David and Bathsheba - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

David and Bathsheba Reviews

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July 2, 2016
I have to admit that I greatly enjoy the swords-and-sandals genre, whether of Christianity or of other types. This was solidly directed by King and had strong performances by Peck, Hayward and Massey, and was greatly touching at the end when David discovers the overwhelming and incredible power of forgiveness, particularly he of himself. Heartily recommended--it deserved its five Oscar nominations, even though it wasn't much of a cinematic year, to be sure.
March 29, 2016
El director Henry King ("Twelve O'Clock High", "The Song Of Bernadette") nos presenta la historia del Rey David (interpretado por Gregory Peck) y su amor prohibido por Betsabé (Susan Hayworth). Puede que este drama bíblico no sea tan grandilocuente como "Los Diez mandamientos", "Quo Vadis" o "The Robe", pero es un buen trabajo que logra envolver de principio a fin y que incluye a dos grandes de la época dorada de Hollywood.
February 21, 2014
good sword n sandal bible bio-pic
November 27, 2013
I am going to have to pass on this one.
October 13, 2013
It is entertaining. Goes beyond the Bible to make for good entertainment, but we must remember most if this stuff isn't Biblical, even if it is entertaining ;)
August 20, 2013
A biblical story is hard to be interesting if you stay earnest with the content. Indeed apart from David's redemption, the story never draws me in.
October 6, 2012
Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward set the screen afire whenever they are together in this epic true story of love, adultery, loss and redemption!
May 22, 2012
I love a biblical epic :-) Full on technicolour albeit a bit short on plot. Love it for having G Peck...
March 23, 2012
The Biblical story is overly embellished with unnecessary drama. To the point that it almost changes the story completely.
March 13, 2011
The Biblical story is overly embellished with unnecessary drama. To the point that it almost changes the story completely.
½ January 21, 2011
A great interpretation of what may have happened along the lines of a King's stormy and passionate love life affair between his women and his God .
December 9, 2010
Decent enough biblical film. Gregory Peck does a memorable performance as David. To enjoy this film you either have to be christian or a movie geek.
November 24, 2010
Possibly the best of the old classic bible films. Excellent cinematography and effects considering it was filmed in 1951. Gregory Peck is believable and excellent as King David. The dialogue is a bit trite at times, but still generally strong. Susan Hayward is beautiful and solid in the role, and Raymond Massey is a delight as Nathan. A bit plodding at times, but an engaging telling of one of the most famous stories of all time.
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2010
A classic story performed by classic actors, Peck and Hayward do a good job in this movie, even though there are many boring scenes, the story and acting are good.
½ January 1, 2010
**1/2 (out of four)

The 1950's loved their bible epics and this one is one huge production. In fact it was the years biggest film. But bigger isn't better and the staging is not memorable.

Two great actors try and save it. Gregory Oeck stars as David. He is a man of God, but when he gets a looka Bathsheba, played by Susan Hayward, he forgets about his wife and goes after the beauty.

Not even Gregory Peck can breathe live into this overlong drivel.
½ November 9, 2009
Preposterous biblical extravaganza, it is so overproduced, a gaudy production, exaggerated sets and costumes. It isn't the least bit convincing, the acting is wooden by all, even Gregory Peck. Phony and awful.
½ October 23, 2009
Old movie but you can enjoy the drama, not Biblical in most of the cases!
August 13, 2009
Biblical adaptations always appeal to me as a kind of shortcut to actually reading the Bible. But after watching the film, I usually realise that (1) much of it is either inaccurate or the product of invention and (2) it would have taken me less time to read the relevant bible chapters instead.

This is exactly what I discovered after enjoying this biblical romance: the whole story takes about two pages in my RSV Ignatius Holy Bible, which would have taken me about a quarter of an hour to read carefully; and the whole ending is completely made up.

At the risk of spoiling the film, the main divergences with the biblical account are a major inversion in the narrative (in 2 Samuel, Nathan tells the story of the lamb before David's son falls ill and dies; here, we jump directly to the end of David's seven-day penance, the son dies, and Nathan tells his story); and the invention of a whole subplot in which the people rise against David, demanding that Bathsheba be lapidated, and David goes to the Tabernacle, does additional penance, and is vindicated by God. In 2 Samuel, David's son dies, and then it is written: "Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her, and lay with her; and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him, and sent a message by Nathan the prophet; so he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord" (24-25.)

This said, the added bits, if purely invented, did not seem to me to betray the Old Testament theology, contrary to many modern films which not only reinvent the facts, but make up completely bogus theologies, either as strawmen, or for shock value, or because the screenwriters want to show how clever and original they can be. So the truth of the story is preserved, if not the facts. What the screenwriter probably tried to do was to reconstruct the psychology of David from the Psalms that are attributed to him (a perilous exercise.)

What seemed wrong, however, was David deliberately touching the Ark of the Covenant as a way of testing God. This was an act of desecration, which showed more defiance of God's commandments than trust in his mercy.

The Tabernacle itself probably does not conform to the biblical descriptions, which are rather detailed. In particular, I seem to have spotted that the altar to burn incense had four rings, rather than two as described in Exodus 30, 4. But that's nitpicking.

The flashback in the last sequence I also found to be a mistake from a dramatic point of view. It might be interesting to edit it out and see whether the film does not work better that way.

For a comparison, I suggest the TV movie "David" starring Nathaniel Parker and Sheryl Lee. It covers the whole story of David (with Jonathan Pryce as Saul and Leonard Nimoy as Samuel), and is therefore longer (190') but I seem to remember that it was more faithful to the original. (The Old Testament titles in this series are rather good, while the New Testament ones are generally mediocre, quite unexplainably.)
August 11, 2009
wow what a movie 2 watch....i have just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch.....its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie.....i think that gregory peck, gwen verdon, james robertson justice, raymond massey, kieron moore, jayne meadows, susan hayward play good roles/parts throughout this movie....i think that the director of this drama/biblical/swords-sandals movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie....i think that the fight scenes were pretty kewl throughout this movie its a good movie 2 watch n its enjoyable
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