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Friday, June 8, 2012

The Story Of David (1976)

The film is divided into two parts. DAVID AND SAUL in which a young shepherd by the name of David (Timothy Bottoms, LAST PICTURE SHOW) slays the Philistine giant Goliath and becomes a favorite of Saul (Anthony Quayle), King of Israel. The second part is DAVID THE KING in which the older David (now played by Keith Michell) eventually becomes the King of Israel. The first portion is perfectly dreadful! Bottoms looks like he wandered in from a production of GODSPELL and the ineptitude of his performance is cringe inducing. But then everyone is bad including the normally reliable Quayle. Once Bottoms is mercifully out of the way in the second half, Michell exudes a bit more presence and authority but it's still a pretty lifeless effort. It's like one of those low budget, well intentioned but amateurish religious movies that plays on the Trinity Broadcast Network. The film's low budget is obvious as the film cuts away just before all the big battle scenes and returns when the battle is over. The best thing one can say about it is that it at least looks authentic, mostly thanks to the Israel locations and the costumes. Directed by Alex Segal (the first part) and David Lowell Rich (the second part). With Jane Seymour as Bathsheba, Barry Morse, Brian Blessed, Norman Rodway and Susan Hampshire.

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