Esther and the King (1960) - full transcript

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.

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The time is 2,500 years ago.

The place is Persia.

The man is Ahasuerus, king
of the Medes and the Persians.

Ruler of 127 provinces.

The most powerful man on earth.

The army of the conqueror of all
the lands from India to Ethiopia.

They are returning home now
from fresh victories in Egypt.

We'll encamp over there by the water.

Then only two more marches to Shushan.

Shall I send a messenger
to herald my king's arrival?

Perhaps not.

It would give disloyalty
time to put on its mask.

However, I already know
someone who wears the mask.

Send your messengers.

Well Simon, my loyal Judean,

you no longer need that
rusty sword of bronze.

I don't understand,
sire. It served me well.

More important, it served me well,

for, in your hands,

it saved my life.

Still, it isn't worthy of you.

The Sword Of The Golden Rooster.

Persia's greatest military honor.

You're free to go home now,
Simon. And when you're rested,

there'll be a place for you in my
honor guard at the palace at Shushan.


A royal guard to the king of the world.

My betrothed won't believe
this could happen to me.


A girl of my village.

We shall be married before I go to Shushan.

A gift for the bride.

And may the gods make her fertile.

May my God bless you, sire.

= Hooray =

Take him to his house.

It is against the will of Haman,

the king's chief minister.

He demands an example to
all who cannot pay their taxes.

Haman's will offends the will of God.

You heard the executioner.

10 of us will die if we remove him.

Yes, I heard them, Nathan.

Would you rather live in
fear for the rest of your life?

Cut him down and take him home!


- Oh my Esther!
- Simon!



There will be no more hanging
Esther, now that the king is back.

He's a just king.

He's given me honors and called
me to serve him at the palace.

Simon, you say this king is just,

but he goes off to fight the Egyptians and
leaves his army here to fight his people.

Does the hunting lion know what
the cubs are doing while he's away?

The lion is the evil one.

If we could only go to
our real home in Judah.

The king of Persia rules Judah too.

You called Judah your homeland,

yet you've never even seen it.

We were born in Persia.

Our home is where we live.

We worship our own god.

But Ahasuerus is our king.

You must admit he's
generous. This is his gift for you.

So he bought your devotion with gifts.

This beautiful thing,

while our people are starving and men hang!

He gives you this from
his bloodstained hand.

Oh, forgive me, Simon.

I've dreamed of the day that you would
return, but the dream wasn't like this.

Oh, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

The king approaches with his army!

The king's messenger!

Open the gate!

The king approaches Shushan.

The king.

The king, Queen Vashti.

But not until tomorrow.

I have followed his progress.

He is 10 leagues from Shushan.

The army is not even in sight yet.

Time is still with us.

No, Haman.

Your time has ended.

Ha, my time?

Our time, if that saves your pride.

You know, you might be throwing away

the next king of Persia.

I'm well aware of your ambitions, Haman.

Then why be so final, my dear?

Ahasuerus has no eyes
in the back of his head.

And a secret alliance with me
would be quite useful to you.

As well as to your own
future, my dear Vashti.

Well, no one can say that
the king's chief minister

did not serve him well
during his absence, both

politically and domestically.

I trust you, prince Haman.

If I fall, you will lose your head too.

Ah, but what of your other lovers?

My queen's diversions
have caused much gossip.

But who will stand forth to testify?

Their bloody heads would
hang from the royal gates.


When I hold the king in my arms again,

then who will he believe?

- Hmm?
- I agree, Vashti.

The goddess of nature was
especially generous to you.

And the royal purple is most becoming.

So wear it while you may.

Queens come and go.

Do your ambitions stem
from the dreams that uh,

eastern potion brings
to you, my dear Haman?

Take care it does not loosen your tongue.

Great lord of Media and Persia.

Shaker of the earth, master of the world.

Sovereign of Assyria and Babylon and Egypt.

Conqueror of Siber Asia and
all the lands across the sea.

Your last statement is false.

I have not been able to conquer Greece.

I thought it only a
matter of time, my lord.

Enough, enough.

Save that eulogy for my tomb.

I shall do so, sire.

So you plan to outlive me.

My master knows I would give my life

for him.

I wonder.

And you, my general Klydrathes,

what is the condition of your
army which remained in Persia?

Splendid, master.


Where is uh, lord Mordecai?


he is the one councilor whose
cooperation I have not had.

