Synopsis: The theme is the founding of the state of Israel. The action begins on a ship filled with Jewish immigrants bound for Israel who are being off loaded on Cyprus. An Intelligence officer succeeds in getting them back on board their ship only to have the harbor blocked by the British with whom they must negotiate. The second part of the film is about the situation in Israel as independence is declared and most of their neighbors attack them.
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Director(s): Otto Preminger
Production: United Artists
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
208 min

The island of Cyprus, madam.

World famous for beauty and long, tragic history.

Been conquered many times.

Conquered by Phoenicians, Assyrians,

Persians, Macedonians.

Also conquered by Greeks, Romans,

Byzantines, Turks.

Purchased from Turkey

by your esteemed self, the British Empire.

All Cyprus most fond of the British.

I'm an American.

Fond of Americans also.

We Cypriots are fond of everybody.

Shall we go through the castle now?

No, I've changed my mind.

Then maybe the Tower of Othello

at the harbour of Famagusta.

- It'sincluded in the tour.

- All right.

What's the matter here?

Prison ship has arrived

full of Jews for the camps, madam.

- What camps?

- Detention camps out at Karaolos.

You see, the Jews, they charter a ship

from Europe to get to Palestine.

Then the British catch the ship

and send the whole bunch here.

The Arabs don't want them in Palestine.

The British don't want them here, either.

- But they got them.

- Stop!

Get him!

Maybe you can back up

and drive me to this address.

House of the British Commander.

Now, then.

- Get his feet.

- Right.


Mrs. Fremont?

The General's expecting you in the garden.

How do you do, Mrs. Fremont?

I'm very glad to see you.

Please sit down.

Found that here in the garden.

From the colour,

I'd say it belongs to the Byzantine period.

The Byzantines occupied Cyprus for centuries.

Gives one an idea how temporary

our claims to the world's real estate are.

I'm ashamed to say I really don't know

anything about archaeology.

Few people do.

Didn't you once publish something

about the Roman ruins in Cheltenham?

A very obscure something. How did you know?

Tom mentioned it in one of his letters.

He was very proud of your friendship.

As I was of his.

Will you have tea, or something livelier?

Something livelier, please.

- Is that ice I see?

- Surprised?

Tom got me into the habit.

Now I use ice in practically everything.

There we are.

May we drink to Tom?

Of course.

I'm extremely sorry circumstances

compelled us to bury him in the field.

Even sorrier I was transferred from Palestine...

...before I got the chance to see you.

It wasn't your fault.

It took me almost a week to arrange passage.

But your letter was waiting there for me,

and Tom's things.

I really shouldn't have let him go with us.

It was only a border affair.

One of the Jewish undergrounds

had blown up half a dozen bridges.

It really wasn't important enough

to lose one's life for.

Is anything?

In my opinion, yes.

I've known many soldiers, Mrs. Fremont,

and war correspondents...

...and news photographers,

such as your husband.

But I think perhaps Tom

was the bravest man I've ever met.

We have a saying in Indiana:

"The braver the bird, the fatter the cat. "


Do you recognize this photograph, General?

Of course. It was his last.

Do you remember how Tom got that shot?

We were together.

I must confess, my eyes weren't on him

when he snapped the shutter.

The aircraft came in low.

We were both in the truck.

I jumped down on one side to take cover,

and Tom jumped down on the other side.

Tom couldn't have taken cover

and photographed the plane as he did.

I dare say you're right.

He had a strong sense of duty.

He also had a strong sense of death.

I felt I had to confirm what I suspected

about the last photograph.

I'm very grateful to you.

That's over a year ago.

How have you been occupying yourself?

- After I lost the child I was-

- The child?

Didn't Tom tell you we had a child on the way?

Men like Tom are often quite reticent

about things that are nearest to their hearts.

I understand.

It was quite late in my pregnancy

when Tom was killed.

Apparently the Palestine trip was too much.

I lost the baby in the hospital at Jerusalem.

And then I went back

to my old profession of nursing.

I've just completed my tour of duty

with the US Public Health Service in Greece.

Very good. What are your plans for the future?

I haven't quite decided yet.

I may travel a while before I go home.

I have passage booked on a freighter

that sails next week to Istanbul.

From there I may go to Lydia.

I've always wanted to see the Vale of Kashmir.

It's probably the most beautiful spot on earth.

Mrs. Fremont, may I introduce Maj. Caldwell?

- How do you do?

- How do you do?

- Have a drink.

- Thank you. I'd love one.

- How did your disembarkation go?

- Smoothly.

We're really up to our neck in Jews, sir.

Karaolos bursting at the seams

and more to come.

I still say we should send them back

where they came from.

Two loads were shipped out of Haifa

bound for Hamburg.

I don't see why we can't do the same thing.

I shouldn't like to have a hand

in sending a Jew back to Germany.

Squeeze them in as best as you can.

They're squeezed in.

Short of bed space, supplies...

...short of nurses, short of temper,

short of everything.

Mrs. Fremont's a nurse.

Why don't you lend a hand at Karaolos?

No, General. I'm afraid I couldn't.

I've really been quite tired lately.

And I don't know anything about them.

About the Jews?

I feel strange among them.

In what way?

Now that you mention it, I can't think.

It's just a feeling I get.

- Will you have another drink?

- Thank you, no. I really must leave.

I'm touring the island

and my guide is very firm with me.

- loll take you to your car.

- Thank you for the drink and the talk.

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Dalton Trumbo

James Dalton Trumbo (December 9, 1905 – September 10, 1976) was an American screenwriter and novelist who scripted many award-winning films including Roman Holiday, Exodus, Spartacus, and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. One of the Hollywood Ten, he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during the committee's investigation of communist influences in the motion picture industry. He, along with the other members of the Hollywood Ten and hundreds of other industry professionals, was subsequently blacklisted by that industry. His talents as one of the top screenwriters allowed him to continue working clandestinely, producing work under other authors' names or pseudonyms. His uncredited work won two Academy Awards: for Roman Holiday (1953), which was given to a front writer, and for The Brave One (1956) which was awarded to a pseudonym of Trumbo's. When he was given public screen credit for both Exodus and Spartacus in 1960, this marked the beginning of the end of the Hollywood Blacklist for Trumbo and other screenwriters. He finally was given full credit by the Writers' Guild for all his achievements, the work of which encompassed six decades of screenwriting. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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