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Touted as a masterpiece by stout Premingerites; but with one eye on the box-office, the other on avoiding giving offence, this adaptation of Leon Uris' blockbusting novel about the founding of modern Israel could hardly be anything but a compromise. Moral issues are raised, only to be forgotten in urgent deluges of action or romance; characters are all fashioned strictly to stereotype; and for all its caution, it finally comes across (especially in view of subsequent history) as a pretty objectionably blinkered slice of Zionist propaganda. Watchable mainly for the sheer skill and drive of Preminger's direction, although at 220 minutes even that long outstays its welcome.

Release details

Duration: 220 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Otto Preminger
Screenwriter: Dalton Trumbo
Cast: Hugh Griffith
Paul Newman
Eva Marie Saint
Ralph Richardson
Jill Hayworth
Lee J Cobb
Peter Lawford
Felix Aylmer
John Derek
Sal Mineo
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