner as a fellow freedom fighter, and John Wayne as a U.S. General whom Douglas initially falls foul of but the two eventually end up respecting one another (still, seeing Wayne at the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp is about as incongruous as his stint playing the Roman Centurion at Christ's crucifixion in THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD [1965]!).

Despite a sharp script and good individual sequences, the film is compromised by its necessity to be both a spectacle and a message picture (the WWII flashbacks, for instance, are unnecessary and merely render the film overlong); unsurprisingly, it works best during the action highlights (complemented by a typically fine Elmer Bernstein score). Apparently, the events have been partially fictionalized – I wonder whether these embellishments concerned the romantic complications and the Hollywood-style ironic ending. For the record, Shavelson had started out as a scriptwriter (and later director) of Bob Hope and Danny Kaye vehicles; this was his most serious effort – a brave try, but not quite the 'giant' film he clearly intended...

Reviewed by magbo 8 / 10

Terrific story of Israel's 1st general in 2000 years

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.

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment