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Creditable Job of Filming An Interesting Subject, 8 March 2005
Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio
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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