Solomon and Sheba
Drama / History / Romance / War
Solomon and Sheba
Drama / History / Romance / War
Shortly before his death in ancient Israel King David has a vision from God telling him that his younger son Solomon should succeed him as king. His other son Adonijah is unhappy and vows to attain the throne. Meanwhile the Egyptian Pharoah agrees to cede a Red Sea port to the Queen of Sheba is she can find a way to destroy Solomon, whose wisdom and benevolent rule is seen as a threat to more tyrannical monarchs in the region. Sheba, Pharoah, Adonijah, the leaders of the Twelve Tribes and his own God make life difficult for Solomon who is tempted by Sheba to stray.
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January 01, 1970 at 12:00 AM
Kind Vidor's last movie is worth a look.
A heavy budget, a star that died with 75% of the movie completed. Recipe for disaster right, not in this case as Yul Brynner, the "great bald one" as he was known , except with hair here makes a convincing Solomon and Vidor scores in his direction. This movie sets itself up from the beginning as the story of two brothers and a case for redemption for that is what this movie is about. Solomon as everyone, Christian or not knows was wise as the common adage states. He inherited the Kingdom of Israel from his father as chosen by God to replace his older brother, the warrior played by the great supporting and sometimes leading man George Sanders in one his nefarious performances. Solomon prays for wisdom which God grants him and Israel prospers. Neighbors become jealous and scared as a redeemed Sanders courtesy of Brynner builds Israel's army to a sizable number. They also fear their teachings of equality to all men and their notion of One God. Sheba is sent or chooses to tempt Solomon with riveting consequences. The problem with these movies in our modern eyes is that the writers have them talk in the way texts and related scriblings depicted dialogue back then which is as poetry with innuendoes and rhyme. This today is often seen as camp, such the case of recent Swords and Sandals like Gladiator avoiding these dialogue. The movie also bears a certain resemblance to De Mille's classic Samson and Delilah which kickstarted the whole genre. That said, a "Shield of light" action sequence is worth a look to see how it was staged and shot. Gina Lollobrigida is absolutely stunningly photographed and the performance is quite good. All in the one, one of the master's last can be your first intro into his ouevre.
HinoSenshi's Review of An Excellent Time-Waster.....With A Little Sex Thrown In!
Holy Cow! I watched "Solomon and Sheba" the other day on TCM, and I totally LOVED it! It is very Biblically inaccurate (there was NOTHING between Solomon and the queen of Sheba, just a conversation!), but a lot of fun!
Yul Brynner is one of my favorite actors to watch on screen; he is sexy, charismatic, over the top, and has that whacked out ambiguous accent. His ability to believably play just about any nationality and role is very evident in his role as the Hebrew king in this film; even though he seems a little out of place. I wonder why they chose him to replace Tyrone Power? Is it just me, or did he never smile in this or any other movie? Sexy!!!!!
Gina Lollobrigia is waaaaaaaaaay hot in this movie! As the erotically inclined, temptress queen, she heats up the screen and blows everyone else out of the water! She and Brynner look very good together, and their love scenes are some of the HOTTEST I've seen in a 50's movie (especially the incredible steamy one at the pagan orgy-WOW!)! Gina has Vulcan eyebrows! I've never seen her in anything else, but I hope I can! She's as va-va-voom as Sophia Loren!
Other than these two hot actors, everybody else in the movie SUCKS. George Sanders is like a dull imitation of a villain-yawn! I got bored with the overlong battle scenes, most of which had no Historical basis at all! Errrrrggh!
Overall, I give "Solomon and Sheba" an 8 out of 10, it should be a 6 but the sexiness and eroticism of the love story brings it up to an 8. If you like pointless epics with some sexuality thrown in, then I definitely recommend this movie to you. It is a great way to waste a boring afternoon alone!
Read more IMDb reviews
A fanciful extrapolation of a very brief mention of Sheba in the bible
I saw this on its original release as a child. My mother, a great movie buff, was greatly excoriated by other members of the family for taking me along when she went shopping in downtown Manila and decided to see it. The reason? It was classified as either for adults only or more likely as "Objectionable in part for all" by the Legion of Decency. Why? There was this exotic belly dance by Gina Lollobrigida. Then there was this bathing scene which although did not show much skin had her rising out of the pool while her serving maids obstructed the view with a large cloth. As she wrapped the cloth around her shapely body, she said in a very sexy voice and tone: "Dry me." I narrated this scene to my poor friends who couldn't afford to go to a first run movie but they didn't get excited. I saw a re-run of the movie on a religious channel recently and I didn't see the belly dance scene.
This is the only other movie where I saw Yul Brynner with hair. He also had hair in The Sound and the Fury.
But now let's get serious. There is no mention in the bible of the Queen of Sheba as a temptress and spy for the Pharoah. All it says is that she was an admirer of Solomon who brought him lots of valuable gifts when she visited him to learn from his wisdom. If there should be a re-make of this film, it is suggested that Sheba be played by a black actress as we now know that Sheba was in what is now modern Ethiopia and even in those days, the inhabitants of that area were black. Also, Sheba was not the name of a queen but of the country that the "Kandake" (a title from which the name Candace is derived) ruled. Other than her title, therefore, we do not know the name of the Candace of Sheba.