King David (1985)

PG-13 | 114 mins | Drama | 29 March 1985

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HISTORY

       According to the 2 Jun 1982 DV, while Paramount Pictures was considering funding King David, director Bruce Beresford and cinematographer Donald McAlpine planned a trip to Morocco to scout locations, and create a budget that did not exceed $15 million. A later news item, in the 18 Mar 1983 HR, reported Beresford and producer Martin Elfand spent six days location scouting in Israel, and announced a Sep 1983 start date.
       The 19 Jun 1982 Screen International announced Israfilm was likely to co-produce the picture. However, the company does not appear in onscreen credits.
       Citing the alternate title, The Story of David, the 15 Jul 1983 HR announced Richard Gere was signed to play "David." HR reported filming was held up by budget estimates of over $26 million for the Paramount picture, which was set to begin production in Jan 1984.
       According to the 15 Jul 1983 LAHExam, the idea for the $18.5 million picture began six years prior in a brainstorming session at Paramount, when then-president, Michael Eisner, noted his interest in making a biblical story.
       The 23 Nov 1983 LAT announced Kevin Kline would possibly replace Gere as David, since Gere’s previous commitment filming The Cotton Club (1984, see entry) was taking longer than expected to complete. However, the 30 Nov 1983 LAT reported The Story of David filmmakers had decided to postpone the start date from Feb to Mar 1984.
       According to the 17 Jan 1984 LAT, the delay allowed filmmakers to ... More Less

