Once upon a time, before Tel Aviv filmmakers invented the Israeli thumb-sucking depressive anti-war movie filmed in a cloud of cigarettes, being a liberal in Hollywood meant being more Zionist than the Stern Gang. Everyone knows "Exodus," but "Cast A Giant Shadow," well, that was to Zionist movies what shalashudos is to Friday night — the time with the real guys, poking plastic forks into tuna fish salad, generic Pathmark black cherry soda, wrinkled shirts from Shabbos naps, Shalashudos is the late afternoon insider’s time after all the others go home. "Exodus" may have had "Oscar" night, the movie you’re glad the neighbors saw, and "Cast A Giant Shadow" had the junior varsity script, but it had cameos from all the "popular kids" — Frank Sinatra, Yul Brynner, and John Wayne. It was the after-hours favorite.
You can argue Paul Newman vs. Kirk Douglas, and over a beer we can discuss the merits of the leading ladies, Eva Marie Saint and the kid who played Karen vs. Senta Berger and Angie Dickenson. It’s like having to choose between the blonde ("I Dream of…") Jeannie and her dark-haired mischievous twin, or arguing Cathy vs, Patty, incredible cousins. I haven’t thought about this since "Get Smart" was on the air. But then just the other day Creed Bratton said he was thinking about Senta Berger.