David and Bathsheba

Director– Henry King

Starring – Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Raymond Massey

Country of Origin- U.S.

Review Format: Blu-ray

Discs - 1

Distributor - Kino Lorber

Reviewer - David Steigman

Date - 02/20/2017

The Film (3/5)

David and Bathsheba is yet another biblical film that was made in the 1950s. Starring Gregory Peck (Cape Fear, The Omen) as King David and Susan Hayward (I Want To Live! , Rawhide) as Bathsheba, this is the tragic tale of adultery. King David is in a loveless marriage with Michal (Jayne Meadows, The Song of the Thin Man) and after he expresses his unhappiness, he sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing and is immediately attracted to her. She is also married, but they give in to their mutual attractive and have an affair. They eventually marry and have a child; however the adultery they have committed leads them to tragic consequences for both, including the loss of their child. Because they have sinned, they have brought the wrath of God upon David’s kingdom and are to be judged by the people of Israel. No matter what period in time you are in, having affairs can and do lead to severe consequences.

The film is heavy in dialog to the point where one could lose interest in watching as it moves at a very slow, methodical pace. I can safely say the most exciting scene is when David battles Goliath toward the film’s conclusion. Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward hand in their usual stellar performances as well as veteran actors Raymond Massey (Things To Come, Arsenic and Old Lace) Kieron Moore (The Day of the Triffids) and Dennis Hoey (Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man). Legendary horror actor George Zucco also has a small role in this, and was actually uncredited for his performance

The crew did a mighty fine job here as well; director King very much captures the biblical atmosphere of this picture, while Leon Shamroy is the man responsible for the beautiful cinematography.

Audio/Video (4/5)

David and Bathsheba debuts on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber. Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:33:1, in 1080p with an MPEG 4 AVC encode, the image quality is quite pleasing. The colors, ranging from the amazing wardrobes to the outdoor scenery are spectacular very solid, with good depth and textures. Both daylight and evening scenes look very balanced and it’s visually very pleasing 

The audio used for this release is DTS-HD Master Audio English 2.0, used for the majority of Kino Lorber’s releases. The dialog and music sound perfectly fine. I did not detect any audio drops or other audio issues.

Extras (1.5/5)

“Once in 3000 years” with Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward, original theatrical trailers for David and Bathsheba (both in color and black & white), a TV spot and trailers for Yellow Sky, On the Beach, I Want To Live, Rawhide and Billy Two Hats are the supplements for this release

Overall (3.5/5)

David and Bathsheba will satisfy fans of epic biblical tales, especially at half the running time of several of them, with fine performances by the cast. The excellent audio and video quality, accompanied with a couple of extras, make this another solid release from Kino Lorber.