Masada

AUD$7.95AUD$12.95

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.

ACTORS :  Peter O’Toole, Peter Strauss, Barbara Carrera

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1981

POSTAGE : Australia – Purchase a single DVD, Postage free via Australia Post but no Tracking

Purchase two or more DVDs in the one order. Postage free but sent via a courier with Tracking

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Storyline

Masada, 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.

Magnificent Spectacle

Masada is amazing, in part, because it is a true story and also because it is truly a fascinating drama. Originally filmed as a mini-series, at 6 plus hours, it has been released in short (movie length) form but don’t bother with that edition. Even though it (the six hour video set) is quite long, not one minute will bore you. It is a story of the military…in a battle of wits against (Jewish) patriots. The cast is superb, with Americans playing the Jews and British actors as the Romans. The lowly soldiers speaking in “middle class” dialect while the officers sound more aristocratic…a really nice touch. Peter O’Toole has never been better in his role as Flavius Silva commander of the Roman regiment dispatched by Rome to capture the Jews holding out at Masada…a huge, almost impregnable mountain fortress. Anthony Quayle and David Warner also do some of their best work ever. Peter Straus as Eleazar, leader of the Jews is passionate in his convictions and the rest of the cast shines also. The mind games they utilize on each other are fascinating and make for engrossing drama. It is truly one of the best mini-series, or historical epics ever put to film.

An inspiring saga

 
Long-last on DVD, Masada depicts the true story of the Jewish struggle atop Masada following the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem. While visiting the site in 1989 I was told that Peter Strauss asked to spend a night atop the mount, then the Israeli Air Force flew overhead scaring him considerably. The film wisely starts with a documentary showing the significance this site has today. Peter O’Toole is superb and the script is well-written. You expect the Roman General to be the “bad guy” and you discover otherwise. Much of the conversation is quite clever, especially from the Roman bureaucrats and the political intrigue. You’ll want to read about the archaeological excavations and to visit Masada after seeing this wonderful movie. This is from the golden age of TV mini-series.

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