The Story of David (1976 TV Movie)
"Beware of prophets pouring oil on your head"
18 November 2017
So said Anthony Quayle as King Saul as he tells the young shepherd boy David on whom the blessing of the Lord would be granted soon enough and in succession to Saul. The Story Of David is a two part mini-series in which we see first the young David played by Timothy Bottoms and then Keith Michell as the older David.

The Bible really doesn't make it clear just why God got dissatisfied with his first choice of Saul to be King Of Israel. Considering what He later put up with when David took over I'd say Saul got a bad rap. Certainly with what is shown here and in scriptures about his son Jonathan he might have been just the king Israel needed. I liked very much the scene where Anthony Quayle says there are many times he wished God left him a farmer.

David is certainly not reflective or misses being a shepherd. He enjoys being a king and all the perks it provides. Back in the day Keith Michell certainly gathered around him enough women whose palace intrigues gave him a lot of grief. But in that age of polygamy Michell is still looking around and finds what he really likes in his neighbor Uriah the Hittite's bathroom where the lovely Bathsheba gets spotted bathing. Bathsheba is played by Jane Seymour.

The series covers the whole expanse of King David's life from his early days as a singing shepherd boy who took down the trash talking Goliath right up to David on his deathbed. A lot of Israeli players got parts here and it was shot in Israel in the locations where the events occurred.

This is not a Cecil B. DeMille spectacle where everyone is sounding high falutin'. DeMille was fortunate indeed to find Victor Mature and Charlton Heston a pair of actors who made his dialog sound plausible coming from them. No this TV mini-series is a sobering look at the real problem of governance in ancient time. Some of those same problems are with us today. And Anthony Quayle as Saul and Timothy Bottoms/Keith Michell as the younger and older David are shown as all too human.
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