The venerable Bruce Beresford directed the excellent Tender Mercies and Mister Johnson, but knows he made a mistake in concocting King David (1985), a film about the biblical sovereign. An episodic drag, it features a David (Richard Gere) who never proves spiritual—or charismatic—enough, and fails to make many points about his life, such as his longing for Bathsheba, rightly explicit.

Some notable acting beams its way to us, but the voiceover narration adds nothing to KD, which, by the way, is not entirely faithful to the Old Testament text. Further, the only powerful scenes in the film are the violent ones. As I said, Beresford knows the movie is a failure. There are barely any grounds for seeing it.