It appears he pays reverence to no one

but his invisible Hebrew god.


Welcome, sire.

Welcome back to Shushan.

I see my king is well.
Not even a slight wound?

No, Mordecai, not even a scratch,

thanks to your friend Simon,

who saved me from being ridden down and

speared like a wild animal.

I am rewarding him with honors.

My strong Simon.

I too am rewarding him by
giving him my niece in marriage.

You are a man of warmth, Mordecai.

That is why I was surprised to note

your absence at my welcoming.

I thought it better to pray for
my king's safe homecoming

than to hail him.

This unseen god of yours is strange to me,

but he does seem to get things done.

His works are sure.

And I have faith that you will
be his instrument for stopping

the cruelties of prince Haman.

I shall examine the
administration of Haman.

I have no fondness for the
man, but he is a politic necessity...

Efficient, though overzealous.


let us speak of something more cheerful.

Queen Vashti.

I trust she has not pined for me too much.

Her beauty is undiminished.

And her behavior?


Gaily spirited?


I have called you the eye of the king.

My keeper of the accounts.

My all-knowing minister.

So what have you to tell me?

Nothing, sire.

My vision does not penetrate into the harem

or the queen's apartment.

My king, my beloved
husband, how long I've waited.



Have you gone mad?

No, I have my senses, or I'd kill you.

You shamed this palace
with your corruptions.

Someone has filled your head with lies.


Not lies.

The soldiers of my replacements told me,

men who fought and died,

they had no reason to lie.

Who shares your guilt, Vashti?

Name them.

Name them, I command you.

There are no names.

There is no guilt.

Well, whoever it was,

it's best I do not know.

My pride would fall with
their public punishment.

Therefore, I condemn you in private.


You will be forever dead to me.

Oh no, Ahasuerus, I pray you believe me.

I would rather die a
real death than lose you.

Now send for your lovers, harlot.


Come on.


Maybe we'd better hasten the wedding.

I've waited for him
since I was a little girl.

We can certainly wait a few more days.

That would give her time
to be sure that she loves me.

Yes, it's for a lifetime.

And she's only had 10 years to decide.

It's my great worry that she's
never considered any other man.

For how can love untested ever be sure?

Oh, yes, yes. That's true.

I haven't ever looked at anybody else.

Maybe I should have done.




Oh, Mordecai.

Our great soldier.

The image of a David.

The image of a good
husband for your Esther, I hope.


We didn't expect you so soon.

I know.

And I'm afraid the business of the
king will keep you from your wedding.

Oh, no.

I will explain all later.

So I made the journey today to bring you

this gift for your house and Simon's.

May I open it now?

Simon look, a Mezuzah.

Thank you, uncle.

Our thoughts will always
be with you, Mordecai,

while this Mezuzah protects our home.

Yes, and I hope that you'll protect him, uncle

while he serves at
that palace of wickedness.

Nothing can convince her
that our king is not a man of evil.

He's a good man at heart,

or at least... he was.


Has anything happened to him?

Yes, something that has changed him...

A disillusionment,

a despair.

That is why I cannot attend your wedding.

It is imperative that I
remain at the palace.

There are those who would take
advantage of the king's despair

to further their own ends.

If they succeed,

it may mean the end of every
Judean settlement in Persia.

The king is an unhappy man.

In all his majesty, I think
he would actually envy you.

Who is the one who wails like
a she-wolf baying at the moon?

Probably a paramour of Klydrathes.

No, no.

She is the woman of the
keeper of the wild animals.

What court idiot decided to
bore me with this sorry spectacle?

Your chief eunuch, Hegai.

I'm going to the feast.

Prepare me.

Hurry, hurry!


Our king.


To your good health, sire.

Our noble Judean seems to have no liking

for my king's enjoyment.

By your leave sire, we
have much work to do.

I have here the figures you
required on our military strength.

You seem inspired after your
long journey into the country.

Indeed, I believe that even a king
could benefit from such a journey.

Here in Shushan, one is apt
to forget that there are people

without these frenzied aspirations.

People that have their days of peace,

serenity and laughter in
spite of oppression and cruelty.

Uh, who are these people you speak of?

Oh, some of your Hebrew aliens.

Of Israel's religion, yes, but not alien.

We are loyal subjects of the king.

And now, with his permission,

I shall withdraw to attend to his affairs.

Tell me, Mordecai,

are we well-prepared for an
expedition against the Greeks?

