#82: SOLOMON AND SHEBA (1959)
George had a real meaty role in this biblical epic based on events depicted in the tenth chapter of First Kings and the ninth chapter of Second Chronicles. He played Adonijah, one of King David's sons, who attempts to usurp the throne. Of course, this puts him into direct conflict with Solomon (Yul Brynner), the intended heir. Adonijah seems to make amends with Solomon and is apparently forgiven, until there is another overthrow attempt. That time Adonijah is put to death. The production was filmed in Europe, and it originally starred George's longtime Fox cast mate Tyrone Power. But during a scene with George, Power took ill and collapsed on the set. He died soon after from a fatal heart attack, and Brynner then stepped in as a replacement. Despite the real-life drama that had occurred, producer Edward Small managed to get the picture back on track and it went on to become one of the year's biggest hits.
"You've had a few hours given back to you from life. A few hours in which to change your minds and your hearts. When you came into the grounds of this inn, you came into a place as it was a year ago today. You were in your own time, but the house and garden and Gwyneth and I are in the time of last year. The day the bomb hit. When you go away and walk up the road you will have spent a night in an inn. But if you look back from the crest of the hill, the halfway house will not be here...but if you remember, it will be as you remember a forgotten snatch of song. It will be a picture before your eyes. Gone before you realize it is there. Or an echo in the hidden places of your mind. But you have been here...and the world is what you make it." -- Mervyn Johns, THE HALFWAY HOUSE.