Cast a Giant Shadow exemplifies the problems in contemporary film biography, particularly when the subject is less well known than the events which brought him honor. Some complete fiction and fuzzy composites melodramatize the career of an American Jew who assisted in the fight for the creation of the State of Israel [from the book by Ted Berkman].
Story concerns Col David (‘Mickey’) Marcus, West Point grad, NY lawyer and cop, and participant in many facets of World War II, who, in the late 1940s, is recruited to volunteer military help in the establishment of Israel, at that time still a dream subject to United Nations equivocation, militant Arab threats and uncertain world support.
Kirk Douglas stars as Marcus in a very good portrayal of a likeable, adventurous soldier-of-fortune who cannot get used to domestic inactivity even when wife Angie Dickinson is sitting by the hearth.
Unfortunately for the overall impact of the film, it is found necessary to go into World War II flashbacks to establish the Marcus character. John Wayne, in one of three featured special appearances, is a composite of every superior officer under whom Marcus served in those days.