Solomon and Sheba

Salomon und die Königin von Saba
On his deathbed, King David of Israel names his younger son Solomon as successor, leaving elder son Adonijah out in the cold. But his brother’s vengeance is not the only thing threatening Solomon’s rule. At the behest of the Egyptian pharaoh, the queen of Sheba arrives in Jerusalem. Solomon becomes so infatuated with her that he allows her to mount a pagan celebration. With this betrayal of their God, the tribes of Israel rise in anger against the king. When Adonijah joins forces with the Egyptians, Solomon’s fate seems to be sealed … The underlying motif of King Vidor’s biblical epic is how sexuality can undermine religion and statecraft. The director’s first choice for his tale of the conflict between duty, reason, and proclivity was Tyrone Power. However, while shooting a sword fight on location in Spain, the actor had a heart attack and died. He was replaced by Yul Brynner, who played Rameses in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956). With Brynner in the title role, the tenor of the film changed, acquiring an unintended autocratic mien, in which physical lustre – such as the colourful costumes, equestrian battles, and an orgy – triumphed over the psychological aspects.
by King Vidor
with Yul Brynner, Gina Lollobrigida, George Sanders, Marisa Pavan, David Farrar, John Crawford, Finlay Currie, Harry Andrews, José Nieto, Maruchi Fresno
USA 1959 English 141’ Colour Rating R12


  • Yul Brynner
  • Gina Lollobrigida
  • George Sanders
  • Marisa Pavan
  • David Farrar
  • John Crawford
  • Finlay Currie
  • Harry Andrews
  • José Nieto
  • Maruchi Fresno


Director King Vidor
Screenplay Anthony Veiller, Paul Dudley, George Bruce
Story Crane Wilbur
Cinematography Fred A. Young
Editing Otto Ludwig
Music Mario Nascimbene
Sound David Hildyard
Art Director Richard Day, Alfred Sweeney, Luis Perez Espinosa
Costumes Ralph Jester
Assistant Directors Piero Mussetta, José María Ochoa, Joseph E. Kenny, Pepe Lopez
Producer Ted Richmond

Produced by

Theme Pictures, S.A. (A King Vidor Production)

Additional information

Print: Park Circus, Glasgow

King Vidor

Filmography (selection)

1919 The Turn in the Road; Lost film 1925 The Big Parade (Die große Parade) 1928 The Crowd (Ein Mensch der Masse) 1929 Hallelujah 1934 Our Daily Bread (Der letzte Alarm) 1938 The Citadel 1940 Northwest Passage (Nordwest-Passage) 1947 Duel in the Sun (Duell in der Sonne) 1949 The Fountainhead (Ein Mann wie Sprengstoff) 1956 War and Peace (Krieg und Frieden) 1959 Solomon and Sheba (Salomon und die Königin von Saba)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020