The home army of general Klydrathes

has a total of 400,000 men on foot

and 60,000 mounted fighters.


Now I will stem the ambitions of
that young Macedonian upstart.

What's his name?


That's it.

I'll cut him off in his youth

and annihilate his armies.

I dream of the day sire, when
there will be an end to war.

I have been your counselor

and counselor to your father, Darius.

I have seen death and destruction.

I thought,

how splendid it will be

if all this waste of wealth
and manner could be turned to

building instead of destroying...

The building of aqueducts.

The irrigation of the desert.

The creation of worth and beauty.

The Jew speaks of peace.

Why do Jews always mouth of peace?

Perhaps because...

War has forever driven us.

Dispersed us.

Made of us a people lost.

Seeking always for some haven of peace.

Even at war, Persia has
done well enough for you.


She has been more than kind
to a people who spurn her gods.

Who gather in their
private worshiping of a god

who shows no signs of existence.

Stronger and wiser men than
you have felt the power of my god...

The pharaoh of Egypt,
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

Beware Haman, do not tempt him.

Let him defend you...

If I decide to cut your heart out.

He will, Haman.

He will.

Don't you ever draw a
blade in my council chamber,

or I will kill you myself.


inscribe this and place it in the vaults

as our secret strategy against Greece.

And mind you, I shall hold you
entirely responsible as its custodian.

We shall strike against
the Greek coastal fortress

at Athos.

It is the key.

From Athos,

we can cleave their lines from either side.

We shall pour men and
provisions into the fort

from our province of Scythia,

where the might of our forces

will be based.

That is the plan.


it must be kept a secret at all costs.

A shame.

= Oh! =

The laws of Persia clearly
state the punishment for a queen

who shames the throne.

That are two alternatives...


or banishment.

Banish her.

This very night, my lord.

I shall return her to her tribe of Aryas.

And also as your first minister,

I shall fulfill my duty by providing you

with a new queen.

That is not your lawful privilege, Haman.

You question my knowledge
of the law of the Achaemenids?

No, but I question your
purpose for distorting it.

But it is written,

by the lawgivers of the great Cyrus,

"Any king of Media and
Persia without a male heir"

"shall not be without a queen."

You quote correctly, but not enough.

It is also written,

"the king's men shall search the provinces"

"that they may gather together all the
fairest young virgins unto Shushan palace."

"And that maiden which
most pleases the king"

"shall become queen of him who rules."

Does that make it plain that she is
not to be of your special choosing?

Quite so.

Dear Mordecai, I thank you

for saving me from error.

The dead hand of the dynasty

trying to thrust on me some unknown female.

I can only execute the
provisions of the law, sire.

So by your leave.

This, um...

Happiness you...

Say you found on your journey

into the countryside,

that would be my true desire.

Mighty power is a burden.

I know but one way to lighten it.

What is your way?

By lessening the burdens of others,

one removes his own.

The joy you will travel a theme to seek _?_

could thus be found in yourself.

And in time perhaps uh,

you will find it.


Go quickly to the house of my woman Keresh.

Tell her to come to me at once.

Yes, master.

You mind if I drink some
of your Syrian wine?

There is another matter
even more important.

It has to do with Queen Vashti.

Yes, master.

Our poor king.

In his sorry state of mind,

he'll not be in any hurry to
inspect his treasury at Persepolis.

Sometimes I feel you
overdo your plundering there.

I could say the same about the abundance
of army secrets you sell to the Greeks.

But then I think how my
store of gold grows in Corinth,

and I attempt to be cheerful.

There is no prospect for danger so
long as we let the king continue to live.

There are more discreet places than Shushan

for what you have in mind.

In time, you will find such a place.

And I shall rule Persia

as the ally of Alexander.

But until then, we're playing this
game on the edge of a precipice.

Not at all... not at all.

In the event, any guile
comes to the king's attention,

I have found the perfect scapegoat.



and his whole colony of Judeans in Persia.

Here is the war secret which the king
entrusted to Mordecai's safekeeping.

His plan for a surprise
attack on the Greeks.

I copied it from memory

in Greek

and added in Hebrew

an appropriately traitorous message.

My brilliant Haman.

You will keep these
tables in your possession

until suspicion threatens us. Then...

I'll tell you... how to
turn them... to our use.


My master summoned me.

Come here, my dear.

Behold the future queen of Persia.

You make sport of me.

A bride of the king must be a maiden.