       According to the 2 Jun 1982 DV, while Paramount Pictures was considering funding King David, director Bruce Beresford and cinematographer Donald McAlpine planned a trip to Morocco to scout locations, and create a budget that did not exceed $15 million. A later news item, in the 18 Mar 1983 HR, reported Beresford and producer Martin Elfand spent six days location scouting in Israel, and announced a Sep 1983 start date.
       The 19 Jun 1982 Screen International announced Israfilm was likely to co-produce the picture. However, the company does not appear in onscreen credits.
       Citing the alternate title, The Story of David, the 15 Jul 1983 HR announced Richard Gere was signed to play "David." HR reported filming was held up by budget estimates of over $26 million for the Paramount picture, which was set to begin production in Jan 1984.
       According to the 15 Jul 1983 LAHExam, the idea for the $18.5 million picture began six years prior in a brainstorming session at Paramount, when then-president, Michael Eisner, noted his interest in making a biblical story.
       The 23 Nov 1983 LAT announced Kevin Kline would possibly replace Gere as David, since Gere’s previous commitment filming The Cotton Club (1984, see entry) was taking longer than expected to complete. However, the 30 Nov 1983 LAT reported The Story of David filmmakers had decided to postpone the start date from Feb to Mar 1984.
       According to the 17 Jan 1984 LAT, the delay allowed filmmakers to scout for better filming locations, and a 27 Feb 1984 start was set. However, production notes in AMPAS library files report filming began on 5 Mar 1984 at Pinewood Studios in London, England, for four weeks, followed by eighteen weeks of location shooting on the island of Sardinia, and the Italian cities of Matera, Rome, Cesano, and Abruzzi.
       The 20 Jun 1984 Var reported that Italy was experiencing its wettest spring in more than a century, and snowfall had delayed filming. According to the 11 Jul 1984 Var, thirty undercover officers were on set in Sardinia, posing as extras, due to the prevalence of kidnapping in the area. No incidences were reported.
       Filming was three months behind schedule, according to the 29 Jul 1984 LAT, which noted crew viruses, an unseasonable cold spell, and a hailstorm as factors.
       The Jun 1985 Box reported earnings of $2.2 million after the first three days in 730 theatres, and $1.3 million from the second weekend.
      End credits include the following acknowledgement: "Made at Pinewood Studios, London, England, and on location in Italy."
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jun 1985.
---
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 1985
p. 3, 54.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
15 Jul 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
23 Nov 1983
p. 1, 5.
Los Angeles Times
30 Nov 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Jan 1984
Section VI, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jul 1984
Calendar, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
29 Mar 1985
p. 1, 20.
New York Times
29 Mar 1985
p. 5.
Screen International
19 Jun 1982.
---
Variety
20 Jun 1984.
---
Variety
11 Jul 1984.
---
Variety
27 Mar 1985
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Paramount Pictures Presents
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Asst dir/2d unit dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir, 2d unit
Prod mgr, Italian prod unit
Unit mgr, Italian prod unit
Unit mgr, Italian prod unit
Unit mgr, Italian prod unit
Asst unit mgr, Italian prod unit
Asst unit mgr, Italian prod unit
Asst dir, Italian prod unit
2d asst dir, Italian prod unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Focus puller
Clapper/Loader
Cam grip
Steadicam op
Stills photog
Best boy
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Focus puller, 2d unit
Focus puller, 2d unit
Clapper/Loader, 2d unit
Gaffer, Italian prod unit
Key grip, Italian prod unit
Grip, Italian prod unit, 2d unit
Stills, Italian prod unit, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Draughtsman
Draughtsman
Sketch artist
Art dept runner
Art dir, Italian prod unit
Asst art dir, Italian prod unit
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Const mgr
Prod buyer
Sculptor/Modeller
Modeller
Prop master
Chargehand standby prop
Standby prop
Prop maker
Dressing prop man
Standby rigger
Standby carpenter
Standby plasterer
Standby painter
Standby stagehand
Set dec, Italian prod unit
Const mgr, Italian prod unit
Chief painter, Italian prod unit
Chief plasterer, Italian prod unit
Prop master, Italian prod unit
Set dresser, Italian prod unit, 2d unit
Prop man, Italian prod unit, 2d unit
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Ward asst
Ward supv, Italian prod unit
Cost asst, Italian prod unit
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Loc mus supv, Italian prod unit
Score performed by
Carl Davis courtesy of
Psalm sung by
Mus rec at
Eng, CTS Studios, Ltd.
Eng, Olympic Studios, Ltd.
Re-rec at
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd boom op
Sd maintenance
Sd ed
Dial ed
Post-sync eff
Re-rec mixer
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Dolby stereo consultant
Sd maintenance, Italian prod unit
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Senior spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff eng
Spec eff supv, Italian prod unit
Graphic des by
Title opticals by
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Chief hairdresser
Hairdresser
Hairdresser
Chief hairdresser, Italian prod unit
Chief makeup, Italian prod unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Prod coord
Casting
Prod accountant
Accounts asst
Unit pub
Pub asst
Loc mgr, Sardinia
Tech and religious adv
Tech and religious adv
Asst to the prod
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod runner
Prod runner
Scr supv, 2d unit
Prod coord, Italian prod unit
Prod asst, Italian prod unit
Prod asst, Italian prod unit
Prod asst, Italian prod unit
Accommodation liaison, Italian prod unit
Rome contact, Italian prod unit
Casting, Italian prod unit
Transport mgr, Italian prod unit
Horsemaster, Italian prod unit
Prod accountant, Italian prod unit
Asst accountant, Italian prod unit
Prod nurse, Italian prod unit
Secy to prod and Mr. Gere, Italian prod unit
Secy to prod and Mr. Gere, Italian prod unit
Asst, Italian prod unit, 2d unit
Catering by
STAND INS
Mr. Gere's stand in
Stunt horsemaster, 2d unit
Stunt coord, Italian prod unit
COLOR PERSONNEL
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Story of David
Release Date:
29 March 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 29 March 1985
Production Date:
5 March -- July 1984 in England, Sardinia, and Italy
Copyright Claimant:
Barclays Mercantile Industrial Finance, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
17 April 1985
Copyright Number:
PA246801
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
114
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Countries:
United Kingdom, Italy, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27636
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1,000 B.C. Israel, King Saul holds the king of the Amalekite people for ransom, and chains their women and children. The prophet, Samuel, accuses Saul of disobeying God’s order to destroy the Amalekites, and spare nothing. Samuel beheads the Amalekite king, as God commands, and Saul repents for his sins, begging Samuel’s forgiveness. Samuel travels to see a countryman named Jesse, and orders him to choose one of his sons to be the next king of Israel. Samuel uses his abilities as a “seer” to help him select, and chooses Jesse’s youngest son, David. David wants God to ask him directly to rule his people, and Samuel prophesizes that this will happen. In time, Samuel sends a messenger with his dying instructions for Saul to fight the Philistines. Saul weeps over Samuel’s death, and summons David. The Philistines arrive and challenge the Israelites to battle a giant named Goliath, and David volunteers. David kills Goliath with a sling, and wins the respect of the Israelites. He sees this as a sign from God that he is to be the future king, and joins Saul’s army, fighting for him for ten years. David is beloved by the Israelites, and treated like a son by Saul. He marries Saul’s daughter, Bathsheba. Elsewhere, David’s brothers tell stories of him being chosen by God, and Saul feels threatened that David will take his crown. Jonathan, Saul’s son, defends David, igniting the wrath of his father. Saul visits the marriage bed of Bathsheba, and demands to know David’s whereabouts. Jonathan helps David escape, and sends him to ... +


