About The Film
The birth of modern Israel gets the big-budget, Hollywood treatment in this exhilarating epic featuring an all-star ensemble. Paul Newman portrays Israeli resistance leader Ari Ben Canaan, who defies a British blockade to smuggle Jewish refugees to Palestine. Once ashore, he falls in love with an American nurse, Kitty (Eva Marie Saint), as together they risk their lives for the Zionist cause. Otto Preminger’s lavish production was not immune to controversy, as the ironfisted director replaced the novel’s author Leon Uris with blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, clashed with cast members, and was at odds with Israeli officials about shooting locations. Standouts include supporting performances from Lee J. Cobb and Sal Mineo, as well as Ernest Gold’s Academy Award-winning score.