I never heard of one who
had been a concubine.

But you will, Klydrathes.

You will.

This will be history,

for if the perfume of a Rose

is pleasing,

nobody's going to ask
who crushed the petals.

Your only love is danger, Haman,

and you caught it with
the passion of a madman.

My timid general,

here is the royal command for you.

Carry out the law of the
gathering of the virgins.

You need not be too
demanding of beauty or perfection

because the one who will wear the diadem

is already as good as crowned.

Get the one in the wedding gown.

The one in the wedding gown!

Samuel, fetch my golden
sword from the house.

They won't defy a symbol of the king.

- Hey! What are you doing‽
- Leave her alone!

- Oh, let me go!
- Esther!

Let me go!


Take her to the palace!

Simon! Simon!

No! Stop it!




For her sake and yours, don't!

Don't let them take you.


A Judean tried to murder me?

Find him! Bring him to me alive!

Sack this village.

Flog every man, woman, and child.

And let it be done to all
the Hebrew settlements.

There are some here that seem
a bit too worldly for maidens.

There are a few prime maidens here

who might attract the fancy of our monarch.

He isn't quite himself these days.

And it is my duty to
decide what is best for him.

Naturally, prince Haman.


you will remove

the one who plays with the water.

That one, with the fair skin of Circassian.

And the one who sits in the corner.

Your guard may have them, heh.

And after that, you can send
them to the soldiers at the Garrison.

It is dangerous, prince Haman.

Hegai the eunuch is a sharp guardian.

Yes, but you must have
some guards whose lives

you would not mind risking.


I have three new recruits
not worth their salt.

Ha, strangers to the
palace. All the better.

Assign them.

Dangle the reward of
women and disclaim them

as lustful beacons, if they're caught.

Only the ten most MightyMike77020

Only the ten most beautiful

will be sent to the king
for the final choosing.

So tomorrow, I will judge you.

Oh, dear God of Israel,

somewhere in Shushan is Mordecai,
who has been like a father to me.

Please let him know what's happened to me.

Please let him know soon.

Oh, please.

Esther? Esther!

Had I told you,

the taking of her was only the
beginning of many horrors for our people.

From that one spark, a holocaust.

Ah, I must find some way to stop it.

But first, Esther.

Simon believed that your influence
with the king would free her.

No, he has become indifferent to
everything but his own bitterness.


the chief minister, that
prince of festering corruption,

is now to all intents
and purposes our ruler.

Then I must carry the word
to Simon that there is no hope.

There's always hope.

Give me time.

Time to seek God's counsel.

Where is Simon hiding?

In the ancient ruins
of the City of the Dead.

Go to him.

Tell him I shall come to him.

That's the way!

Pin him down.

Roll him.


you're the mightiest of us all.

Twirl him on your
shoulders and flatten him.

That'll teach him not to withhold his
strength when he vies with the king.

The old days, they were the best!

Those wild, hard days!

The scorching deserts.

The raging storms at sea.

We conquered the enemies of Persia,

my brave immortals.

A king with the earth for his footstool.

And yet his only happiness is here with us.




If the king were only such a man.

He's not only brave
but pleasing to the eye.

You'll surely die if you try to escape.

There'll be soldiers behind him.

Uncle Mordecai!

Where's Simon?

Where is he?

Take me to him.

Please, please take me to him!

I can't, Esther.

He fought the king's general, and
now they hunt him like an animal.

At the village, they looted and scourged.

They did likewise to every
Judean settlement in their path.

They hung Emmanuel the blacksmith.

They drove the women and
children into the wilderness.

Our people are now scattered to the winds.

Oh, forgive me.

I was only thinking of
myself, but I'm nothing.

Ah, but you are something, Esther.

You are something indeed that...

Jehovah may have selected us
as a means for saving our people.

It is a wondrous thing how
gentleness can break the swords of evil.

So let it be your gentleness, Esther.

Your beauty of face and soul,

let it sway Ahasuerus to stamp out the
wickedness that Springs from this palace.

You're asking me to strive for his favor?

Yes, forgetting Simon,
forgetting your own small dreams,

forgetting all this but the
deliverance of our people.

I want the life they took away from me.

I want Simon!

Simon is a soldier.

He turned aside from
love when there is war.

This is your war, Esther.

A softer war fought with gentler weapons,

but nonetheless hazardous, for
there are dangers in the venture.

You too would be a soldier.