In 1,000 B.C. Israel, King Saul holds the king of the Amalekite people for ransom, and chains their women and children. The prophet, Samuel, accuses Saul of disobeying God’s order to destroy the Amalekites, and spare nothing. Samuel beheads the Amalekite king, as God commands, and Saul repents for his sins, begging Samuel’s forgiveness. Samuel travels to see a countryman named Jesse, and orders him to choose one of his sons to be the next king of Israel. Samuel uses his abilities as a “seer” to help him select, and chooses Jesse’s youngest son, David. David wants God to ask him directly to rule his people, and Samuel prophesizes that this will happen. In time, Samuel sends a messenger with his dying instructions for Saul to fight the Philistines. Saul weeps over Samuel’s death, and summons David. The Philistines arrive and challenge the Israelites to battle a giant named Goliath, and David volunteers. David kills Goliath with a sling, and wins the respect of the Israelites. He sees this as a sign from God that he is to be the future king, and joins Saul’s army, fighting for him for ten years. David is beloved by the Israelites, and treated like a son by Saul. He marries Saul’s daughter, Bathsheba. Elsewhere, David’s brothers tell stories of him being chosen by God, and Saul feels threatened that David will take his crown. Jonathan, Saul’s son, defends David, igniting the wrath of his father. Saul visits the marriage bed of Bathsheba, and demands to know David’s whereabouts. Jonathan helps David escape, and sends him to see the high priest, Ahimelech, at the “Sanctuary of Nob”. David studies God’s word under Ahimelech, and is shown the Ark of the Covenant, which contains the Ten Commandments. Sometime later, Saul discovers where David is hiding, and goes to the Sanctuary of Nob to find him. However, Ahimelech is alerted, and sends David away. Saul demands that David be turned over, and when they refuse, he orders that Ahimelech and the priests at the sanctuary be murdered. Saul pursues, as David wanders the wilderness for six years. David develops a following, marries three wives, Abigail, Ahinoam, and Maacah, and has two sons, Amnon, and Absalom. David’s men discover Saul’s camp one night, and David goes to meet him. While Saul sleeps, David steals his sword, and makes his presence known the next day, revealing that he spared Saul’s life while he slept. Saul is humbled, and calls David, “my son.” In front of his men, Saul proclaims his love for David, and commands their departure. David’s men warn that Saul will return, and David visits Achish, Lord of the Philistines, to seek refuge. David agrees to fight any man for Achish, except Saul, as he is God’s anointed king. Achish agrees on condition that when David is king of Israel, he will return the Philistine land. David vows to be a just ruler, and gives Achish his oath. David and his followers live among the Philistines for a year and four months. Sometime later, the Philistines challenge the Israelites for land. Before the battle, a traditional animal sacrifice is made, but Saul proclaims himself the sacrifice. His men warn that he will die that day in battle, but Saul does not fear death. During the bloody fight, Saul and Jonathan are killed, and a messenger delivers Saul’s crown to David. After taking the throne, he summons Bathsheba, and declares that he loves her more than his other wives. She rejects him, insulting his vanity, and demands that he return her to her new husband, Uriah. In time, David plans to honor God by building an opulent temple on Mt. Zion to house the Ark of the Covenant. The prophet Nathan asserts that God prefers simplicity and humility, which David lacks, and instructs David to destroy the heathen nations trespassing on Israelite land. David insists God would not want him to slaughter so many, but Nathan argues these were God’s commands, first given to Moses. In time, David has a daughter named Tamar, and his first-born son, Amnon, from another wife, falls in love with her. Tamar rejects Amnon’s advances. One day, Bathsheba visits David in his throne room, and tells him of her husband’s abuse, and refusal to give her a child. David offers to make a child with her, but she denies him while her husband is alive. David sends her husband, Uriah, to deliver a message, and he is subsequently killed on the battlefield. David remarries Bathsheba. At the wedding reception, his second born, Absalom, learns that Amnon raped Tamar, and he slits Amnon’s throat in front of the guests. The laws deem that Absalom must be put to death, but David insists he was avenging his sister, and banishes him from the kingdom instead. David is saddened by the exile of his favorite son. Sometime later, Nathan accuses David of causing Uriah’s death to take Bathsheba for his own. David pleads not to lose Bathsheba, and Nathan concedes. However, he declares that his first-born child with Bathsheba will not live. David prays for forgiveness, but their first child dies after seven days. His second-born, a son named Solomon, survives, and is proclaimed by Nathan to be heir to the throne. David argues that Absalom is his oldest son and the rightful heir, despite his being in exile. During his three years of banishment, Absalom develops a following of his own. He campaigns to be made a judge, and fights against injustice on their behalf, against the King. David’s advisors warn that Absalom is a traitor, planning an uprising against him, but David defends his son. Elsewhere, Absalom is led to believe that his father has forsaken him, and will declare Solomon as his heir. Absalom is advised to attack the kingdom, and organize an army. Against David’s wishes, his army rides to fight Absalom’s men. While trying to escape, Absalom is killed. David laments the death of his son, and Nathan chastises him for following his own emotions and disobeying God’s law. David is apathetic, but eventually follows the commands delivered by the prophets, and successfully drives the Philistines into the sea. He goes on to destroy every enemy of Israel. After ruling for forty years, David anoints Solomon to be the next king. On his deathbed, David instructs his son to rule with his heart. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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