A Story of David
Directed byBob McNaught
Written byGerry Day
Terence Maples
Produced byWilliam Goetz
George Pitcher
Irving Starr
StarringJeff Chandler
Basil Sydney
Peter Arne
ABC Television
Release date
18 November 1962 (US TV)
CountriesUnited Kingdom

A Story of David is a 1961 British-Israeli drama film directed by Bob McNaught and starring Jeff Chandler, Basil Sydney and Peter Arne.[1] It depicts the life of the Biblical King David and his conflicted relationship with King Saul.

It was one of the first films made for television.[2]


Saul becomes jealous of the popularity of his protege David and tries to kill him. David goes into hiding.



The film was a co-production between ABC-TV and William Goetz. It was shot in Israel and London.[3] It was intended that the film be released as two one-hour episodes for TV in the US and as a feature in other countries.[3] Part one was to be called David the Outlaw; part two David the Hunted.[4]

"It's a simple story," said Chandler "only half a dozen people in it. There'll be no chariot race."[5] Filming took place in Israel in August and September 1960; Israel troops guarded them near the Jordan border. The unit then shifted to Elstree studios in London. Filming had completed by October.[6]

During filming Chandler met David Ben Gurion.


ABC could not find a sponsor for the program. It eventually screened on ABC as a Sunday night movie in 1962.[7] The film drew record high ratings and prompted ABC to commission a series Great Bible Stories.[8]


  1. ^ BFI.org
  2. ^ Two-Part Show Is One Worth Look Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times 21 Nov 1963: C14.
  3. ^ a b Renewal at Allied for Jeff Chandler: 'Plunderers' Pleases Studio; Star Urges Subsidy for Films Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 4 October 1960: A9.
  4. ^ TV King David Is a Diplomat, Too Chicago Daily Tribune21 Aug 1960: sw18
  5. ^ I GET FRUSTRATED: JEFF CHANDLER Jennings, Betty. Picture Show; London (Aug 13, 1960): 7.
  6. ^ THE STORY OF DAVID: Being filmed on location in Israel The Sphere; London Vol. 242, Iss. 3146, (Sep 17, 1960): 416-417.
  7. ^ Biblical Special, 'David' to Screen Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times 16 Nov 1962: D18.
  8. ^ NEWS OF TV AND RADIO: Perennial Best Seller Will Be Source Of New A.B.C. Series Other Items By RICHARD F. SHEPARD. New York Times 30 June 1963: 75.