Perhaps Simon would see
that with a soldier's pride.

He would despise me.

Then his love would not be worthy

if he places it above the
fate of so many others.

But I love him, uncle.

Oh, how can you ask
me to leave him forever?

If I'm chosen by the king, it'll be fate.

I can't use any persuasion.

No, it will be as yourself.

But I must warn you,

do not make known your
people or your kindred.

Never forget that we are in
the camp of many enemies.


O Lord God of Israel,

guide me.

Guide me.


Bow, slowly.

Raise your head.

And await the king's decision.

Now we will proceed.



Slowly, slowly.

Now, uh, raise your heads slowly.


A plain white gown... such simplicity.

Was it your choice?


Indeed, one might think you have
no desire to win a queen's crown.

A most becoming modesty.

It pleases me... an unassuming
virtue that needs rewarding.

Fetch me the cloak of gold.

You may rest, my little doves.

I am grateful, but I don't
wish to be so favored.

I will accept it.

Oh yes, yes! Give it to her!

Speak only when you're spoken to.

Take care, eunuch.

I have mighty friends.

In the brothels of the street
of the soldiers, no doubt.

Here, my child.

I ask you to wear it.


You viper.

I saw you. I heard you.

Your poisoned tongue endangers me.

Forgive me, master.

But I fear the attractions of
the one with the golden cape,

more than all the others.

She'll not be in the way
if you will do as I bid you.


The maidens must pass through
the harem's antechamber tonight

to be presented at the throne.

There is a small door
of the slaves in there.

Draw the bolt.

But how? It's like a prison here.

Ah, it is the hour of rest.

Even Hegai will go to his quarters.

Go, go now.


you see the maid with the golden cape?


remember well the one
with the cape of gold.

This bear you will be
a blow to my prestige,

but let us have it done with.

You, go forth.

Vanity! Avarice!

That cloak won't hide your wickedness.

Do not grieve that you've lost
the splendor of the golden robe.

Nothing can prevail against the
king's mistrust of female ambition.

What a squandering of beauty.

The fairest from all the provinces, and
now they will be sent home to milk goats.

- Home?
- Where else?

You are children of the
kingdom, not captive concubines.

So it becomes merely a
matter of paying obeisance.

Go, my sweet, and fair well.

You may go.


That face of light,

I remember.

The man who fought the guards.

You can't be the king!

I sometimes wish I weren't.

What are you called?



You had been crying.

I remembered. Tell me about it.

Your soldiers had just taken me
from the man I was about to marry.

Well, there is the law.

And I too am its servant,

even though I dislike it at times.

You are hoping that I would
let you go, were you not?

No, no.

Not if it's...

Your destiny?

Well, it seems we are both bound,

I by the commandments of my grandfather,

and you by some fate.

I was determined to
flaunt the sacred law by...

declaring every aspirant unfit.

But now...

I honestly cannot Esther,
and be a good king.

I can't deny that in my eyes,

you have fulfilled the decree of Cyrus.

I choose you, Esther,
but I do not command you.

I ask you to remain here for a while.

Let time be the king.

Let it command your heart to go or to stay.

Attend her Hegai, as if
she already wore the crown.

My queen to be.

May I ask which fortunate
maiden my Lord has chosen?

A girl named Esther.





- Idiot!
- Uhh!

- Master of stupidity!
- Uhh!


I've just left the king,
and he smiles again.

Often and readily.

Indeed, each passing
day seems another proof

that you were a godsend
to that troubled man.

But I worry about your safety, Esther.

The king is not a patient man.

He is attracted not only by your beauty

but by your integrity and sense of justice.

The qualities that still bind you to Simon.

Yet I fear that same conscience of yours

may in time destroy his patience
and perhaps turn him against you.

I'm in no danger, uncle Mordecai.

So far, he's shown
nothing but kindness to me.

You do not know him as I do.

- His violence can be great.
- You see him as a man among men.

You do not see him as I
do, through a woman's eyes.

Oh, surely such a quick defense
could only spring from affection.

I can't deny that I am attracted to him
by some power that I don't understand.

I've tried to believe that it's simply,

power of admiration.

But then do you think
that it was only admiration

that I felt for Simon all these years

or just the hero-worship of a child?

He said once that my love for him
had never been tested by any other man.

Please, go to him, uncle Mordecai.

Take him whatever he needs.

I go now, dearest.





It's Mordecai!


