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The state of Israel is created in 1948, resulting in war with its Arab neighbors.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Dalton Trumbo (screenplay), Leon Uris (novel)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Ari Ben Canaan
Eva Marie Saint ... Kitty Fremont
Ralph Richardson ... Gen. Sutherland
Peter Lawford ... Maj. Caldwell
Lee J. Cobb ... Barak Ben Canaan
Sal Mineo ... Dov Landau
John Derek ... Taha
Hugh Griffith ... Mandria
Gregory Ratoff ... Lakavitch
Felix Aylmer ... Dr. Lieberman
David Opatoshu ... Akiva Ben Canaan
Jill Haworth ... Karen
Marius Goring ... Von Storch
Alexandra Stewart ... Jordana Ben Canaan
Michael Wager Michael Wager ... David Ben Ami
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Storyline

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. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The drama and the passion of one of the epic events of the twentieth century !

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1961 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Éxodo See more »

Filming Locations:

Israel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$18,966,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,750,000, 31 January 1970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Otto Preminger Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to what some believe, the British did not "plant" Jews in Palestine after World War I. The British did capture great portions of the Middle East from the Turks, and actively favored the founding of a Jewish state in their ancient homeland. But after most Arab leaders expressed great consternation at the idea of a Jewish homeland, and Arab religious leader in Palestine began to preach violence against the Jews, the British limited Jewish immigration severely. This created the situation depicted in the movie, with Jewish Holocaust survivors being denied entrance to what would eventually become Israel, and being kept in camps in Cyprus. In the 1930s, ships carrying refugees from Nazi Germany were stopped by the British and turned back to their ports. See more »

Goofs

The German SS at Auschwitz executed all the Sonderkommandos and selected a new crew 13 times, hence only the last 14th survived. No Jew, therefore, could have had the experience of exploding dynamite to create mass graves. As this process well predated the installation of the crematorium, his Sonderkommando unit would have been liquidated long before liberation. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cypriot guide: The island of Cyprus, madame. 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 wanted the British.
Kitty Fremont: [correcting him] I'm an American.
Cypriot guide: Fond of Americans, also; we Cypriots are fond of everybody.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits shown over a background of flames. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Shir HaPalmach
(uncredited)
Music Traditional
[Played at Gan Daphne prior to Karens abduction]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Popular in 1960 But Today Uninspired
29 March 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

Early in the film, while discussing the squabbling between Jews and Arabs over Palestine, an exasperated Eva Marie Saint sighs and asks "How is it all going to end?" How indeed! It is a question the world has asked for more than half a century, and to date there is no answer in sight.

Concerning the creation of the Jewish state of Israel, the 1958 Leon Uris novel EXODUS was among the great bestsellers of its era and remains widely read to this day. The 1960 film version was also widely admired at the time of its release--but it is seldom seen today. There is a reason for that. In spite of its reputation, the film is remarkably slapdash. The cinematography is poor, lacking arresting visuals and often so sloppy that the shadows of the boom mikes are visible here, there, and everywhere throughout the film. The sound mix is also quite poor, with post-production effects as much off the mark as they are on. But the great flaws here are the script and the cast.

Written for the screen by Dalton Trumbo, the script has a very artificial and very talky quality. This might be overlooked if Trumbo actually had anything to say in the process--but he does not, and a remarkably gifted cast struggles vainly against one artificial line after another. Paul Newman is horrifically miscast; Eva Marie Saint, Ralph Richardson, and Lee J. Cobb fare a bit better, but Jill Haworth is chiefly memorable for giving the single worst performance in the film. As for Sal Mineo's much lauded performance, today it seems extremely theatrical.

Even so, EXODUS would remain passable were it not for the incredibly naive brand of Zionism the film adopts. More than fifty years later after endless wars, waves of terrorism, and failed peace talks we all know that it was NEVER as simple as this movie would have us believe. When all is said and done, the most memorable thing about EXODUS is the Academy Award-winning score by Ernest Gold, which really is as good as every one says it is.

The film is presently available to the homemarket as a no-frills DVD. Final thought: it has moments of interest and on rare occasions even brilliance, but those moments are few and far between. Best left to those who remember it fondly from its 1960 debut.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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