Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)

Approved   |    |  Adventure, Drama, History

Cast a Giant Shadow (1966) Poster

In 1947, following the U.N. decision to split British Palestine into separate Jewish and Palestinian states, a former U.S. Army officer is recruited by the Jews to reorganize the Haganah.


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3 January 2010 | wes-connors
| Jerusalem or Bust
After service in World War II, assimilated Jewish-American lawyer Kirk Douglas (as David "Mickey" Marcus), is offered a dangerous assignment in Palestine. There, Allied victors and the United Nations are supporting the formation of Israel through partition. Arriving, Mr. Douglas finds himself on the ground floor of what will dominate the remainder of 20th century in ways they couldn't have imagined in 1966 - the Arab/Israeli conflict. Reluctantly, Douglas finds himself leading the charge…

"Cast a Giant Shadow" is well-named. First, it begins with giant shadow-casting footage of three larger-than-life figures - Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin (at Yalta). Second, it features "special appearances" by giant shadow-casters who normally star in features - Frank Sinatra, Yul Brynner, and John Wayne (as the General). Third, you have sexy shadow-casting Senta Berger (as Magda Simon), who helps Douglas get over still smokin' wife Angie Dickinson (at home).

This film is what you'd expect, considering the politics and time. Douglas is always a strength; his performance holds the film together through some tough times, and his varied selection of projects is appreciated. A couple of the big name supporting players, once you get over the initial distraction, present real characterizations. Director Melville Shavelson and cinematographer Aldo Tonti make attractive use of the locations. The real story is Douglas juggling Ms. Berger and Ms. Dickinson, not war.

***** Cast a Giant Shadow (3/30/66) Melville Shavelson ~ Kirk Douglas, Senta Berger, Stathis Giallelis, John Wayne

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