Director: Otto Preminger
Year Released: 1960
The chosen one (Paul Newman) leads his people out of a gorgeous Cyprus to Palestine, where they then fight against the British occupiers (like the U.S. in Iraq?) and, once given independence, fight against the Arabs (they sure like to fight!). The middle of this picture is pure deadweight, where every character is given some sort of Big Speech about history and freedom and honor, only turning into something worth watching again for a big prison break and then sinking into chatter once more. Since there can't be any closure to the movie - there doesn't seem to be much closure in real life, sadly - the filmmakers decide it's best to end it with the film's beautifully pale flower getting murdered (plus, a good man is brutally hanged) so the Jewish fighters can renew their vow to keep fighting. Paul Newman is miscast (he doesn't have the same Messianic appeal as either Kirk Douglas or Charlton Heston) and Eva Marie Saint isn't given much to do except act as his bland love interest; I found myself most fascinated by Oscar Nominated Sal Mineo as a fearless rebel leader with a shady past.