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Approved for 12+

Esther and the King

Two decades before she would gain fame and some fortune as Alexis Carrington on Dynasty (1981), Dame Joan Collins starred as Esther in this melodramatic, routine Biblical story. The setting is Persia in the fourth century B.C., as Esther comes to the attention of the recently widowed King Ahasuerus. The King has been trying to stifle and defeat the campaign of hatred fomented against the Jews by his evil minister Haman (Sergio Fantoni). Before the King can pair off with Esther and defeat the villainous Haman, there are several intervening adventures and an additional, attractive woman who competes for attention.

Negative Rating
Positive Rating

Dove Review

This melodramatic movie certainly uses a bit of creative license, and yet the heart of the story of Queen Esther remains intact. Joan Collins gives a solid performance as Esther, a woman of noble virtue and kindness who wins the heart of King Ahasuerus (Richard Egan).

In this world of the Medes and Persians Mordecai (Denis O’ Dea) is a trusted advisor to Esther and the king trusts him as well. Mordecai trusts in his Hebrew God, while the evil Haman (Sergio Fantoni) plots against the Hebrews. One of the strong points of the film is its locations, with desert places and large armies in energetic scenes, fighting or preparing to.

Queen Vashti has fallen from grace in the sight of the king. In the biblical account she doesn’t want to dance for him, but in this melodrama she has also been having an affair with Haman. It’s decided that the beautiful women of the kingdom will present themselves before the king after he banishes Queen Vashti. A new queen will soon reign at his side. In this movie Esther was already in love with a man named Simon, which has no biblical foundation. But, either way, although she resents being chosen by the king (in the movie), she indeed learns to love him.

Haman continues his evil plans to bring genocide to the Jews but when Queen Esther learns the truth, she goes unbidden to the king to beg that he stay his hand. The truth eventually wins out as it is learned that Haman is the true culprit. Mordecai is saved and Haman has to pay the ultimate price for his deceit and evil plans.

There are some violent moments featured in the movie, including a few scenes of hangings. These are brief scenes and not close up. There are battles and sword fights as well, which are not graphic or bloody.  The women dance about rather scantily in a few scenes, with cleavage, thighs, bare midriffs and shoulders being on display. In an early scene in the film, King Ahasuerus tells Mordecai that, “this unseen God of yours does seem to get things done.” Later, he learns just how powerful Mordecai’s God truly is.

The movie does a good job in portraying Esther as a simple woman of virtue and faith, who humbly prays to God. Because of the virtues that are displayed, of seeking the Lord and following Him, this film has earned our Dove seal for Ages 12+.

The Dove Take

The story of Queen Esther and her faith is nicely portrayed in this dramatic film.

Dove Rating Details


The story of Esther from the Bible, with some creative dramatic license.


Several characters wish to follow the Lord and to do the right thing. Esther is willing to risk her life to save the Jews, her people, feeling she might have brought to the queenship for that very reason.


Kissing in a few scenes; a queen is unfaithful to her husband; sensual dancing.




Several sword fights and battle scenes; some characters are killed; a few characters are seen hanging from the gallows.


The drinking of wine in a few scenes and the mention of wine.


Cleavage; bare midriffs and bare shoulders; men’s and women’s thighs are seen; a woman removes her top during a dance but she is only shown from behind.


Deceit and betrayal; plots against the Hebrew people; disagreements and arguments between characters.

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