Synopsis: The tribes of Israel need to defeat the superior might of the Philistines: "Now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." (I Samuel, 8:5). And so the prophet Samuel gives the Hebrews their first king, Saul, a simple farmer, who with God's help becomes a brave and mighty warlord who leads the united tribes of Israel against their enemies. Saul, however, has incessant doubts about his mission. Not trustful enough of divine wisdom, he acts of his own accord and thus sins against the Lord. The influential prophet Samuel turns away from Saul in order to select a new king according to God's will: David. He is still a young boy, tending sheep in the fields, when, secretly Samuel oints him as the next king of the Israelites. When David - as courageous as he is intelligent - emerges victorious from his encounter with Goliath, the Philistines' most powerful warrior, he becomes a hero. His fame arouses the jealousy of King Saul, who senses that David is going to dispute his
Director(s): Robert Markowitz
Production: Beta Films
  Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations.
190 min

Saul and Jonathan were swifter

than eagles, fiercer than lions.

In their death, they were not divided.

Jonathan, you were

like a brother to me.

Kill me!

Beloved Saul,

you called me your son.

When the Philistines

crushed your army...

... God made your crown

fall into my hands.

After seven years in Hebron,

my army and I approached Jerusalem.

Our numbers are too great

to stay here in Hebron.

I have appealed to the Jebusites...

... to make their city of Jerusalem

our capital.

They claim they can beat

back our armies...

... with nothing but the sick

and the lame.

What do you think?

Shall we test that boast?

Look what becomes

of the well of Jerusalem.

Tell your city elders

that their water supply...

... is now in the hands of King David

of the Israelites.

They've captured the well!

You have a choice.

You can join us and live

in peace and security...

... or oppose us and die of thirst.

Please. Please, sir.

Enter our city in peace.

O my God,

you have made this city...

... a blessing

for your faithful servant, David.

Thank you for Jerusalem...

... a place where my wives

and children...

... and all my once-weak and

scattered tribes can rest...

... and live as a united nation

to serve you, O Lord.


... who am I that you have brought me

to this beautiful city...

... and this beautiful house?

You know my heart, Lord.

You know all the great things

you have done for me...

... that I would know your will.

We are your people...

... forever, Lord.

From a humble shepherd, Lord,

you have lifted me up...

... to be king over your city

and your people...

... as you did for that humble farmer

from the tribe of Benjamin...

... the man named Saul.


... the mules...

... they're gone.

Abner, stay here.

Jonathan, come with me.

We'll get them back.

Are we being punished, Father?

I don't know.

I don't need to know.

We're at the border

of Benjamite territory.

If they're much further, they're lost.

I have faith the Lord wouldn't

make us come this far for nothing.

Have you found

our animals in the town?

No, master. But there is

in the city a man of God.

An honorable man.

What he says comes to pass.

We've no gifts for a holy man.

I have this silver.

Bless you, Jonathan.

We'll go and see him tomorrow.

We're looking for lost mules.

Perhaps you're the man

who can help us.


... up here with me.

Don't concern yourself

about your mules.

They've been found.

Did you say our mules

had been found?

Perhaps you know

that the tribes of Israel...

... have decided to ask God for a king.

We've all heard it.

I am the Lord's prophet...

... Samuel.

And yesterday...

... the Lord spoke to me,

and he said, "Tomorrow...

... at about this time...

... you'll meet a man

out of the tribe of Benjamin.

Anoint him to be

the captain of my people...

... and to save them from the Ammonites

and the Philistines. "

The Benjamites are

the smallest tribe of Israel.

My family is the least important

of all the Benjamin tribe.

None of that matters now,

since the Lord is with you.

You are the one on whom

all the hopes of Israel rest.

On you...

... and all your father's house.

With his blessing...

... the Lord has anointed you...

... as prince over all Israel.

Listen to the word of the Lord.

Obey his commandments.

Your enemies will flee...

... and your kingdom shall prosper.

Now rise to your feet.

I'm your humble servant,

my lord king.

Hail King Saul.

God bless him.

The Lord has seen you

as fit to do a king's work.

Trust him.

Is that all?

Today, after you depart from me,

you should travel to Rachel's sepulcher.

- I know it.

- There you shall meet two men.

They will show you that the mules

that you went to seek are found.

Then you shall come

to the plain of Tabor...

... where you will meet three men

going up to God at Bethel.

And they will gift you with goats

and bread and wine.

And then you shall meet

a company of devout men...

... coming from a high place.

And the spirit of God

will come over you.

God has given me another heart.

What is my first task?

To gather together the tribes...

... strike back at the Ammonites...

... and win a war.

God save King Saul!

God save King Saul!

God save King Saul!

God save King Saul!

Welcome, men!

Welcome to the army of Israel!

I will give orders to our forces...

... through my son...

... Jonathan...

... and my nephew, Abner,

and my lieutenant, Phineas.

Our job now...

... is to make weapons!

- Yes.

We must make

as many weapons as possible.

We must work as hard

as we possibly can.

God doesn't want us to wave

our hands at the enemy.

He wants us to be as strong as we can...

... so that we can defeat our enemy.

God bless Saul!

God bless Saul!

And the army of Israel!


Leave her be.

She's under my protection.

- Who are you?

- Not someone to answer your questions.

A while ago, you slaughtered

the men of this village.

I warn you now.

Give up hope of getting these lands...

... or any lands belonging to Israel.

Go back to where you come from.

What do we have here?

A Hebrew warrior?

These are the words of the Lord.

My name is Saul, king of Israel.



... what now?

- Now you'll take your army to Gilgal.

I'll join you there.

You will wait for me for seven days...

... and then I'll come and tell you

what you must do for the Lord.

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Larry Gross

Larry Gross (born 1953) is an American screenwriter, producer, and director. He is a visiting professor of film and new media at New York University Abu Dhabi. Best known for his collaborations with Walter Hill, his credits include 48 Hrs. (1982), Streets of Fire (1984), and uncredited contributions to Ralph Bakshi's Cool World (1992). He won the 2004 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival for We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004). His criticism has appeared in Film Comment and Sight & Sound.Gross attended St Edmund Hall, Oxford and Bard College, from which he graduated in 1974. He later completed an MA in English at Columbia University (where he subsequently served as an adjunct assistant professor of film) and an MA in film studies at New York University.In 2008, Gross who is the co-writer of 48 Hrs. has his contemporaneous diary of his days on set published on the MovieCityNews website. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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