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David & Goliath

86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

An adaptation of the Biblical parable, this film version of David and Goliath stars Orson Welles as the brooding King Saul, whose grip on his kingdom is slippingeven at the height of his infamy. But the only way to oust him from the throne is if someone defeats Goliath.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Emma Baron, Fabrizio Capucci, Pierre Cressoy, Carlo D'Angelo, Umberto Fiz
  • Directors: Orson Welles, Ferdinando Baldi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 9, 2001
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005QJJG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,144 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "David & Goliath" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 8, 2004
Format: DVD
"Freely adapted" from the Bible, this film takes huge liberties with the stories of Saul, David, and their battle with the Philistines, but is very watchable nonetheless, and for many reasons, one of them just the fascination of its incongruities. The script is in "Olde English", with the "thees and thous" often coming from mouths that are speaking another language (the dubbing is hopeless), with two exceptions: The magnificent speaking of both Orson Welles, who makes a superb tormented Saul, and Edward Hilton as Samuel; it is a pleasure to listen and watch both these actors.

The rest of the cast is somewhat uneven, but the dubbing is partly at fault. Among the best are Ivo Payer, a handsome Croatian actor as David, Massimo Serato as a scheming Abner, and Eleonore Rossi Drago and Giulia Robini as Saul's daughters Merab and Michael. Italian circus muscle man giant Kronos plays Goliath, enjoying every minute of his screen time as he is seduced into action by a bevy of dancing girls.

The score uses Ernest Bloch's glorious "Shelomo" theme for the titles, and Carlo Innocenzi incorporates the melody into parts of the rest of the soundtrack (especially when David is romancing Michael), the scenic design uses Nineveh as its inspiration for Jerusalem, and the location shots were filmed in Israel, and Yugoslavia, where the desert turns into lush green fields as far as the eye can see for the final battle sequence.

I'm a big sword and sandal epic fan, and this 1960 film gets the award for being the most peculiar of the genre. A great curiosity piece for Welles aficionados, who will love his performance; his bloodshot eyes peer from behind the palace columns, a pasty faced mountain of paranoia, a character that is a joy to watch repeatedly. Total running time is 92 minutes.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kendal B. Hunter on October 29, 2002
Format: DVD
Even Orson Welles couldn't save this movie. If the had let him direct and edit, maybe . . .
This is a late 1950's-ish biblical epics that rode the wake of "Ten Commandments" and "Ben-Hur." But is is really a pale comparison.
I am not a grump, so here are the films good points.
1. They try. (Don't worry-this list gets better!)
2. They are smart enough to put Orson Welles in a movie. Admittedly, this is the "Fat Orson" that you see in "The Trial (Le Process)" and "Touch Of Evil," but it is kind of fun to see his largish blue eyes in color.
3. They use the King James English, so it has the pseudo-Shakespearian fell to the dialogue. My denomination uses the King James Bible so I appreciated the poetry and flow of the language. It gives a sense of importance to what is being said, like Yoda's backwards-speak.
4. To their credit, they use the camera correctly, and try (that word again) to do a "deep focus" approach to cinematography. So it is fun to look at.
5. I like casting Ivo Payer as David. He looks like the early Second Century depictions of Jesus Christ. Not like the pious olive complexioned and rather effeminate figure we see nowadays, but more like the robust Apollo. Good job!
Bad points:
1. This film has horrible pacing. It is long and drawn out in all the wrong areas. They could have cut 30 minutes off this film, and it would be fine.
2. The copy is bad and scratchy, so it looks like the old reel-to-reels I used to watch in kindergarten.
3. They spend a lot of time focusing on Goliath, but to not point. It is more to show off special effects. I'm fine with minimal liberties taken with a story, but then need to have a reason for being in a movie.
4.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Holt on April 18, 2002
I bought this DVD ...and could tell from the packaging it was nothing spectacular. I was right. If you're looking for a better rendition of the story of David and Goliath, though, I'm not sure what to tell you. There aren't many to choose from. I think Orson does okay for Saul and the guy playing Goliath is a giant, but not ridiculously huge. He still looks human, but acts retarded. David, on the other hand does much to ruin the movie as he looks more like an aspiring body builder than a shepherd or musician as he flaunts his way through the film. Also I think it's trite the way he practically becomes Jesus on his first trip to Jerusalem with his persecuted sadness at the sins of the capitol city. The daughters of Saul are pretty and almost make the film interesting as one coaxes Abner to villainy while the other coaxes David to righteousness. The scenes are incredibly drawn out and a 90 minute movie feels like three or four hours. If you put this one on fast-forward, you won't even notice.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. C. Walker on July 16, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Aside from any other problems, this version of the film is butchered to ribbons. Originally released at an hour and 53 minutes, this disc contains only an houord and 35 minutes. The visual aspect of 2.35:1 has been mutilated to 1.33:1. It's hard to believe the amount of irresponsible greed behind this wanton violence. May its perpetrators suffer the fate of old nitrate film left out in the sun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2006
Format: DVD
Orson Welles gets the top billing in this 1960 movie adaptation of the classic Biblical story, but Welles doesn't portray either one of the title characters. Instead he portrays (and perhaps fittingly so) Saul, the first King of Israel who disobeyed God so many times and lived with a divided heart. In some ways, Welles' life as the wunderkind of cinema parallels that of the life of King Saul. Whatever the case, it is Welles' performance that makes this 1960s sword-and-sandal-epic-wannabe worth watching.

The story is based upon the Biblical story, but except for the names of the characters, the film strays a great deal from the Bible story. Everyone knows that David was a shepherd boy who slain the giant Goliath with a slingshot and some stones and David did sing and play songs for Saul to sooth his troubled spirit. With one or two other exceptions, though, that's about the only thing DAVID AND GOLIATH that's accurate with Biblical writings. For instance, though David had served Saul, he wasn't an emissary to the Philistines at the time he killed Goliath. In fact, when David killed Goliath, Saul didn't even have a recognition of who he was. Also, Saul didn't slay Abner (Abner was later slain by Joab in revenge for his brother's death) and neither did David give Goliath's sword to Saul; he gave it to the priest instead.

Despite these discrepancies, DAVID AND GOLIATH isn't too bad of a film. The acting is decent and includes some excellent performances from both Welles and Hilton Edwards as the prophet Samuel. Samuel supposedly was the only person in all of Israel that Saul feared and in the movie Edwards seems to be the only actor that Welles fears.
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