Cast a Giant Shadow

Synopsis: An American Army officer is recruited by Jews in Palestine to help them form an army. The surrounding Arab countries are opposed to the creation of the state of Israel. He is made commander of the Israeli forces just before the war begins.
Director(s): Melville Shavelson
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
146 min

Come on. We're due in|court in 20 minutes.

- Our biggest case in two months.|- Almost our only case.

Come on.

Come on.

- What's the matter?|- We're being followed, don't look around.

- Great!|- In here... Hurry.

Who was it?

- Some amateur.|- Maybe a process server.

Or a relative trying to make a touch.

I promised Emma I'm not|playing Santa Claus anymore.

Col. Marcus?

Merry Christmas.

My name is Safir, and|my business is private.

Bert Harrison, my law partner.

Mr. Safir, who conducts his|private business in Macy's window.

Maj. Safir of the Haganah...

...the underground army of the|provisional government in Palestine.

I thought it best not to be seen|at your office.

- Are you sure you want to talk to me?|- Absolutely.

Please listen. I represent the|world's youngest, worst-trained...

...least-equipped|and most outnumbered army.

On May 15, the British will withdraw.

We will announce our independence and...

Six nations have promised|to drive you into the sea.

Yes, I read the newspapers.

Have you read their exact words?

King Ibn Saud:

"There are 50 million Arabs.

"What does it matter|if we lose 10 million to kill all the Jews?

"The price is worth it. "

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem:

"I declare a holy war.|Murder them. Murder them all. "

We are going to fight.

There's no other place for us to go.

We won't fight to the last man.|We're prepared to fight to the last child.

Our children don't believe|in Santa Claus, not anymore.

We need, immediately,|an experienced military adviser.

We've come to you because,|frankly, no one else wants the job.

At least you're an honest man|but I've just done a war and a half.

I promised the next war to my wife.

I think if I leave home once more,|I'll find my pajamas on the front porch.

Would you give up everything you love|to fight an insane war...

...for a country that'll get|its brains blown out in a few weeks?

If it were my country.

Maybe it's yours, but it isn't mine.

But you're a Jew.

I'm an American, Major.|That's my religion.

The last time I was in|temple, I was 13 years old.

I made a speech and got 42 fountain pens.|I don't have to go again.

I've got enough fountain pens.|Come on. We're a little late.

Here you are.

Colonel, I'm asking you, as an American.

What do you say in your schools|when you salute your flag?

"Liberty and justice for all"?|Is it only for all of you?

Don't give me history lessons!

Six million of our people|have recently been murdered.

Would you like us to try for seven?


My name's Emma. What's yours?

Santa Claus.

- Why are you still up?|- I worry better when I'm awake.

Thank you.

What's my other surprise?

I know I'm breaking a|promise to you, but...

...I'm leaving for Palestine next month.



Military adviser to the underground forces.

But why there and why you?

I happen to know a great deal|about the business of killing...

...and they've been killed by experts.|Somebody's got to help them fight back.

I guess I'm proud of you...

...but I'm so damn tired|of being proud of you.

Believe me, Emma, I|tried to get out of it...

...but I couldn't turn this one down.

Not these people. Not now, when they...

Be honest, darling.

At least be honest.

You've been out of uniform six months.

If they hadn't come looking for|you, you'd have started your own war.

You have to admit...

...I found a war in a country|that's pretty hard for you to knock.

Wait till I get my hands on|whoever's running the world.

I thought it was your mother.

Don't you think I know|what's going to happen in Palestine?

The end of the world, Mickey.

They don't stand a chance.

They'll be dying by the thousands, and...

And you right with them.

What makes it so terrible... that's what you want.

Not me.



Are you crying?

You never cry.

I'm all right now.

I just had the awful feeling this|had all happened before somewhere.

That nightclub in|Washington during the war...

I knew then you were|never coming back...

...just as I know it now.

And maybe it's the|same "not coming back. "

Maybe it's all one.

Maybe this is the time.

It was a noisy war, that one.

Everyone danced a lot...

...and drank a lot...

...and loved a lot.

Some fellows even loved their own|wives. They were the worst kind.

If anything goes wrong, I want|you to know it was my own idea.

Nobody said I had to go.

That was their first mistake.

What did it this time, Mickey?

What really did it this time?

Did somebody say something|about your hiding behind a desk?

Something like that.


I don't think that's all it is.|It happens too often.

Maybe it's...

Maybe it's...

What's that corny old verse?

"I have a rendezvous with Death

"At some disputed barricade

"When Spring...

"When Spring comes

"When Spring comes back

"With rustling shade

"And apple-blossoms fill the air"

At school we always said the fellow|who wrote that just had hay fever.

What's your sickness, Mickey?

When do you leave?


It wasn't Gen. Sherman|who said, "War is hell. "

It was Mrs. Sherman.

To Mrs. Sherman.

A few days later,|there was a note from you:

"Arrived In England|safely. Don't worry. "

Of course I didnt worry.

I knew they wouldn't dare|start D-day without you.

Gen. Randolph, Col. Marcus, sir.

The Pentagon has directed me to request|transportation across the channel, sir.

What does Washington think|I'm running out here, Marcus?

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Ted Berkman

Ted Berkman (January 9, 1914 – May 12, 2006) was an American author, screenwriter and journalist best known for writing the screenplay for Bedtime for Bonzo. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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