In 1964 'Paramount Pictures'decided to make a movie on location in Israel in kibbutz Matzuva. The movie Judith(1966 check Google)starred among others Sophia Loren ,Peter Finch and Jack Hawkins and many more.
Last week's international film festival in Haifa showed the movie (fifty years after it had been made).
Israel's channel 10 decided to travel to Matzuva and talk to some of the people who took part. Many in the kibbutz played some parts.
If you click "pause" at 4 minutes 26 seconds, you see behind the woman with the blue shirt, my brother Lex,next to him My brother Bram and then Avi Cherkewitz .
People ask me 'Max why did not you take part'? The answer: Paramount did not want to pay me for to come from Australia where I was at the time.
I happened to see this thread while looking for some other information about Matzuba -- see separate message about Larry Sanders -- and hence the delay after the original posting.
I starred in "Judith" alongside Loren and Finch in the late summer of '64. The IDF hired out my company from paratroop boot camp to serve as extras. We played Syrian soldiers attacking the kibbutz. We were issued khaki uniforms, including Foreign Legion-style kepis with weird skull-and-crossbones insignia, and old Mauser rifles with a clip or two of blanks each. After advancing across a newly harvested field of wheat stubble, we were supposed to storm up the steep hillside toward the kibbutz trenches. In the field -- the director's interpreter told us through a megaphone -- pyrotechnic charges had been planted to simulate artillery shell bursts. They were marked with paper cups, so we should stay clear of them. But one of our buddies, a new immigrant from the USSR, misunderstood the instructions and zealously zigzagged from one cup to the next, setting off all the charges and getting thoroughly blackened (but miraculously not hurt)in the process.
When we reached the bottom of the slope I decided against the climb and conveniently got "shot" by a really good sharpshooter among the defenders. So I never got into Matzuba or into a close shot of the movie. But one of my more gung-ho comrades, after bravely charging all the way up, got "killed" very dramatically right in front of the camera. Then, on the ground, he discovered that he still had a blank or two left, so got up and fired them. The take was ruined and had to be repeated, undoubtedly at great expense.
Nonetheless the producers, bless them, pampered us with cold drinks and ice cream on the set and trips to the movies in Nahariyya every evening. It was a great break from boot camp routine and we loved it. When a few weeks later our cinematic career progressed with a turn as Palmachniks in "Cast a Giant Shadow," no such perks were provided and we mutinied in protest. The end was too terrible to recount. But for Matzuba, there is a warm spot in my memories.
Veterans or volunteers of Matzuba at the time, please have a look at my other posting. You may be able to help me with some valuable information on another story.