The story of the film is adapted from the Old Testament: The Philistines declare war on the Israelites and wrench the Arch of Alliance from them. Saul the King of Israel listens to the words of the prophets who tell him th... more »at the new king will be a young shepherd called David. David in turn must fight the enemy in the form of the mighty giant Goliath.System Requirements:Running Time: 95 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA/HISTORICAL EPIC UPC: 879431000442 Manufacturer No: MAC44« less
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 12/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Freely adapted" from the Bible, this film takes huge liberties with the stories of Saul, David, and their battle with the Philistines, but is very watchable nonetheless, and for many reasons, one of them just the fascination of its incongruities. The script is in "Olde English", with the "thees and thous" often coming from mouths that are speaking another language (the dubbing is hopeless), with two exceptions: The magnificent speaking of both Orson Welles, who makes a superb tormented Saul, and Edward Hilton as Samuel; it is a pleasure to listen and watch both these actors.
The rest of the cast is somewhat uneven, but the dubbing is partly at fault. Among the best are Ivo Payer, a handsome Croatian actor as David, Massimo Serato as a scheming Abner, and Eleonore Rossi Drago and Giulia Robini as Saul's daughters Merab and Michael. Italian circus muscle man giant Kronos plays Goliath, enjoying every minute of his screen time as he is seduced into action by a bevy of dancing girls.
The score uses Ernest Bloch's glorious "Shelomo" theme for the titles, and Carlo Innocenzi incorporates the melody into parts of the rest of the soundtrack (especially when David is romancing Michael), the scenic design uses Nineveh as its inspiration for Jerusalem, and the location shots were filmed in Israel, and Yugoslavia, where the desert turns into lush green fields as far as the eye can see for the final battle sequence.
I'm a big sword and sandal epic fan, and this 1960 film gets the award for being the most peculiar of the genre. A great curiosity piece for Welles aficionados, who will love his performance; his bloodshot eyes peer from behind the palace columns, a pasty faced mountain of paranoia, a character that is a joy to watch repeatedly. Total running time is 92 minutes. "
Two stars since I like Orson Welles.
Kendal B. Hunter | Provo, UT United States | 10/29/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Even Orson Welles couldn't save this movie. If the had let him direct and edit, maybe . . .This is a late 1950's-ish biblical epics that rode the wake of "Ten Commandments" and "Ben-Hur." But is is really a pale comparison.I am not a grump, so here are the films good points. 1. They try. (Don't worry-this list gets better!)2. They are smart enough to put Orson Welles in a movie. Admittedly, this is the "Fat Orson" that you see in "The Trial (Le Process)" and "Touch Of Evil," but it is kind of fun to see his largish blue eyes in color.3. They use the King James English, so it has the pseudo-Shakespearian fell to the dialogue. My denomination uses the King James Bible so I appreciated the poetry and flow of the language. It gives a sense of importance to what is being said, like Yoda's backwards-speak.4. To their credit, they use the camera correctly, and try (that word again) to do a "deep focus" approach to cinematography. So it is fun to look at.5. I like casting Ivo Payer as David. He looks like the early Second Century depictions of Jesus Christ. Not like the pious olive complexioned and rather effeminate figure we see nowadays, but more like the robust Apollo. Good job!Bad points:1. This film has horrible pacing. It is long and drawn out in all the wrong areas. They could have cut 30 minutes off this film, and it would be fine.2. The copy is bad and scratchy, so it looks like the old reel-to-reels I used to watch in kindergarten.3. They spend a lot of time focusing on Goliath, but to not point. It is more to show off special effects. I'm fine with minimal liberties taken with a story, but then need to have a reason for being in a movie.4. Orson Welles is severely restrained: he is practically asleep as he delivers his lines. For crying out loud! He is the greatest Shakespearian actor America has produced! Can't you do something with him? So, only if you have a severe like of Orson Welles (like me), or are a poor Sunday school teacher (like me), I don't recommend this film.. Stick with the claymation boy and his dog. OR read the primary text on your own!"
Don't expect much
Shannon Holt | west of new york and north of california | 04/18/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD ...and could tell from the packaging it was nothing spectacular. I was right. If you're looking for a better rendition of the story of David and Goliath, though, I'm not sure what to tell you. There aren't many to choose from. I think Orson does okay for Saul and the guy playing Goliath is a giant, but not ridiculously huge. He still looks human, but acts retarded. David, on the other hand does much to ruin the movie as he looks more like an aspiring body builder than a shepherd or musician as he flaunts his way through the film. Also I think it's trite the way he practically becomes Jesus on his first trip to Jerusalem with his persecuted sadness at the sins of the capitol city. The daughters of Saul are pretty and almost make the film interesting as one coaxes Abner to villainy while the other coaxes David to righteousness. The scenes are incredibly drawn out and a 90 minute movie feels like three or four hours. If you put this one on fast-forward, you won't even notice."
David and Goliath, Orson Wells as Saul.
bcacciatore | Toronto, ON Canada | 08/11/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Released as David And Goliath, this is a very enjoyable classic Bible story. On the cover it is billed as an Orson Wells picture, however, Wells does not take the prominent focus. This movie explores the opposite side of the Philistenes gearing up for war against Israel, an aspect not usually covered in Bible stories. If you like classic film, this is definitely one that should be seen."
Gives peplum a bad name
3rd-man | 07/14/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Think of all the stereotypes one could conjure up about these Italian sword-and-sandal pictures, a good primer would be the Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Bill Murray as a chubby Hercules. Awful dubbing, sets draped in gaudy colors, and sluggish action sequences. DAVID & GOLIATH has all these in spades, in the parlance of our time. I could just see the marquee now: "A film so bad, it needed TWO directors!" Keep in mind though that I'm actually a fan of the genre. But this film is utterly charmless and completely lacking in any energy and exuberance. Sadly, Orson Welles personifies many of these traits in his somnabulent performance as King Saul. He spends what little screen time he has shuffling around with a goblet of wine in hand and mumbles most of his lines. I know that he was doing this for the money so I just try to focus my mind on all the great films he directed. Ivo Payer plays a bland and athletic-looking David, Kronos is an equally poor Goliath, slow and ungainly. Massimo Serato, who has a long list of villainous roles, plays Saul's scheming advisor Abner with ease. Not bad, but not too special either. Worse yet, this production wavers between solemn Biblical tale and two-bit comic book action, and fails in both departments. The original story is dumbed down and robbed of much its complexity. But I don't object to that. I'm not a stickler for faithful literary adaptations. But DAVID & GOLIATH'S aforementioned lethargy accounts for its failure even as a simple adventure flick. Truly, this film was a David & Goliath struggle to get through."