Staff rating

Exodus Star_onStar_onStar_onStar_on 4.0 4.0 from 1 reviews
view all

Chronicles the post-WWII partition of Palestine into a homeland for Jews; the anguish of refugees from Nazi concentration camps held on ships in the Mediterranean; the struggle of the tiny nation with forces dividing it from within and destroying it from the outside; and the heroic men and women who saw a job to be done and did it. Based on the novel by Leon Uris; filmed in Cyprus and Israel. Preminger battled the Israeli government, the studio, and the novel's author to complete this epic. Cost more than $4 million, a phenomenal amount at the time.

Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1399 S. Roxbury, Los Angeles, CA 90035, Phone: (310)553-9036, Toll-free: 800-900-9036, Fax: (310)553-4521, Email:, URL:

Available on Running time 208 minutes.

Cast and Crew

Judaism, Israel, Top Grossing Films of 1960, Postwar, True Stories, Books to Film: Leon Uris
Dalton Trumbo
Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb, Sal Mineo, Ralph Richardson, Hugh Griffith, Gregory Ratoff, Felix Aylmer, Peter Lawford, Jill Haworth, John Derek, David Opatoshu, Marius Goring, Alexandra Stewart, Michael Wager, Martin Benson, Paul Stevens, George Maharis
Otto Preminger
Ernest Gold
United Artists, Otto Preminger


Oscars 1960: Orig. Dramatic Score; Golden Globes 1961: Support. Actor (Mineo).

Visitor Reviews

Star_onStar_onStar_onStar_on 4.0 4.0
Jeffrey Haber

Arguably,Otto Preminger's "Exodus" is a tremendous film of epic proportions.At the time of its release in 1960 some of the major newspapers lauded it for its magnificent scope and production values.Producer and Director Otto Preminger successfully turns out an ambitious 3 1/2 film with some really good performances from an all-star cast.Paul Newman's wonderful portrayal of Haganah Underground leader Ari Ben Canaan was dismissed as being "perfunctory","sound" and even "competent"by the 1960 critics.I always felt that Newman was the right choice to play Ari.Granted other fine actors could have played Ari at this time-but I think Newman in a heroic performance made it his own.Newman should have been nominated for a best actor Oscar in Exodus.Eva Marie Saint(veteran of such classics as "On The Waterfront"and "North By Northwest") is fine as Nurse Kitty Fremont and Jill Hayworth gives a poignant performance as Karen(a Holocaust survivor).Lee J. Cobb is memorable in a small but juicy role as Ari's diplomat father-Barak Ben Canaan,who is in conflict over politics with his extremist brother Akiva(brilliantly played by David Opatoshu).John Derek is also powerful and memorable as Ari's boyhood friend and Arab Chieftain named Taha-who ultimately pays the price for his friendship with the Jews.Sir Ralph Richardson delivers a fine performance as the British General and commander of Cyprus.Whereas Peter Lawford shines in a small but juicy role as an anti-semitic British officer on Cyprus.But the second best acting in the film after Newman is by Sal Mineo-who almost steals the film as Auschwitz survivor Dov Landau..Mineo's performance is multi-faceted and it is positively electrifying.His is an exciting performance to watch.The films highlights:Ari observing an evening conversation between Mineo(Dov) and Hayworth(Karen)aboard the Exodus as Landau announces his intentions to join the Irgun.Ari's(Newman's) reaction shots to this are great as his Uncle is the Irgun leader In Palestine and Ari of course knows what the future will hold for Dov if he joins this militant group.That is my favorite scene in the film.Other colorful scenes include the bombing of the King David Hotel,the Acre prison break and Ari's daring rescue attempt to save a children's village in the Jezreel Valley.And there are even more stunning and electric scenes to watch.Yet of course we must also credit Ernest Gold for his magnificent music score that really sets the tone for Exodus.With all this said,one may ask:Is the film still better than the book?Well,I will be candid here.I believe the book has the edge.Yet, I still love this movie.Remember,screen-writer Trumbo did alter certain plot-lines and several characterizations of the novel considerably.The book has obviously been toned down.But it is still so effective to watch due to its very good performances,compelling story,and on-location shooting as every scene was filmed exactly where it took place in Cyprus and Israel,let us also credit its powerful background music,intellectual honesty and above all its great human interest story.Credit must be given to Preminger and screen-writer Dalton Trumbo for translating Leon Uris' mammoth 625 page book into an admirable picture.And yes,for these myriad of reasons Exodus is still a successful picture.To the entire cast,Director,writer and all the rest-job well done here!