Exodus (1960) - Rotten Tomatoes

Exodus (1960)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Fictional but fact-based account of the struggle for the emergence of modern Israel as an independent country and home for world Jewry.
Rating:
G
Genre:
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
United Artists

Cast

Paul Newman
as Ari Ben Canaan
Eva Marie Saint
as Kitty Fremont
Ralph Richardson
as Gen. Sutherland
Peter Lawford
as Maj. Caldwell
Lee J. Cobb
as Barak Ben Canaan
Sal Mineo
as Dov Landau
John Derek
as Taha
Hugh Griffith
as Mandria
Gregory Ratoff
as Lakavitch
Felix Aylmer
as Dr. Lieberman
Marius Goring
as Von Storch
Martin Benson
as Mordekai
Paul Stevens
as Reuben
Martin Miller
as Dr. Odenheim
Victor Maddern
as Sergeant
Samuel Segal
as Proprietor
Ralph Truman
as Colonel
Peter Madden
as Dr. Clement
Joseph Fürst
as Avidan
Paul Stassino
as Driver
Marc Burns
as Lt. O'Hara
Esther Reichstadt
as Mrs. Hirshberg
Zipora Peled
as Mrs. Frankel
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Critic Reviews for Exodus

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3)

Watchable mainly for the sheer skill and drive of Preminger's direction, although at 220 minutes even that long outstays its welcome.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

In the end, one should take from this picture a shaken feeling of having been through a lot of harsh and ennobling experiences.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Intelligence applied exactly where it is most rare: in the lavish, star-studded epic.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

In 1960, Dalton Trumbo served up two hefty screenplays full of incident, emotion and intellectual exchanges -- I prefer Spartacus, although there's something to be said for his streamlining of so much historical content (and, yes, fictional deviations).

Full Review… | April 9, 2016
Creative Loafing

Appallingly boring. That's a subjective word, but I can't think of a better one.

Full Review… | July 26, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

The style of filmmaking is simply too polite and serene to carry the edgy, dangerous material of Uris's novel

Full Review… | June 24, 2009
Bangitout.com

Audience Reviews for Exodus

½

A wonderful epic that boasts one of the most beautiful scores in the History of Cinema, a gorgeous cinematography that makes the best use of its locations, fantastic performances (Sal Mineo is the highlight) and an incredibly well-written script that still feels relevant today in its message in favor of peace.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Starts well with fine performances and a clear and direct plot but loses momentum in second half and becomes somewhat scattered. Ralph Richardson is very good which is customary but when he exits the picture his absence leaves a hole which is never really filled.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

In "Exodus," Catherine Fremont(Eva Marie Saint) has been searching for a new purpose in life in the days just after the end of World War II after the death of her husband. She unexpectedly finds one after meeting with a friendly British general(Ralph Richardson) who is in charge of detaining of Jewish refugees in Cyprus, wanting to emigrate to Palestine. And after a less than enlightening conversation with Major Caldwell(Peter Lawford), she agrees to take up her old profession as a nurse in the camps, going so far as wanting to adopt Karen(Jill Haworth), an orphaned teenager. But Ari Ben Canaan(Paul Newman) has other ideas for his people, wanting to force the upcoming vote in the United Nations on partition by forcing the British hand. Written by Dalton Trumbo(thereby officially ending the blacklist) and directed by Otto Preminger, "Exodus" is a contradictary, yet sturdy fictionalized epic account of the founding of Israel that is aided by great location filming. It should therefore come as no surprise that one of the major themes is rebirth. Sadly, this also marks the start of Preminger's prestige period which would be the beginning of his creative downfall when what was needed was more of the spirit from his brass balls period, especially considering how much the subject of terrorism comes up which is sadly still relevant. The one thing that might sound weird about a picture like this is that it is actually a caper film, the first the story of the boat Exodus, while the second is even more daring. Both are figurative chess matches while literal ones play out on screen. And Paul Newman is the right actor in the lead, just the wrong performance. What was needed was something on the order of the roguish leader he would play in later films like "Cool Hand Luke" and "Slapshot." Sadly, there is none of that charisma here to differentiate his character's defiance from that of the British soldier's need to mindlessly follow every order. The characters act as if they are already part of history in a wax museum for the most part.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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