Simon, my poor boy.


I will see that you're kept supplied until
the men of Klydrathes abandon the hunt.

The hunt will never end.

Why do you say that?

Because I shan't rest until I
take Esther out of bondage.

She is not enslaved.

The king himself is her protector.

Then he prepares her to be his concubine.

His queen.

Hear me, Simon.

I've spoken with Esther

and I've seen what I believe
to be the dawning of a sincere

affection in her for the king,

an affection which

I don't deny I urged.

Because I could foresee in it

the answer that may lead
to the salvation of our people.

Not alone now, but for the ages to come.

So you would sacrifice her
like a lamb upon the altar.

For posterity.

What if the king learns of this?

What then would be her punishment?

No, no.

You can't do this.

I won't let you do it.


No, oh, please.

Take them away. Please leave me alone.

Wait, I'm...

I'm sorry.

You need not be.

I'm only slave.

I'm a slave too.

I don't mean to be unkind, but...

It's just that I'm...

I'm-I'm troubled by this life.

And by memories of another life.

Yes, I understand that.

How dare you come into my room?

Ah, what a rude greeting
for the chief minister.

I am here, officially, my dear,

to bring the king's word that
he will visit you at the 10th hour.

But, uh, there is still time

for us to know one another.

You must be mad.

This can destroy you.

And Ahasuerus also

if you force me to tell him
that you often invite me to share

your lonely evening hours.

You're such a liar. He'd never believe you.

You're no match for
me in this game, Esther.

Mine is a life of hazard so, please.

Do not aggravate me.

Our king is happy with his faith in you.

Let us keep him so.

Well, then, get out.

Get out of here, or I'll call the guards.

You won't.

Because I would tell Ahasuerus
that it was his loyal Haman

who summoned the witnesses.

No, we must be reasonable, my dear.

We must face the fact
that we require each other.

You and I.

You wouldn't.

You would plunge us all into destruction.

Not the king if I can help it.

But you, Haman, I'll
find a way to destroy you.

And I you, Esther.

The golden sword.

The king has summoned me.

I hope he will not be in a dark
mood when he receives me.

The moods of the great
one are milk and honey

now that he has a new favorite.

Follow the upper corridor,

it'll lead you direct to his audience room.

The king has urgent dispatches for me

to deliver to the province of Galan.

Have a chariot at my disposal
in case I'm charged with haste.

A brave lion, the symbol of Persia.

Oh, I hope he's a tame one.

Your gentleness will conquer him.


I fear I could never imitate a lover.

My hand was fashioned for the sword

and not the strings of a lyre.

And these feet

were not made to prance to music.

They're uncommonly large, don't you think?

I used to think that, they'd be cloven,

like the hooves of Satan.

There are those who still
think I'm akin to the devil.

I trampled hard on some
who dared to defy the empire.

Yes, you have.

And on many innocent people too,

because of the authority
that you give to Haman.

Oh, I've tightened the reins on him,

thanks to your constant
mentioning of his wrongdoing.

But I sometimes wonder, Esther,

what are you?

My mentor,

the keeper of my good behavior

or a woman

who might someday return
the warmth I have for her.

Oh, but there is much warmth
in my feeling for you as a man.

Then at least I've
gained the outer ramparts,

though you guard the inner citadel
with more tenacity than the Greeks.

The aw of the village girls for
a king is not easily cast aside.

Don't think of me as a king in a palace,

but as a man who moves you,

who loves you.

Very much.



What are you thinking?

When I was first taken from my village,

I hated you with all my heart.

But now that I've seen
you as you really are,

I find the hatred leaving me

and different feelings taking its place.

Feelings that,

well, that...

That could be love.

My couriers are here from
Nubia and Tangiers with gifts.

I'll be back.

Pearls from the far east.

Treasures from Nubia.


My Esther.

- I've come to take you away from Shushan.
- Oh, no, Simon.

Good fortune is with us.

The doors open like
magic, and there's a chariot.

It could take us to Judah if you like.

Simon, you must go!
You're in great danger here!

You're in danger too. And you invite
it, standing alone against our enemies.

Oh, Simon, I had to do this.
The king is no longer our enemy.

You love him.

I don't know. I don't know.


Oh, Simon, please. Save yourself.

He shan't have you. I'll kill him.

You're unharmed?

Stop that man!

Stop him!

He's a daring rogue. I'll
see the captain of the guards.

