Esther and the King
|Esther and the King|
Mario Bava (Italian version)
|Produced by||Raoul Walsh|
Ennio De Concini
Angelo Francesco Lavagnino|
|Edited by||Jerry Webb|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
December 14, 1960 (U.S.)|
February 17, 1961 (Italy)
Ester e il re (English Translation: Esther and the King) is a 1960 Italian / American international co-production religious 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 made in Cinemascope and DeLuxe Color, and produced at 20th Century Fox/ Raoul Walsh Productions, and was released by 20th Century Fox. Joan Collins stars as Esther. 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 as Esther
- Richard Egan as King Ahasuerus
- Denis O'Dea as Mordecai
- Sergio Fantoni as Haman
- Renato Baldini as Kildrates
- Gabriele Tinti as Samuel
- Rosalba Neri as Keresh
- Daniela Rocca as Queen Vashti
- Folco Lulli as Tobiah
- Rik Battaglia as 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