• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


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    Monday, May 27, 2013

    The Kingdom of Israel: Part 1

    I'm trying to write a few comments on the key films about the Kingdom of Israel. In some ways it's fewer films than one might think - the kingdom starts with Saul, splits three kings later, and both the separate parts peter out. In terms of films there are very few films that pick the story up after the end of Solomon's rule. But on the other hand there have been a lot of films about David. Not as many as Moses and Jesus, but certainly too many to cover all of in detail in a briefing overview like this.

    I think I'll take them in chronological order as that allows me to treat the separate parts of the story individually and where one production covers more than one part of the story (such as this year's The Bible) I can deal with the specific parts as they come up. Well I'll try it like that and see where it gets me.

    The Start of the New Kingdom
    Living Bible: Samuel, A Dedicated Man (1958), Il Messia (1975), One Night With the King (2006), The Bible (2013)

    The Rise of David
    David and Goliath (1908), Saul and David (1909), David and Saul (1911), Death of Saul (1913), Living Bible: David, A Young Hero (1958), David and Goliath (1960), Saul and David (1968), Story of David (1976), Greatest Heroes of the Bible: David and Goliath (1978), King David (1985), Testament: David and Saul (1996), Kings (2009), The Bible (2013).

    David the King
    David and Bathsheba (1951), Living Bible: David, A King of Israel (1958), Story of David (1976), King David (1985), The Bible Collection: David (1997), The Bible (2013).

    Solomon the King
    La Reine de Saba (1913), Living Bible: Solomon, A Man of Wisdom (1958), Solomon and Sheba (1959), Greatest Heroes of the Bible: Judgement of Solomon (1978), The Bible Collection: Solomon (1997).

    The Divided Kingdom
    Athaliah, Queen of Judah (1910), Green Pastures (1936), Sins of Jezebel (1953), Living Christ Series (1951), Living Bible: Elijah a Fearless Prophet (1958), Testament: Elijah (1996), Testament: Jonah (1996)

    The Fall of Judah
    Judith of Bethulia (1913), The Bible Collection: Jeremiah (1998), The Bible (2013)

    I'm aware that I've left some out, not least the various other Judith films I've discussed recently, various peplum Goliath films, a few other silents, the odd cartoon, and a few very amateur projects. Nevertheless, this isn't a bad list, and I suspect I'll skip a few on this list for the sake of being something of significance about the others. Still, that's about 30 depending on whether you count different episodes of things like The Living Bible (1958) and The Bible (2013) separately, or just as one series together.

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