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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

David and Bathsheba [Blu-ray]


(Henry King, 1951)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Kino Lorber



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:55:44.145 

Disc Size: 30,142,871,750 bytes

Feature Size: 27,889,158,144 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.85 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 10th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English, None



Once in 3,000 Years (3:38)

Trailers for David and Bathsheba (color - 2:42 / black + white - 0:54)

TV Spot (0:54)

Trailers for  Yellow Sky - 1:40, On the Beach - 4:46, I Want to Live - 2:11, Rawhide - 2:27, Billy Two-Hats - 3:59





Description: 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).



The Film:

David and Bathsheba is a respectable, slightly stodgy cinematic adaptation of the Old Testament story. King David (Gregory Peck), much beloved by his subjects and a war hero of long standing, falls victim to the sins of the flesh when he falls in love with Bathsheba (Susan Hayward), the wife of Uriah (Kieron Moore), one of David's most trusted soldiers. His downfall begins when David orders Uriah into a suicidal battle, knowing that this will clear the way for his relationship with Bathsheba. His infatuation leads him to neglect his kingdom and his people, and invokes the wrath of God. Only after his land has been devastated by God's hand does David offer atonement. The film's lavish production values compensate ever so slightly for the long-winded script. David and Bathsheba was the last major "flat-screen" Biblical epic; it was filmed in 1951 B.C. -- Before Cinemascope.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE


In the 11th century B.C., Israelite military leader Joab is patroling his army's camp outside the city of Rabbah, the stronghold of their enemies the Ammonites, when he realizes that David, the King of Israel, is missing. Joab is infuriated to learn that David has joined Uriah on the nightly patrol mission, and sends a hundred men to find him. After a brief battle with the Ammonites, the wounded David returns safely to camp, accompanied by Uriah, who worships the king. Although David longs for the days when he, like Uriah, was a simple captain, he returns to the safety of Jerusalem and turns his attention to other affairs of state. Upon his arrival, Nathan, a well-respected prophet, assures David that God approves of his plan to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The dual-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of the Technicolor epic David and Bathsheba looks beautiful. Colors are rich and lustrous - contrast is wonderfully layered by the high resolution and the golden-filter hues of Goliath flashback sequences is very pleasing and authentic. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise - there is texture, depth and consistent detail in close-ups. This Blu-ray isn't perfect, but kudos to the film's art direction - it looks highly impressive in 1080P.





















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1558 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are effects in the film but the audio is most notable for the impressive orchestral score by the great Alfred Newman (Cry of the City, The Diary of Anne Frank, Bus Stop, Blood and Sand, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Prince of Foxes, Panic in the Streets, The Song of Bernadette etc. etc.) - it has a rousing, epic feel and sounds beautiful in the lossless.  There are optional English subtitles offered (see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Extras include the 3.5 minute promo entitled Once in 3,000 Years with Hayward, Peck, director King and others discussing details pre-production around the studio lot. There are also 2 trailers for David and Bathsheba (color - 2:42 / black + white - 0:54) , a TV Spot and trailers for Yellow Sky, On the Beach, I Want to Live, Rawhide, and Billy Two-Hats.


I hadn't seen David and Bathsheba in decades. It's such a visually impressive film and delves deeply into the classic story. Susan Hayward is beautiful - Peck his usual regal-self. The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray is the best way to see and hear this biblical romance with large sets, costumes and impressive performances.  I was entertained. Recommended!

Gary Tooze

February 22nd, 2017


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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