• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as current film releases with spiritual significance, and a few bits and pieces on the Bible.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    David and Bathsheba (1951) Scene Guide

    I briefly discussed David and Bathsheba back in March on its DVD release, and thankfully my wife knew me well enough to get it for my birthday, so we sat down to watch it on Saturday. I'll publish a review for it tomorrow hopefully, but for the meantime, here is the scene guide:

    War with the Ammonites - (2 Sam 11:1)
    [extra-biblical episodes] - (ref to 1 Sam 18:7)
    God rejects David's temple plans - (2 Sam 7:1-7)
    David and Michal - (loosely 1 Sam 19:11-17; 25:44)
    David and Bathsheba commit adultery - (2 Sam 11:2-4)
    [extra-biblical episode]
    Death of Saul & Jonathan recounted - (1 Sam 31:1-6)
    [extra-biblical episodes]
    Ark brought to Jerusalem (2 Sam 6:1-5)
    Uzzah dies touching the ark (2 Sam 6:6-7)
    Bathsheba declares her pregnancy - (2 Sam 11:5)
    David brings Uriah's home - (2 Sam 11:6-13)
    David arranges Uriah's death - (2 Sam 11:14-17)
    Joab's account of Uriah's death - (2 Sam 11:18-25)
    Famine in Israel (2 Sam 21:1)
    David questions Uzzah's death - (2 Sam 6:8)
    Absalom's starts a conspiracy - (2 Sam 15:1-6)
    David marries Bathsheba - (2 Sam 11:26-27)
    David and Bathsheba's son dies - (2 Sam 12:15-23)
    Nathan confronts David - (2 Sam 12:1-10)
    [extra-biblical episode]
    David plays his harp - (Psalm 23)
    [extra-biblical episodes]
    [Flashback]
    Samuel anoints David - (1 Sam 16:1-13)
    David and Goliath - (1 Sam 17:1-51)
    A Few Notes
    I've tried to include allusions where I could (e.g. 1 Sam 18:7), but I suspect I have missed a number of others. In particular, David's final prayer in the tabernacle is doubtless crammed with them. However, it isn't a single complete unit - more a patchwork quilt affair.

    Although the film inserts a few extra-biblical scenes, such as David and Bathsheba going on a picnic in the desert (!) it generally stays fairly closely to the text, although it embellishes the various incidents significantly to make the film last almost two hours. In particular, extra dialogue between David and the other major players (Michal, Bathsheba and Uriah) is inserted. It is noticeable that other than the opening scene, and a brief telling of David and Goliath, there are no battle scenes - very unusual for a 50s biblical epic.

    One of the strengths of the film is the way it stresses the time difference between the young David, and the fallen king of these stories. Its often hard to imagine how this gulf grew - even though we find people moving towards faith and drifting away from it quite frequently in real life.

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