Cast a Giant Shadow

Cast a Giant Shadow

Melville Shavelson (1966)

PG Certificate


Our Score
This expensive epic tells one of the great stories of the early days in Israel's struggle for independence. The role of American-born colonel David "Mickey" Marcus is ruggedly incarnated by Kirk Douglas, apt casting for the orthodox Jew, born Issur Danielovitch, later dubbed Isidore Demsky, and self-styled "Ragman's Son". Marcus's story is impressive enough without the array of guest stars (John Wayne, Yul Brynner, Frank Sinatra) writer/producer/director Melville Shavelson assembled in a distracting attempt to ensure box-office respectability. Elmer Bernstein's rousing score is superb, and the Panavision photography is mighty fine, but the tale deserves better. For an absolutely hilarious account of the filming, read Shavelson's own book, How to Make a Jewish Movie.


A Jewish American colonel retires from the army after the end of the Second World War, but in 1948, is persuaded to go to Israel and train the inexperienced recruits in the newly formed nation's army to defend the country from the threat of invasion. Fact-based adventure, starring Kirk Douglas and Senta Berger, with cameo appearances by John Wayne, Yul Brynner and Frank Sinatra.

Cast & Crew

Col David Marcus Kirk Douglas
Magda Simon Senta Berger
Emma Marcus Angie Dickinson
Abou Ibn Kader Topol
Gen Mike Randolph John Wayne
Asher Gonen Yul Brynner
Vince Talmadge Frank Sinatra
Maj Safir James Donald
Director Melville Shavelson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: United Artists Corp. LtdAvailable on: video and DVD