A CINEMASCOPE PRODUCTION
FROM GALATEA FILMS
ESTHER & THE KING
JOAN COLLINS as Esther
RICHARD EGAN as King Ahasuerus
DENIS O'DEA as Mordecai
SERGIO FANTONI as Harman
RICK BATTAGLIA as Simon
RENATO BALDINI as Kiydrathes
GABRIELE TINTI as Samual
ROSALBA NERI as Keresh
ROBERT BUCHANAN as Hegai
DANIELLA ROCCA as Queen Vashti
FOLCO LULLI as Toblah
Assistant Director - Ottavio Oppo Director of Photography - Mario Bava Music by Francesco Lavagnino
Art Director - G Giovannini Screenplay by Raoul Walsh & Michael Elkins Associate Producer - John Twist
Edited by Jerry Webb Costumes by A.M. FEA Produced & Directed by Raoul Walsh
When the Kings immoral wife is murdered, he begins a search for a new Queen.. Esther, a sulty Judean peasant girl, happy and in love with a local boy, is chosen by the King to be his next Queen. But will Esther sacrifice her true love for her love for her people? Will the King enforce his power over her? Love & War! Murder & Betrayal... Surround Esther & The King!
(c)1960 20TH CENTURY FOX 109 MINS ..REGION 1 DVD FROM SYNERGY ENTERTAINMENT Region 2 from KSM/FOX
This biblical film, according to Joan had one of the worst scripts she had ever read and thought the film would be a bomb.. However she went to Rome to film this tale based on the bible stories which featured Esther, the Judean peasant girl. Although on viewing the film, she is one of the most glamorous peasants you will ever see! Joan's co-star Richard Egan, although American, learned to speak Italian during the shoot and could even hold conversations with the mostly Italian crew. Even though Joan hated the script, she could not afford to turn down another film and she needed the money. This was a truly international production, with the exception of Joan, Richard and Denis O'Dea, the rest of the cast either spoke their dialogue in Italian, French or Spanish. Joan was seeing Warren Beatty at this time, but he was thousands of miles away in New York doing a play. He began to bombard her with calls and telegrams and she did miss him.. Eventually she risked total suspension from the film and flew to New York, leaving the director with a headache. The news media got hold of the story and the headlines were not favourable, proclaiming...
" Joan Collins. Runaway .. Renegade Actress!"
Joan spent some time with Beatty and then quickly returned to Rome to complete the film.. Even though she loved the city, she was delighted to finally leave and return to Hollywood. Soon after her return, she got a call telling her to be ready to take over the role of "Cleopatra", as Elizabeth Taylor was ill and on the brink of death. Joan wanted so much to play the role of the Egyptian Queen, but she gave a sigh of relief when Elizabeth recovered.
Joan looks stunning in the film, but as she had predicted the film was a bomb and was savaged by the critics.
The New York Times .. Bosley Crowther ..
" The best to be said of this Chromo, is that it drives one more spike into the coffin of these synthetic biblical films."
The film today is noted for it's cinematography by famed horror director, Mario Bava, who is rumoured to have directed a good portion of the film, as legendary director Raoul Walsh was nearing retirement. Although not a classic, it is perfect afternoon matinee entertainment.
(c) 2010 Mark McMorrow..