18 user 4 critic

David and Goliath (1960)

David e Golia (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Family | 28 May 1961 (USA)
King Saul of the Israelites is visited in Jerusalem by the Prophet Samuel who foretells him that a war with The Philistines is inevitable and the shepherd David will become king.


Umberto Scarpelli (freely adapted by), Gino Mangini (freely adapted by) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Orson Welles ... King Saul
Ivica Pajer ... David (as Ivo Payer)
Eleonora Rossi Drago ... Merab (as Eleonore Rossi Drago)
Massimo Serato ... Abner
Giulia Rubini ... Micol
Pierre Cressoy ... Gionata
Hilton Edwards ... Prophet Samuel (as Edward Hilton)
Furio Meniconi ... Asrod - King of the Philistines
Aldo Pedinotti Aldo Pedinotti ... Goliath (as Kronos)
Dante Maggio Dante Maggio ... Cret
Luigi Tosi ... Benjamin Di Gaba
Umberto Fiz Umberto Fiz ... Lazar
Ugo Sasso Ugo Sasso ... Huro
Ileana Danelli Ileana Danelli ... Sarah
Emma Baron ... Anna - Mother of David


The story of the film is adapted from the Old Testament: The Philistines declare war on the Israelites and wrench the Arch of the Alliance from them. Saul, the king of Israel, listens meanwhile to the words of the prophets who tell him that the new king will be a young shepherd called David. But still David has to fight the enemy in form of their mighty giant, Goliath. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


World's Greatest Story of Faith and Courage! The Story of DAVID the Shepherd Boy Who Became KING


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In order to secure a "U" rating in the UK, cuts were made to avoid any depiction of horses tipping head over heals during the battle scenes. See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the cinema version was complete the 2006 UK DVD release was cut by 2 secs to edit a scene of a horse being tripped. See more »


Referenced in That Guy... Who Was in That Thing (2012) See more »

User Reviews

Italian epic in which David of Bethlehem slays the giant and becomes a rival to King Saul.
28 May 2020 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Passable Italian Biblical movie about two great kings and shot in various locations as Yugoslavia , Amato Studios, Rome, Lazio, Italy , Incir De Paolis Studios, Rome, Lazio, and Jerusalem, Israel . A biopic about two first Israel Kings : Saul (Orson Welles who gives overacting) and David (Ivo Payer) , including great battles , drama , love and hatred , being some moments carried out in slow moving . The picture focuses their epic lives retelling their complicated relationship , rebellion , battles and the intrincacies in taking over the kingdom of Israel . Saul and David are very human figures who are recorded in the Bible : Samuel , Books 1 ,2 . The continued threat and domination of invaders countries : Amalacitas , Amonitas , Moabitas and Philistines forced the Jewish tribes uniting under a strong king , Saul . Later on , the notorious prophet Samuel (Hilton Edwards) under divine inspiration appoints David as king . King Saul is jealous of the fame and adoration of David , who vanquished Goliath and defeated Philistines .

This Biblical story packs drama , familiar confrontations , court intrigues , impressive combats and a strong battle of wills between Saul/Orson Welles along with his underlings as Massimo Serato against David/Ivo Payer . Highlights of the movie are the breathtaking battles shot in Jerusalem and Italy , location by that time was filmed several Biblical spectacles. It contains nice set decoration , interior well filmed in De Paolis studios , and decent art direction but some scenes seem to be a little bit boring that it makes stately pace . Duo protagonist is acceptable and support cast is plenty of Italian actors as Eleonora Rossi Drago , Massimo Serato , Giulia Rubini , Pierre Cressoy , Gabriele Tinti , among others. The motion picture was professionally directed by Ferdinando Baldi and Richard Pottier but it has several flaws and gaps . Ferdinando Baldi has written/directed other epics and Peplum in similar style as In the Shadow of the Eagles , Battle of Germania , The Son of Cleopatra , Pedro il Cruel , Taras Bulba , and Orazi e Curiazi .

David is one of the most important Biblical figures , David is richly represented in post-biblical Jewish written and oral tradition, and is discussed in the New Testament. Early Christians interpreted the life of Jesus in light of the references to the Messiah and to David; Jesus is described as being descended from David. David is discussed in the Quran as a major prophet and figures in Islamic oral and written tradition as well. The biblical character of David has inspired many interpretations in art and literature over centuries.he is described in the Hebrew Bible as the third king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah, becoming king after Ish-bosheth . In the Books of Samuel, David is a young shepherd who gains fame first as a musician and later by killing the enemy champion Goliath. He becomes a favorite of King Saul and a close friend of Saul's son Jonathan. Worried that David is trying to take his throne, Saul turns on David. Later on , David claimed his rights for his marriage to Saul's daughter , Michal . After Saul and Jonathan are killed in battle, David is appointed as King. David conquers Jerusalem, taking the Ark of the Covenant into the city, and establishing the kingdom founded by Saul. As king, David commits adultery with Bathsheba, leading him to arrange the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite. Because of this sin, David's son Absalom tries to overthrow him. David flees Jerusalem during Absalom's rebellion, but after Absalom's death he returns to the city to rule Israel. Because David shed much blood,God denies David the opportunity to build the temple. Before his peaceful death, he chooses his son Solomon as successor. He is honored in the prophetic literature as an ideal king and the forefather of a future Messiah, and many psalms are ascribed to him. Historians of the Ancient Near East agree that David probably existed around 1000 BCE, but that there is little that can be said about him as a historical figure. It was initially thought that there was no evidence outside of the Bible concerning David, but the Tel Dan Stele, an inscribed stone erected by a king of Damascus in the late 9th/early 8th centuries BCE to commemorate his victory over two enemy kings, contains the phrase in Hebrew: "House of David".

Other movies concerning these Biblic kings are the following ones : ¨David and Bathsheba¨(51) by Henry King with Susan Hayward , Gregory Peck , Kieron Moore . David and Goliath¨ by Ferdinando Baldi with Orson Welles , Ivo Garrani , Ivo Payer , ¨A story of David¨ (61) with Jeff Chandler , Basil Sidney , Donald Pleasance . ¨Saul and David¨ 1964 by Marcello Baldi with Norman Wooland , Gianni Garko , Luz Márquez , Virgilio Teixeira , Pilar Clemens , Elisa Cegani , Carlos Casaravilla , Antonio Mayans. ¨King David¨(1985) by Bruce Beresford with Richard Gere , Cherie Lunghi , Edward Woodward , Alice Krige and ¨David¨(1997) by Robert Markowitz with Nathaliel Parker , Jonathan Pryce , Sheryl Lee , Leonard Nimoy , Ben Daniels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »





English | Italian

Release Date:

28 May 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

David and Goliath See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ansa, Dubrava Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed