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Esther and the King (1960)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 14 December 1960 (USA)
Two decades before she would gain fame and some fortune as Alexis Carrington on Dynasty (1981), Dame Joan Collins starred as Esther in this melodramatic, routine Biblical story. The setting... See full summary »


Raoul Walsh, Mario Bava


Raoul Walsh (screenplay), Michael Elkins (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Joan Collins ... Esther
Richard Egan ... King Ahasuerus
Denis O'Dea ... Mordecai
Sergio Fantoni ... Haman
Rik Battaglia ... Simon (as Rick Battaglia)
Renato Baldini ... Klydrathes
Gabriele Tinti ... Samual
Rosalba Neri ... Keresh
Walter Williams Walter Williams ... Hegai (as Robert Buchanan)
Daniela Rocca ... Queen Vashti
Folco Lulli ... Tobiah


Two decades before she would gain fame and some fortune as Alexis Carrington on Dynasty (1981), Dame Joan Collins starred as Esther in this melodramatic, routine Biblical story. The setting is Persia in the fourth century B.C., as Esther comes to the attention of the recently widowed King Ahasuerus. The King has been trying to stifle and defeat the campaign of hatred fomented against the Jews by his evil minister Haman (Sergio Fantoni). Before the King can pair off with Esther and defeat the villainous Haman, there are several intervening adventures and an additional, attractive woman who competes for attention.

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The First Great Action-Packed Love Story of 1961 in Exciting Colour! See more »


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In 1952, after Darryl F. Zanuck decided to not produce this movie, Hedy Lamarr bought the script Zanuck had commissioned, which was based on the biblical story of Esther. (She had achieved great success portraying another biblical woman, Delilah, in Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah (1949), the first Hollywood biblical epic in full Technicolor, and wanted to make another biblical film.) She was having trouble finding someone to finance it, but then decided to film the story as an episode for a British television series. Ultimately, she did not make the Esther episode and the other episodes that were filmed released as the feature Loves of Three Queens (1954). See more »


The ruins of an ancient Roman building complex are used as Simon's hideout. The ruins were disguised with some Persian elements (a broken statue, some sculptures on the walls), but Roman columns are visible. Most of the exterior/interior sets, however, are historically accurate representations of ancient Persian architecture. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: The time is 2,500 years ago. The place is Persia. The man is Ahasuerus, king of the Medes and the Persians, ruler of 127 provinces, the most powerful man on Earth. The army is the conqueror of all the lands from India to Ethiopia. They are returning home now from fresh victories in Egypt.
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Version of Esther (1916) See more »

User Reviews

Nice looking costumes, good looking actors, bad movie!
15 March 2004 | by gazeboSee all my reviews

This is a good looking movie, too bad it is so mediocre. Joan Collins is beautiful and her acting is okay, but it can't save this movie. The other actors were okay too. This movie was hampered by the campy dialogue and a mediocre script. I was unhappy that partway through the movie, the story veers away from the traditional bible story of Queen Esther. I heard that this movie is one of Joan Collins' least favorite movies, and I understand why now. Somehow, if the writer of this movie had gone the traditional route of Queen Esther accusing Haman at the banquet, there would be the much needed drama and excitement.

However, if anyone has a hankering to see a real campy film filled with pretty people, pretty clothes and silly dialogue, this is it!

I give this movie a "D".

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Italy | USA



Release Date:

14 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of Esther See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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