The thief entered the palace by
using the Sword of the Golden Rooster.

I think he stole it for
one of my governors.

And now he's made good his escape.

I will double the guard
for your protection, Esther.

But I'd rather take care of you myself.

How long must I wait?


Queen Esther.

But the title of queen is much less
important to me than wife of Ahasuerus.

Then obey Ahasuerus and wear a crown.

And whatever else you desire will be yours,

even if half the kingdom.

But I only want the kingdom of your heart,

with its love and its mercy.

You already possess that Esther.

You rule my heart

and my life.


Hegai, have the concubines
sent to the winter palace.

Here he is!

Behold the Golden Sword of King Ahasuerus,

and bear these tidings to him.

Someday it will spill his blood.

I have gathered you here

to pay homage to Esther,

my queen.

She has given me a new vision of my Persia,

which I never before looked
upon with eyes of justice.

Now I see it.


taxes will be determined

according to conditions of scarcity or
abundance and no longer by fixed levies.

General Klydrathes,

will no longer judge without trial

the villagers of the provinces.


the financing of the kingdom will not
suffer from these new laws of taxation,

for I intend to journey to
the treasury at Persepolis

and draw from its great surplus.

That is all.

My nobleman and councilors,

I have spoken, and it is the law.

I... do not forbid discussion, however.

Sire, I have just recalled a
long-neglected law of king Cyrus,

which would save you the
necessity of a trip to Persepolis.

I quote precisely.

"And so be it that any
subject of Media's Persia"

"who does not bow down to our god Mithras"

"shall be put to death"

"and his good taken by the king."

Now, my lord, there is,
within the confines of Persia,

a people called Judeans who
defiantly worship an alien god.

The law is clear.

They must be annihilated.

And by your command, sire,

I can destroy these people

and enrich you by 10,000 talents of silver.

No, no. No.

This law is of a cruel age.

Long before our king of
justice sat upon the throne.

Deny it, sire. Cast it out. I beg you.

Listen not to him, my lord,

I pray you,

for he is one of the Judeans.

Ahasuerus, Ahasuerus.

The law! The law!

It is written,

for any woman, even unto the queen,

who interrupts royal council,

there is but one decree.

And that is death.

Complete the text.

"Except for her to whom the
king holds out The Golden Scepter."

I dare to speak, Ahasuerus,

because once you gave me a kingdom

called The Kingdom Of The Heart.

Its only power is love.

And today, that love cries out to
you against these old injustices,

and against that man who perpetrates them.

I see you now, the greatest of all kings.

But I've also seen you

simply as a brave man defending the weak.

And I know that you now have the wisdom

to be able to cast out oppression

and intolerance wherever you find it.

The Judeans may worship as they desire.

There will be a new code.

The code of Ahasuerus.

And perhaps it will not be necessary
for you to know it too well, prince Haman,

for there's a governor's
post in the Syrian desert

that requires no such astute knowledge.

Make way!

So he considers retiring
me to a sandhill in Syria.

By all the gods,

I'll make him sorry for taking
counsel from this new queen.

I remind you again that his assassination

has been too long delayed.

And I still remind you that it
cannot be done in Shushan.

But if he goes to Persepolis
as he so announced.

That may be delayed too by a...

By a very important event.

The slaughter of the Judeans?

And the hanging of Mordecai.

The forged tablets you gave me?

When, Haman?

The moment will be determined
by the will of the gods.

We shall cast the lots.

I never join battle
without the casting of Pur.

The red sign of blood
falls on the month of Adar.

And that is now.

Now indeed. It shall be tonight.

And this is how it shall be done.


You will bear witness before the king

that you saw me remove these tablets

with nothing added and nothing eliminated.

My good king.

We have all the evidence of a traitor.

I charge the Jew

with storing MightyMike77020
war amid the tablets of his temple

with storing your secrets of
war amid the tablets of his temple

while preparing to sell them to the Greeks.

I remember well the day
you entrusted him with it.

Mark you, sire,

your private plan for seizing the
Grecian port at Athos, copied in Greek.

And here,

here, a message in Hebrew
to a Judean in Greece.

Lies, all lies, my king.

I am your loyal, your faithful servant.

He has fabricated all of this.

How could I?

I cannot write in Hebrew or Greek.

But it is well known that Mordecai

has written all royal messages to Judah,

as well as your
negotiations with the Greeks.

These scribes have verified
the treason on that tablet.

