Esther and the King
|Esther and the King|
|Directed by||Raoul Walsh|
|Produced by||Raoul Walsh|
|Screenplay by||Raoul Walsh
|Music by||Angelo Francesco Lavagnino
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release dates||December 14,1960 (U.S.)
February 17, 1961 (Italy)
|Running time||109 mins.|
Ester e il re (English Translation: Esther and the King) is a 1960 Italian / U.S.A. CinemaScope international co-productionreligious epic film directed (with Mario Bava, the film's director of photography, who was credited as a co-director on Italian prints of the film ), written, and produced by Raoul Walsh. It was produced at 20th Century Fox/ Raoul Walsh Productions, and was released by 20th Century Fox. Joan Collins stars as Esther in this melodramatic, routine Biblical story. Based on the Old Testament, this epic recreates the Book of Esther, the tale that is the basis for the Jewish celebration of Purim.
The film is set in Persia in the 5th century BC. After the King’s wife is murdered, Esther (a Jewish woman) comes to the attention of the recently widowed King Ahasuerus. The king has been trying to stifle and defeat the campaign of hatred against the Jews by his evil minister Haman (Sergio Fantoni). Before the King can pair off with Esther and defeat the villainous Haman, there are several intervening adventures and an additional, attractive woman who competes for attention.
- Joan Collins - Esther
- Richard Egan - King Ahasuerus
- Denis O'Dea - Mordecai
- Sergio Fantoni - Haman
- Renato Baldini - Kildrates
- Gabriele Tinti - Samuel
- Rosalba Neri – Keresh
- Daniela Rocca - Queen Vashti
- Folco Lulli - Tobiah
- Rik Battaglia – Simon
Rosalba Neri's performance has been evaluated as "memorable".
- Hughes, Howard (2011). Cinema Italiano - The Complete Guide From Classics To Cult. London - New York: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-608-0.
- Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark by Tim Lucas, Published by Video Watchdog
- Plot Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka from allmovie.com website 
- Hughes, p.69
- Esther and the King at the Internet Movie Database
- Esther and the King is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- Esther and the King at AllMovie
- Esther and the King at Rotten Tomatoes