|HILL 24 DOESN'T ANSWER (GIV'A 24 EINA ONA) (director: Thorold Dickinson; screenwriters: Zvi Kolitz/Peter Frye/from a story by Zvi Kolitz; cinematographer: Gerald Gibbs; editors: Jeanna & Thorold Dickinson; music: Paul Ben Haim; cast: Edward Mulhare (James Finnegan), Michael Wager (Allan Goodman), Margalit Oved (Esther Hadassi), Arich Lavie (David Airam), Michael Shillo (Capt. Yehuda Berger), Haya Harareet (Miriam Miszrahi), Eric Greene (Agent Browning), Stanley Preston (Chief British Agent Lawson), Zalman Lebiush (The Rabbi), Azaria Rapaport (German Mercenary); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Thorold Dickinson/Peter Frye; Ergo Home Video; 1955-Israel-in mostly English and some Hebrew)|
an Israeli classic because it was the first
film in Israel that was shown abroad to
by Dennis Schwartz
an Israeli classic because it was the first film in
Israel that was shown abroad to critical acclaim and
for its historical importance in telling of Israel's
controversial first war with the Arabs in 1948.
British filmmaker Thorold Dickinson ("The
Prime Minister"/"The Queen of Spades"/"Secret People")
treats the material as if it were Scripture.
Unfortunately it has too many plodding moments to be
as exciting as it could have been. It's based on a
story by Zvi Kolitz,
who co-writes the screenplay with Peter Frye. It's
photographed in a dull black and white. English is
spoken except for a few lines of Hebrew.
In its telling of how seven Arab countries went to war with the UN chartered state of Israel beginning on December of 1947 until a cease fire on May 14th, 1948, even though Israel didn't get its independence from being a British Mandate until May 14, 1948. What remains controversial, even today, is that the territories possessed on that cease fire date became permanent.
war drama concentrates on four volunteers who are
chosen by concentration camp survivor and
underground leader Capt. Yehuda Berger (Michael
Shillo) to patrol the vital
Hill 24, a link in a chain of critically strategic
hills leading into Jerusalem. The diverse foursome who
passionately fight for the Jewish country are the
former British police officer in Palestine, the
Irishman Jim Finnegan (Edward Mulhare),
the gentle Yemenite Esther Hadassi (Margalit
Oved), the rich American tourist
Allan Goodman (Michael Wager)
and the happy-go-lucky Palestinian
David Airam (Arieh Lavi).
flashback we learn that in 1946 Finnegan, during the
days of the British Mandate, worked as a police spy
against the Zionist underground, and acted to prevent
Jews from sneaking into Palestine. While spying on
underground leader Bergen, Finnegan falls in love with
the beautiful fourth generation Sabra college student
Miriam Miszrahi (Haya Harareet) and
through her identifies with the Jewish cause. Esther
is arrested and her captors convince her that Finnegan
set her up. Finnegan thereby chooses to fight for
Israel to show his love was true and that he never
deceived her. In flashbacks we see how the other three
volunteered for this dangerous mission. We already
know from the title how things will end.
24 Doesn't Answer was shown at the Cannes Film
Festival, but failed to win the top prize.
REVIEWED ON 9/24/2014 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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