Solomon’s rise to the throne enrages his more warlike brother while the queen of Sheba conspires with the Egyptians to bring about the downfall of the new king.
This historically dodgy and generally stodgy epic is the film in which a black-wigged Yul Brynner courts scantily clad Gina Lollobrigida in days of biblical yore.
While Ben-Hur (1959) and El Cid (1961) show how good epics can be, Solomon and Sheba has all the weaknesses of the genre, notably a script brimming with non-sequiturs and inane Americanisms.
Despite some eye-catching designs and photography by Freddie Young (who later shot Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago for David Lean, winning Oscars for both), this picture was probably doomed when the original star, Tyrone Power, died on the set.
That disaster, together with a critical drubbing and poor audiences, caused director King Vidor to abandon the movie business for good.
Magda, Queen of Sheba