Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5
Original title: Saul E David
Spain/Italy, 1964. San Paolo Films. Story by Emilio Cordero, Screenplay by Marcello Baldi, Tonino Guerra, Ottavio Jemma, Flavio Niccolini, A. Rubio Fuentes. Cinematography by Marcello Masciocchi, Juan Ruiz Romero. Produced by Emilio Cordero, Toni Di Carlo. Music by Teo Usuelli. Production Design by Sigfrido Burmann, Ottavio Scotti. Costume Design by Giorgio Desideri. Film Editing by Giuliana Attenni.
Vapid Biblical epic that begins with the commonly known story of David and Goliath and goes through to David’s becoming the new King of Israel. It’s not that simple, though: King Saul has known, thanks to the prophet Samuel, that the young whippersnapping shepherd was going to be the one to take over the throne after his death for a long time, but his refusal to believe it leads him to make some policy errors in his war with the Philistines, creating a mess that only David can clean up. It’s a serious attempt to make a sober, respectable film, but the bad dubbing and cheesy dialogue really get in the way of its achieving anything near greatness. That said, the Italian locations are lovely and it’s not the worst of the many, many films of the genre made during this period.