Following the Biblical tale, KING DAVID chronicles the real-life story of David, a lowly shepherd boy whose shrewdness and bravery helped him ascend to the throne of ancient Israel. From his defeat of Goliath to his jealo... more »usy-fueled relationship with Saul, to his self-destructive yearning for Bathsheba, the story of David is an action-packed saga of religion and politics based partly on history and partly on legend and full of ethical lessons imparted by a wise God.« less
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 05/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When this film was released in 1985, the critics were not kind, but I love this film, and think it's a good telling of the story of David, based on I and II Samuel, I Chronicles, and the Psalms. Though much of it has been compressed (David's relationship with Bathsheba is limited mostly to the consequences of it for instance) and some creative license used for plot continuity, it has a tremendous amount of Biblical accuracy.
Taking place from 1000 to 961 B.C., the costuming, sets, and artifacts are fabulous; filmed in Pinewood Studios, U.K., and on location in Italy, the cinematography by Donald McAlpine is wonderful. The score is also lovely, by Carl Davis.The brief nudity in the wedding chamber sequence has in my tape, been darkened so as to be imperceptible; either this is a flaw in the tape, or an effort not to offend and capture a wider audience, which would be silly, as this is a very mature drama. It contains much brutal violence making it unsuitable for children, and the confrontation with Goliath for example (which is exceptionally well done), is one of four beheadings.
Richard Gere is a marvelous David, and stands up well against an excellent international cast. He was thirty-five when this was filmed, and is about as handsome as a human has a right to be. The actor who shines above all though is Edward Woodward as Saul. He is riveting, and it's a brilliant character study of courage mixed with jealousy, revenge, and madness. This is far from being a "Big Bible Epic" with lots of well known stars, instead it's serious and beautifully acted, and perhaps arrived on the scene at the wrong time, that it was so unappreciated two decades ago. Total running time is 114 minutes.
"It is through the heart, the heart alone, that God speaks to man"."
A Nice Biblical Drama
John A Lee III | San Antonio, TX | 06/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This can by no means claim to be a perfect depiction of the biblical story of King David but it is by no means a lost cause either. It is a pretty fair little drama. Some license has been taken with the scriptural story but it is more faithful than most film adaptations. It is also a pretty good movie.
This film tells the story of King David, the successor to King Saul and the founder of the Davidic line. It begins by showing Saul's disobedience and goes from there to David's anointing as king. Even so, David will not lift his hand against Saul who is also an anointed king. The film demonstrates David's strengths as well as his weaknesses. He was a good man after God' own heart but he was by no means perfect. He pays for that imperfection.
This film is NOT the place to learn scripture but it does communicate the fundamentals of the story rather well and does so in a very viewable manner. It was enjoyable. "
Ricardo L. Concepcion | Kenosha WI | 12/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a fantastic and interesting way to bring this story of the bible to life. I recommend this movie to both my Christian and non-Christian friends alike. It brings David to life beyond the basic 'David and Goliath' story. It vividly portrays his successes and faults making him a bible character we can all relate to. But like many other religious films, it inspires you to look at your life and try harder. You leave the film wanting to be like David in his good times and avoid the mistakes he made during his bad times. A film beautifully done that is both inspiring and enjoyable to watch!"
King David portrayed by Richard Gere...
Fran | Oregon | 03/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richard Gere conforms gloriously to the role of David. His countenance changes and he makes for a fabulous King David. And Ian Sears made the perfect young King David. The story begins with the life of a lowly shepherd boy whose bravery and faith in his God ascend him to the throne of ancient Israel. Telling the legend from David's battle with Goliath, to his self-destructive love for Bathsheba, to the anointing of his son Solomon by the prophet Nathan to be the King Of Israel. This was a very interesting making of the life of King David. I would enjoy seeing it again."
Finally, a realistic approach!
L Gontzes | Athens, Greece | 04/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit that at first I did not know what to expect from this film, but as it turns out it was a very pleasant surprise. The movie sheds light on ancient Israel's kings Saul and David. In the process it deals with the dangerous fanatics of the time like the "prophet" Samuel who disapproved firstly of the appointment of any king since that would take away power from him and from the priesthood (the official excuse being that it would be offensive since god is the only "king"), and of King Saul for "daring" to go against the vengeful Yahweh and negotiate a peace treaty with enemies as well as kill only the men and keep women and children as slaves, when according to Yahweh all "heathens" must be put to the sword and/or decapitated. Lovely... The film does a great job of describing life during the 10th century BC in Canaan, as well as the superstition, the fanaticism, and the fundamentalism that were so prevalent. In addition, there is a very good portrayal of Saul as a weak king, constantly undermined by the priesthood and unable to unite the people behind him. Conflicts, disputes, feuds, and back stabbings are all about. What I found especially interesting is how brutal and exclusive they were (something which for years has been purposely hidden). So well done to this film for doing the obvious i.e. accurately presenting what one really encounters in the Old Testament for a change instead of all these inaccurate happy-happy films that we are so used to seeing. Richard Gere, Edward Woodward, Alice Krige, and the rest of the cast, have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding to say the least! All the actors, without exceptions, give it their 100% and it really shows (the chemistry is AMAZING)! Very well written and very well presented, it allows for a thought-provoking movie that can be watched over and over again! The setting, the dialogues and the music are all wonderful! In short, King David is a movie definitely worth watching, as it will surely provide for an evening's entertainment! 4 1/2 Stars"