Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)
Cast a Giant Shadow
Adventure / Drama / War
Directed by Melville Shavelson
Cast: Kirk Douglas as Col. David 'Mickey' Marcus
Senta Berger as Magda Simon
Angie Dickinson as Emma Marcus
James Donald as Maj. Safir
Stathis Giallelis as Ram Oren
Luther Adler as Jacob Zion
Topol as Abou Ibn Kader
Ruth White as Mrs. Chaison
Gordon Jackson as James MacAfee
Michael Hordern as British Ambassador
Allan Cuthbertson as Immigration Officer
Jeremy Kemp as Senior British Officer
Sean Barrett as Junior British Officer
Michael Shillo as Andre Simon
Rina Ganor as Rona
Frank Sinatra as Vince Talmadge
Yul Brynner as Asher Gonen
John Wayne as Gen. Mike Randolph
Michael Douglas as Jeep driver
Cast a Giant Shadow is a fictional account inspired by real world events. Col. Mickey Marcus is an American Jew picked by the forming government of Israel to be a military advisor in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and ends up becoming the first Israeli general in 2,000 years, since Joshua. Amidst cut-scenes and flashback, we see a military man that is looking to prove something to himself by heading out to war against the pleading of his wife, Emma. Marcus accepts the position and works to train the fledgling Israeli defenders from their Arab neighbors, who have all vowed to attack the State as soon as it is declared. Marcus is assigned an Israeli liaison in the form of Magda Simon, a decorated and attractive female soldier. Over time, a romance develops between the two. Marcus, with the help of Asher, struggle to form a fighting force out of men and women who speak different languages, and have had little to no military experience, and must learn quickly. As a historical movie we know the outcome, but the story behind the victory is moving and inspirational.
Notes: Cast a Giant Shadow was produced in part by John Wayne’s Batjac productions, and his role in the film has been compared to a portrayal of General Patton.
Cast a Giant Shadow also featured Michael Douglas’ first on-screen role in a bit part as a jeep driver.
Although Cast a Giant Shadow is based on historical events, numerous liberties were taken with the story. An example is the inclusion of the character of Magda Simon. There is no historical indication that such a character existed in Marcus’ actual life, however, it is standard Hollywood to include such love interests in war movies. Another is John Wayne’s character as a stand-in for Patton. Some critics had suggested that since Patton had died in 1946, the writers renamed the character General Randolph so they could have him play a bigger role in the film, instead of solely as flashbacks.
Actors: Senta Berger, Yul Brynner, Angie Dickinson, Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne