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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Although this film has older, more provincial production values, and may be too slow for today's audiences, it is worth watching to see Gregory Peck in a biblical epic. Though not the nuanced performance that many of his film are, he is a joy to watch, and his quintessential humanity shines through anything he does. Susan Hayward was a beauty, though a bit over the top in her acting style. Biblical scholars might balk at the liberties taken, but this film is recommended, if for nothing else than to see this last of the grandiose Hollywood Biblical epics, and to see Gregory Peck, who remains one of the most watchable and sensitive actors of all time.
Preposterous biblical extravaganza, it is so overproduced, a gaudy production, exaggerated sets and costumes. It isn't the least bit convincing, the acting is wooden by all, even Gregory Peck. Phony and awful.