Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Original title: David E Golia
Italy, 1960. Ansa, Dubrava Film. Screenplay by Umberto Scarpelli, Gino Mangini, Ambrogio Molteni, Emimmo Salvi. Cinematography by Carlo Fiore. Produced by Emimmo Salvi. Music by Carlo Innocenzi. Production Design by Oscar D’Amico. Costume Design by Giovanna Natili. Film Editing by Franco Fraticelli.
Hilariously junky Biblical epic featuring Orson Welles at an unfortunate career low. He plays Saul, the noted King of Israel who is told in prophecy that a shepherd named David will lead his people to victory against the Philistines and take his throne after him. David, following the death by lightning of his girlfriend (I’m not kidding), travels to Jerusalem and is brought to the palace of the King, who hopes to either reverse or prolong the prophecy in any way possible. When war erupts with the Philistines, and David is entreated to lead the battle against them and their most formidable warrior Goliath, it leads to a showdown that is quoted in corporate takeovers even to this day. Produced on a conservative budget using what are obviously the sets of bigger, more expensive Bible movies that were also being filmed in Rome, this clunker is further hampered by badly dubbed dialogue that attempts to mask the international cast’s inability to speak English. Welles apparently directed his own scenes, while the rest of the picture, including the battle sequences that involve scores of extras, are listless and routine.