7.8/10
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26 user 6 critic

Masada 

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After the destruction of the Second Temple, nine hundred Jewish zealots hold out against a five thousand man Roman legion on the mountaintop fortress of Masada.
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1  
1981  
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Peter O'Toole ...  General Cornelius Flavius Silva 4 episodes, 1981
Peter Strauss ...  Eleazar ben Yair 4 episodes, 1981
Barbara Carrera ...  Sheva 4 episodes, 1981
Alan Feinstein ...  Aaron 4 episodes, 1981
Giulia Pagano Giulia Pagano ...  Miriam 4 episodes, 1981
Anthony Quayle ...  Rubrius Gallus 4 episodes, 1981
Paul L. Smith ...  Gideon 4 episodes, 1981
David Warner ...  Senator Pomponius Falco / ... 4 episodes, 1981
Clive Francis ...  Attius, Head Tribune 4 episodes, 1981
David Opatoshu ...  Shimon 4 episodes, 1981
Richard Pierson Richard Pierson ...  Ephraim 4 episodes, 1981
Joseph Wiseman ...  Jerahmeel, Head Essene 4 episodes, 1981
David A. Block David A. Block ...  Reuben 4 episodes, 1981
Vernon Dobtcheff ...  Chief Priest 4 episodes, 1981
David Mauro David Mauro ...  Epos 4 episodes, 1981
Alexander Peleg ...  Zidon 4 episodes, 1981
Joey Sagal ...  Seth 4 episodes, 1981
Michael Shillo Michael Shillo ...  Ezra 4 episodes, 1981
Christopher Biggins ...  Albinus 3 episodes, 1981
Heinz Bernard Heinz Bernard ...  Elder 3 episodes, 1981
Warren Clarke ...  Plinius 3 episodes, 1981
Ken Hutchison ...  Fronto 3 episodes, 1981
Reuven Bar-Yotam ...  Butcher 3 episodes, 1981
Denis Quilley ...  General Marcus Quadratus 2 episodes, 1981
Anthony Valentine ...  Merovius, Head Tribune 2 episodes, 1981
Jack Watson ...  Decurion 2 episodes, 1981
Derek Newark Derek Newark ...  Engineering Officer 2 episodes, 1981
Michael Elphick ...  Vettius 2 episodes, 1981
Nick Brimble ...  Milades 2 episodes, 1981
Michael Schneider Michael Schneider ...  Surgeon 2 episodes, 1981
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Storyline

Flavius Silva, commander in Roman Judea, wants to reach a reasonable compromise with the Jewish Zealots and withdraw his legion. Events and personalities in Rome, however, lead to his besieging the fortress of Masada. There the engineering genius of the Romans must fight both the harsh climate and landscape, and the passion and ingenuity of Eleazar Ben Yair and his people. Written by Cleo <frede005@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Masada See more »

Filming Locations:

Masada, Judean Desert, Israel See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical) | (cut) (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his opening monologue on April 7, 1981, Johnny Carson described this mini-series as a "Kosher Shogun". After watching the mini-series, Carson joked that he learned all Romans spoke with an English accent. See more »

Goofs

In one scene General Silva is having a conversation with Eleazar ben Yair. One of the men's chain around is neck is stuck around a pin on his body armor in one camera view, but not in a different view. See more »

Quotes

Senator Pomponius Falco: [arriving in camp during the heat of day] So much for atheism! There is a Hell! This is it!
See more »

Alternate Versions

An extremely edited, two-hour version was released on video c. 1982. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant! Why isn't this on DVD?
29 March 2006 | by sharlyfarleySee all my reviews

Honor is due all around. First, credit must go to Joel Oliansky, who developed Gann's slender book into full-range drama with wit and wisdom. Boris Segal directs a huge cast so well, and so unobtrusively...You never wonder where you are, or which side you're listening to; there are so many characters that are memorable, even if they only have two lines...It's the best performance of Peter Strauss's career, and one of O'Toole's crown jewels. Jerry Goldsmith can furnish haunting melodies and epic marches. In short, nobody in this miniseries has fallen down on the job...

Except for ABC, who took more than a decade to get it out of the vault and onto videotape, and still hasn't gotten "Masada" put on DVD.

The strongest kind of drama is when you can sympathize with both sides; Silva has been saddled with irrational orders for a military conquest (sound familiar?) where none is possible - or even necessary. Eleazar knows only one thing for sure: "No man should be another man's slave." But Rome must prove a point. Rome cannot allow defiance to succeed; the Jewish zealots cannot submit to Roman enslavement. "You can take their victory from them." Mesmerizing...and well worth your time.


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