David and Bathsheba is a very un-Biblical Biblical epic. It tells the story of King David’s adulterous affair, resulting in murder …
David and Bathsheba (1951) starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward
I’m not a fan of David and Bathsheba. The acting’s fine, as are the costumes and sets. The problem has to do with adaptation of the story. It bends over backwards to justify David’s adulterous affair with Bathsheba. And even tries to sugarcoat the murder of her husband. In the original Bible story, her husband Uriah is not only a member of David’s army. He’s one of David’s elite mighty men of valor, who once saved David’s life. A friend of King David’s.
And there’s lots of other very unbiblical things, such as David grasping the Ark of the Covenant towards the end, when he’s trying to repent. Which would have had him struck dead. I could go on, but why bother? It’s a very good cast wasted in a bad movie.
Cast of characters
- Gregory Peck (Marooned 1969, Twelve O’Clock High) … King David
- Susan Hayward (Demetrius and the Gladiators, House of Strangers) … Bathsheba
- Raymond Massey (The Fountainhead, Arsenic and Old Lace) … Nathan the prophet
- Kieron Moore (Dr. Blood’s Coffin, Crack in the World) … Uriah
- James Robertson Justice (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) … Abishai
- Jayne Meadows (Alice in Wonderland (1985)) … Michal
- John Sutton (The Invisible Man Returns) … Ira
- Dennis Hoey (Sherlock Holmes and The Secret Weapon) … Joab
For this woman, he broke God’s own Commandment! Screen legend, Gregory Peck (Yellow Sky, Night People) stars in this gripping retelling of the beloved Old Testament story. King David (Peck) has killed Goliath, prevailed in countless battles, but cannot vanquish his illicit love for the beautiful Bathsheba (Susan Hayward, Rawhide, I Want to Live). David sends her husband, Uriah (Kieron Moore, Arabesque), into a hopeless battle, setting into motion his own downward spiral. Neglecting kingdom and faith, he incurs the wrath of God, the destruction of his country and the ill will of his people, who expect Bathsheba to pay the ultimate price for adultery.
This gorgeously shot, rapturously acted and deeply moving tale of love, obsession, tragedy, loss and redemption is as beautiful as it is timeless. Directed by the great Henry King (Prince of Foxes) and co-starring Raymond Massey (The Hurricane). Nominated for five Oscars including Best Screenplay by Philip Dunne (The Robe) and Best Cinematography by four-time Academy Award winner Leon Shamroy (Planet of the Apes) —- Cinematographer, Leon Shamroy was nominated for 18 Academy Awards and won four: The Black Swan (1943), Wilson (1945), Leave Her to Heaven (1946) and Cleopatra (1964).