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The Death of Saul (1912)
"La mort de Saül" (original title)

 -  Drama | Short  -  25 June 1912 (USA)
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David has returned from defeating the Philistines, and has claimed the daughter of King Saul for his wife. But Saul is becoming increasingly jealous and angry over David's popularity, ... See full summary »

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Cast

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Louis Ravet
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Storyline

David has returned from defeating the Philistines, and has claimed the daughter of King Saul for his wife. But Saul is becoming increasingly jealous and angry over David's popularity, leading David to flee to avoid the king's wrath. The increasingly unstable king soon resorts to violence in his efforts to harm his young rival. Written by Snow Leopard

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biblical

Genres:

Drama | Short

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Release Date:

25 June 1912 (USA)  »

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The Death of Saul  »

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(hand-colored)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Creditable Job of Filming An Interesting Subject
8 March 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

The story of David and Saul is an interesting and ambitious choice of material, and this short feature does a creditable job of filming it. The story has plenty of action, plus some significant psychological themes, and this movie succeeds in bringing out at least some of both.

One reason for the film's interest is the hand-tinted color. Much of it has now faded, unfortunately, but some of the color sequences have held up pretty well. A number of times, the movie effectively uses red, smoky tinting, both as a visual effect and in establishing an atmosphere. One of the later outdoor sequences also has a good variety of colors.

The story is based on the biblical accounts of King Saul's jealousy and anger towards David, and it follows the often turbulent events that resulted. The original story, while sometimes quite violent, is actually a very interesting character study, in the contrast between David's youthful innocence and Saul's increasingly desperate, frustrated envy.

In this feature, the character of Saul is the one that works the best. The acting of most or all of the cast is very demonstrative, with a lot of extravagant gestures, and this works better for a character like Saul, whose mind is falling apart more and more as the story proceeds. The portrayal of David does not work quite so effectively, since it would take more subtle gestures to bring out the most significant aspects of his personality.

Despite this and some other drawbacks, the color and the interesting subject matter make this worth seeing, at least for those with a serious interest in silent movies and their historical development.


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