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King David (1985)

This is a movie about the life of Israel's king David.

Director:

Bruce Beresford

Writers:

Andrew Birkin (screenplay), James Costigan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Gere ... David
Edward Woodward ... Saul
Alice Krige ... Bathsheba
Denis Quilley ... Samuel
Niall Buggy Niall Buggy ... Nathan
Cherie Lunghi ... Michal
Hurd Hatfield ... Ahimelech
Jack Klaff ... Jonathan
John Castle ... Abner
Tim Woodward ... Joab
David de Keyser David de Keyser ... Ahitophel
Ian Sears Ian Sears ... Young David
Simon Dutton ... Eliab
Jean-Marc Barr ... Absalom
Arthur Whybrow Arthur Whybrow ... Jesse
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Storyline

Israel circa 1,000 B.C. The adult life of David, who would eventually become King of Israel, is presented. The blessing of the Prophets, as the voice of God, is required before the King can take any major action. It is because God is annoyed with King Saul for not following his word that the Prophet Samuel, taking his cues from God, surprisingly and unexpectedly anoints David, the teenaged and youngest of Jesse's four sons, the next King. Regardless, it isn't until David's encounter with Goliath that he and many of the Israelites believe he could and should be King. Believing the anointing of David undermines his rule, King Saul, whose army is far outnumbered by those of the enemy Philistines, takes one measure after another against David and by association at the peril of his army in battles against the Philistines. These moves by Saul do not sit well with many, but especially his son Jonathan, who supports David as the next King. Over David's eventual rule as King, he will have his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le roi David See more »

Filming Locations:

Abruzzo, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,212,481, 31 March 1985, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,111,099, 31 December 1985
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thirty undercover officers doubled as extras and background artists whilst filming on the island of Sardinia in Italy due to the risk of kidnapping which had been pervasive in the region. This was reported in an article published in the 11th July 1984 edition of show-business trade paper 'Variety'. See more »

Goofs

In Saul's final battle scene, a warrior is lassoed around the neck and dragged behind a chariot. However, the camera angles show that he is attached to a rope tied around his waist under his costume. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Saul's guard: The king cannot speak with you now. He is engaged in the affairs of state.
Samuel: Since when have the affairs of state taken precedence over the affairs of God?
[shoves his way past and enters Saul's throne room]
Saul: ...Samuel. We welcome you. With God's blessing, our victory is complete.
Samuel: Is THIS how you show Him your gratitude... by robbing the Amalekites of their women and cattle? By holding their king in chains?
Saul: We were discussing a possible treaty. The king is to be ransomed...
Samuel: A *treaty?*...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of The Story of David (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
They Ruined One of the Greatest Stories Ever!
19 April 2004 | by macsandlinSee all my reviews

I admit I'm biased when it comes to Bible stories, especially really great Bible stories. So I was pretty skeptical when I picked up this movie, but I'd been wanting to see a good film version of the Life of David ever since I taught a class on I&II Samuel. I should have trusted my instincts and passed on this movie. The fact that they changed some details of the Biblical story isn't nearly as bad as the fact that they changed the entire theme of the story of David. In the movie, David has this obsession with wanting to see God face to face, and this plays itself in everything he does. He also has this theology based on emotions. Now this is a popular idea today (God deal with man through the heart and emotions only), but it just doesn't fit with David's story which is one of submission and trust.

One of the problems with making a movie like this is that the story is much much to big to be told in a two hour film. I'd like to see a Lord of the Rings style telling of David's life. The narrator is horrible, and he sounds like he's reading scripture when he's not. The Goliath fight is aweful. Goliath doesn't even speak, but has his shield bearer (who doesn't bother bearing a shield) taunt the Israelites and David. David chunks about 6 rocks before he is actually able to kill the giant. Then he's really sad about it. He says to God in a weepy kind of voice "So be it" before cutting off Goliath's head. COME ON!!!! In the real story he says "You come against me with a sword and a spear and a javlain, but I come against you in the name of the Lord God of Hosts. This day I will cut off your head and give your flesh to the birds of the air nad the beasts of the field that the world may know that there is a God in Israel." I mean, who cuts that line out??? Another lousy thing was when David's first son by Bathsheba dies and the movie deals with it by a little narration scene. There's no fasting, no laying on his face for days, even the line "I will go to him, but he will not return to me" is cut and used at Absolem's death instead. All we get is the stupid narrator saying "David's first son died, but God gave him another one named Soloman." STUPID STUPID STUPID!!! More lousy stuff: The young boy who plays David as a kid looks like a fairy, and judging by the Bathsheba scene, baby oil was the most common substance for cleaning oneself in Ancient Israel.

The acting is mediocre with the exception of the guy who plays Samuel who is wonderful, and the guy who plays Absolem who is terrible.

The set and costumes are ridiculous for the most part (especially the wigs), but David actually looks like a king some of the time which is a refreshing change from Saul.

Finally, I can't imagine what they were thinking when they slapped a PG-13 rating on this movie. There are two extended Nude scenes one of which is a lengthy full frontal shot of Bathsheba rubbing the aforementioned baby oil all over herself. This movie should be rated R, and if someone tackles this story as a film project in the future I hope that they make an accurate R rated version.


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