Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Solomon and Sheba (1959)


Written by Tim Dirks

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Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Solomon and Sheba (1959)

In legendary director King Vidor's final film, a Technirama Biblical epic:

  • the character of hot-blooded seductive temptress and pagan spy the Queen of Sheba (sultry post-war Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida), who was offered the port of Melish on the Red Sea by the Pharaoh in return for bringing about Israeli King Solomon's (Yul Brynner) downfall
  • her many risque and lascivious appearances, often in exotic and revealing costumes, especially for the late 1950s
  • her tempting romantic encounters with Solomon, ultimately leading to his lustful desire for her when he visited her after midnight and she admitted her plan of entrapment ("to bind you to me in soft chains so that I may do with you as I will") - and Solomon, "blind to the truth" became her lover
  • the scene of Solomon sitting in judgment with two mothers claiming that a surviving baby was each their own
  • the Queen of Sheba's bathing scene in which she rose naked from her tub and was wrapped in a long towel by her maid servant, who was given the command to "Dry me!"
  • the scene in which she held a pagan ceremony within Israel to her god of love and fertility Rha-gon - and her performance of an erotic belly-dance in a flesh-colored bra-top to the heavy beat of drums, tempting Solomon to be drawn to her writhing bacchanalian ceremony
  • the response of God's wrath in the form of thunderbolts in the sky, striking down the temple
  • the film's concluding battle with a 'cast of thousands' in which the outnumbered, seemingly-vanquished Israelites clash with charging Egyptian armies (joined by Solomon's treacherous brother Adonijah (George Sanders)) - and a reflecting-shield miracle drove their blinded chariots and foot-soldiers into a chasm
  • the film's ending in which Sheba (pregnant with Solomon's child) took refuge in the temple where she had a complete change of heart (she confessed her true love, converted to Judaism and renounced her own gods)
  • her rescue from being stoned to death (and then her miraculous healing) when Solomon returned victorious
  • in the film's final moments, the Queen of Sheba bid farewell to Solomon and stoically strode off to return to her own land to bear his child with God's blessing: ("And he shall walk in the way of the Lord God Jehovah. That we must part is our atonement")


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