SIN AND REDEMPTION...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 04/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the story of the love between David (Gregory Peck), King of Israel, and Bathsheba (Susan Hayward). It is a love that is doomed from the start, because she is the wife of one of David's army captains, Uriah (Kieron Moore).
David, uncharacteristically, wants Bathsheba at any cost. His is a passion that will not be denied. When she capitulates, it is to have great ramifications for all the parties involved. When their transgression and the lengths to which David went to secure Bathsheba for himself become known, it is Bathseheba who may pay the ultimate price in order to expiate their sin.
Gregory Peck seems ill at ease in this role and a bit stiff, though he revives at the end in order to quell God's wrath. Susan Hayward is beautiful, but she and Peck seem to lack chemistry. Jayne Meadows plays David's first wife, and she is very effective in the role of the woman scorned. Raymond Massey is excellent in the role of the prophet, Nathan, who calls David to judgment for his sin. It is Kieron Moore, however, who plays the role of Uriah, David's faithful captain and Bathsheba's cuckolded first husband, who steals the show.
This 1951 film, which received three Academy Award nominations, is a biblical epic that, despite some of its shortcomings, still manages to entertain the viewer."
From the golden age of Technicolor
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 04/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though this film has only a few scraps to offer in the way of scriptural accuracy, it is a visual delight, and one of the very best examples of the lush Technicolor of the mid 20th century, with its deep cobalt blues and incredibly rich reds. The cinematography by Leon Shamroy, along with the massive sets and luxurious costumes (all three were Oscar nominated but lost out to "An American in Paris") make this a fabulous "sword and sandals" epic; it also boasts a dramatic score by Alfred Newman, and one of my favorite dance sequences on film, by the brilliant Jack Cole. One had to be very strong and athletic to do his choreography, and the dancer in this number is the great Gwen Verdon.Gregory Peck is handsome beyond words as King David, and it's always a pleasure to listen to his resonant voice; his recitation of the 23rd psalm, and his prayer at the Ark of the Covenant, are memorable scenes. In this film David is a pale reflection of the Bible character, this story being more about a big Hollywood romance, and the trouble it gets him in along with his partner in sin Bathsheba, played by the stunning Susan Hayward, who maintains her tiny waistline even though she is supposed to be "with child".
Directed by Henry King, the script and score were also Oscar nominated but lost to "A Place in the Sun".
For a film that is faithful to scripture, see the excellent TV production starring Nathaniel Parker, but for simply lavish entertainment, vibrant color and a gorgeous cast, this film is a classic well worth viewing. Total running time is 1 hour and 55 minutes."
It Was Pretty Good Despite What Others Say...
Kim K. | Bayonne, New Jersey | 04/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I recently caught this when it was on cable at 3am. Unable to sleep at that time, I put the tv on just as the opening credits came on. As soon as I saw Gregory Peck & Susan Hayward's names I knew I had to watch it. It was a good story with great acting & I was glued to the set. Sadly, if this story were made today it wouldn't be anywhere near as good & would be panned by critics. If only there were actors of the caliber of Gregory Peck & Susan Hayward today. This is a movie I would gladly watch again."
Dataed but watchable
PJR | Minneapolis, Minnesota United States | 04/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is is a semi-"spectacular" Bible story in a dated Hollywood style. It starts out as a corny love story with stilted acting and very nice sets and costumes. It gets better toward the end where they lay out the difficult matter of justice and whether God will be forgiving of David's murder of Bathsheba's husband.
All in all it is still watchable today, though I think the first half takes special patience. The second half does pick up some but nevertheless may only be of interest if you like to or are willing to ponder matters of sin and forgiveness and are willing to consider that there might actually be some historical meat here in terms of actuality or at least in terms of traditional beliefs. Otherwise consider that this film is pretty dated and the sets and costumes are its most notable features.
The special feature Once in 3000 Years cut off during Peck's meeting with the script writer each time I tried in vain to get it to work and this was annoying. I don't know if this is in the disc or a matter of incompatibility with my player."