This epic work of Leon Uris went on to become a phenomenon in the world of publishing. It describes a dramatic political event in the history of twentieth century - the formation of the state of Israel. It is the tale of a Jewish freedom fighter and his family and an American nurse who are caught up in a period of anguish and struggle. The story is told in a poignant style. This particular struggle will otherwise go unnoticed in history classes of today. The screenplay for the film is very well done.
The film revolves around the events leading to the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. Paul Newman plays Ari bin Canaan. He is a member of 'Haganah', a Jewish paramilitary group. Along with his uncle, he attempts to execute the exodus of six hundred Jewish refugees on a dangerous voyage from Cyprus to Palestine against resistance from the British and the Arabs. This happens on a ship named `Exodus'. The British did their best not to give permission of passage to the ship to reach its destination. The film may look like it is describing fictional events but many of them were fact-based details of the struggle for Israel as an independent country as a home for the Jews. Eva Marie Saint supports well in the role of the American nurse. Lee.J. Cobb plays Ari's father. Ralph Richardson plays General Sutherland. Jill Hayworth plays Karen. Sal Mineo plays Dov Landau. David Opatoshu plays the revolutionary uncle of Ari. Great direction by Otto Preminger. The best thing that happened to this film was the excellent music score provided by Ernest Gold. The main theme as well as Karen's theme are unforgettable. The message is very well brought out from Leon Uris' book, it is an utopia that is still being sought after - a land where the Arabs and Jews could dwell in peace and harmony - something that may never happen.