The tribes of Israel need to defeat the superior might of the Philistines: "Now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." (I Samuel, 8:5). And so the prophet Samuel ...
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David, now an old man, is still king of Israel. Among his sons, the ambitious Adonijah and the clever Solomon. The two young men are fierce rivals, since both are prospective heirs to the ... See full summary »
A retelling of the bible story. Pharaoh Ramses decrees the death of all Hebrew children, but Moses, placed in a basket in the Nile by his mother, is taken by a royal princess and raised as ... See full summary »
In the land of Canaan lives Isaac, son of Abraham, with his clever, strong-willed wife Rebekah and his twin sons Esau and Jacob. The first-born, Esau, is a strong and fearless hunter with a... See full summary »
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The Old Testament story of Abraham and the trials he endures. Commanded by God to lead his family to the promised land of Canaan with the promise that if he does so, his descendants will ... See full summary »
Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), King of the Persians, whose empire now extends from India to Egypt after the defeat of the Babylonians, is holding a celebratory banquet for his people in the citadel ... See full summary »
F. Murray Abraham,
Mara and her husband Manoa are both upstanding and religious Israelites living under the harsh and unjust rule of the Philistines. Much to their regret, they have not been able to have ... See full summary »
The young Jeremiah grows up in a priest's family in the village of Anathoth, near Jerusalem. God appears to Jeremiah in different human guises on several occasions, and makes it clear to ... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer
Biblical epic from the book of Acts and Paul's epistles covering the conversion of Saul of Tarsus and his ministry to the Gentiles now known as Paul. Pursued by fellow Jew Reuben, who ... See full summary »
Matthew 15:1 - 28:20 - The year is about 62 A.D., and the aging apostle Matthew recalls the remarkable events he witnessed as a young man. As his story unfolds, the centuries melt away and ... See full summary »
Regardt van den Bergh
An all-enveloping darkness. Suddenly, a child's voice, frightened, questioning, pierces the darkness... The first flickering rays of light begin to sculpt mysterious shapes out of the ... See full summary »
The tribes of Israel need to defeat the superior might of the Philistines: "Now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." (I Samuel, 8:5). And so the prophet Samuel gives the Hebrews their first king, Saul, a simple farmer, who with God's help becomes a brave and mighty warlord who leads the united tribes of Israel against their enemies. Saul, however, has incessant doubts about his mission. Not trustful enough of divine wisdom, he acts of his own accord and thus sins against the Lord. The influential prophet Samuel turns away from Saul in order to select a new king according to God's will: David. He is still a young boy, tending sheep in the fields, when, secretly Samuel oints him as the next king of the Israelites. When David - as courageous as he is intelligent - emerges victorious from his encounter with Goliath, the Philistines' most powerful warrior, he becomes a hero. His fame arouses the jealousy of King Saul, who senses that David is going to dispute his... Written by
A few solid performances surmount low-buck production.
David has been described as "the most winsome figure in the Bible" and in the dictionary "winsome" means charming. Unfortunately there is little charm in the stiff and mannered performance by Nathaniel Parker as the adult David. Nor is the Saul of Jonathan Pryce any better. Slight and balding, Pryce lacks the physical presence to make a convincing Saul--first king of Israel and a character as tragic as David was charming.
However, among a mainly British cast there are a few standouts. Most memorable are the portrayal of Absalom the rebellious son by young Rowan, the portrayals of Abner and Joab-- generals to Kings David and Saul--and in a small role, the actor who played adviser to Absalom in the very late sequences--and took his own life knowing that when his excellent advice went unheeded, it sealed his and Absalom's doom.
As Samuel, Prophet in Israel, a bearded and heavily made-up Leonard Nimoy seemed more an East European **rebbe** of the late 19th century, folksy and unpretentious, than a character of 3,000 years ago. Yet this contrasted nicely at times with the stagey manner of the other lead players. Sheryl Lee--more dancer than actress--did her best as Bathsheba, the woman beautiful enough to make a man disobey God but her acting had little conviction nor did she look all that dazzling.
It is in the outdoor and crowd scenes that that cheap production values of this made-for- cable video become painfully evident. It was filmed in Morocco, actually a promising location for a Bible epic, but apparently rushed to production with little attention to realism or coaching of locally recruited extras.
"The Story of David" (1976) starring a young Timothy Bottoms in Part I and filmed in Israel did much more with as little or less. THAT David truly was winsome--and "ruddy" as the Book of Samuel describes the shepherd boy who became king.
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