Cast a Giant Shadow [1966]

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Senta Berger, Angie Dickinson
Genre: Adventure, Drama, History
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 146 minutes

Cast a Giant Shadow is based on Ted Berkman's biography of Colonel Mickey Marcus, the American soldier who served as an adviser in the fight to establish the state of Israel in 1948. Marcus (played by Kirk Douglas) must decide whether to settle into peacetime America or follow his more natural, combative instincts abroad--a dilemma symbolized by a love triangle involving wife Angie Dickinson and Senta Berger as a soldier whom he falls for in Palestine. Although lavish and spectacular, especially in the war scenes--filmed in the actual Middle Eastern locations in which they occurred--Cast a Giant Shadow is not entirely authentic. Moreover, in the light of later troubles in the region, not everyone will find heartwarming this depiction of plucky little Israel coping against Arab foes who are barely depicted as human throughout the film. Still, it's an impressive enough relic of epic 1960s cinema, with cameos by Yul Brynner, John Wayne, and Frank Sinatra. --David Stubbs

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