In the 50s, Hollywood developed a penchant for biblical tales, including King of Kings , The Ten Commandments and Quo Vadis. Henry King’s somewhat forgotten film David And Bathsheba deserves to rank alongside them, with Gregory Peck as King David and Susan Hayward as the beautiful Bathsheba, for whose adulterous love David risks his throne, country and even the wrath of God.
Told in occasional flashback, the film sees him conquer Goliath (Walter Talun) and lead his armies to victory before the prophet Nathan (Raymond Massey) brings the word of Jehovah and His judgement, which sees David atone for his sins. Stunningly shot with thrilling battle scenes balanced by intimate interplay between the two leads, this rightly ranks alongside the epics of the time.
Academy Award Nominations: Phillip Dunne, Leon Shamroy, Alfred Newman
USA | Twentieth Century Fox | 123 minutes | 1951
Writer: Philip Dunne
Music: Alfred Newman
Cinematography: Leon Shamroy
Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck
Director: Henry King
James Robertson Justice as Abishai
John Sutton as Ira
Kieron Moore as Uriah
Gregory Peck as King David
Susan Hayward as Bathsheba
Raymond Massey as Nathan
Jayne Meadows as Michal
Dennis Hoey as Joab
Francis X. Bushman as King Saul
George Zucco as Egyptian Ambassador (uncredited)
William Severn as Shepherd Boy (uncredited)
Gwen Verdon as Specialty Dancer (uncredited)
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