And these soldiers

will testify that the evidence is the same

which they saw hidden in
the temple of the Hebrews.

Any who defile the arc of
the temple swears falsely.

But I declared against violating
the worship of the Judeans.

Yes, sire.

We confess to that.

But I would not wish to live
and see this glorious empire

devoured by Alexander the Greek.

Defend yourself, Mordecai.

I have no guilt to defend, sire.

I swear my innocence
on the holy word of god.

And on what god's word do you swear?

My god.

And he will sustain me.

Our gods will destroy you.

Ours, sire, for we are Persians.

And before I brought this evidence to you,

I cast Pur for guidance.

Knowing that my king is as
faithful as I to our own temples.

I am.

And perhaps I've been
too trustful of Mordecai

and the strange believers in our midst.

Much too trustful, sire.

Even in your choice of a new queen.

Yes, yes, I realize I
provoke my king's wrath.

I must, in the name of loyalty,

for he is unaware that his queen and
Mordecai have been meeting in secret.

Remember, she risked
death to defend his Judeans.

No, no, Esther.

Esther, not Queen Esther.

The intimacy of conspirators.

What do you know Esther,
of Mordecai's treason?

The only treason here,
Ahasuerus, is Haman's.

He's the one that should be on trial,
but under laws, far above this palace.

Words, words, words.

Have Mordecai taken to prison.

If no defense is presented, hang him,

and his people put to the sword

unless they renounce
their leaders and their faith.

- Dearest, listen to me.
- This judgment will be upon your soul.

You speak of deceits.

You deceived me with your
gift of the kingdom of mercy.

You've given it to Haman, and
he's filled it with wickedness.

Do you realize, Esther,
that you could be put to death

for speaking out in this chamber?


And I don't ask you to
hold our your scepter to me

because I shall die anyway.

I am a Jew.


Esther, renounce your faith

and live.

I speak for myself and for my
uncle Mordecai and for all my people.

We'll still be keeping our faith

when Shushan is a mound of desert
sand and your gods are forgotten.

But I can't hate you for
this decision, Ahasuerus,

because I know that again
you were influenced by Haman.

Why is he so anxious for
you not to go to Persepolis

that he brings you this false evidence
the very night before you're leaving.

Is he afraid of what you
might see at the treasury?

Oh, please, Ahasuerus,

for the sake of my love for you,

don't condemn us until
you've made the journey.

I do not believe your love.

However, there is
something in what you say.

I stay the execution of
Mordecai and the Jews

until I return from Persepolis.

He must never reach Persepolis.


You have been very patient, Klydrathes.

I restrain you no longer.

And I offer 1,000 talents of gold

for his head.

The king must pass here
on the caravan tracks.

And remember,

prince Haman offers a 1,000 gold talents

to the man who brings me the king's head.



You scavenger of Shushan.

I thank the Providence that
put your filthy life into my hands.

You plundered your last helpless village.


Retreat, then we'll charge.

Does it surprise the great
Ahasuerus to find he has enemies?

Count me among them, you king of thieves.

Simon, captain of the golden
sword, you've joined my enemies?

No, I declare my own war against you.

I refuse to fight the man
who saved my life in battle.

- Why, you're crazed.
- Perhaps.

Would you not see, if you were I,

the king had used his power to
steal the girl you were about to marry?

Now, hold, you fool.

Esther, was your betrothed?

Thou shalt be your will.


You risk your life when
she could still be yours.

She never loved me,
only the cause she served.

That is not true.

On a certain night, I stole into her rooms

and stood with drawn sword
beside a doorway you would enter.

She chose your life against mine

and gave the alarm.

You were the one she put to flight?

Her love was yours and is.

Help! H-Help.

Klydrathes, the one who
tried to assassinate you,

- I settled an old account with him.
- Help, oh, oh.







Master, forgive me. Help me.

Stop the pain.

That I will do.


or more pain unless
you speak the whole truth.

I speak, I speak truly.

Haman was the chieftain
of all our crimes against you.

Your intended murder,
the thieving of Persepolis,

the selling of your
strategies to the Greeks.

He forged...

the false evidence...



And offered...

a price...

for your own...

royal head.

I'll give you peace, Klydrathes.

And I condemned Esther into Haman's
hand, and Mordecai and all their people.

Condemned, they're doomed.



Take this, my seal of empire.

While I gather my forces
here, you ride into Shushan.

Find a way into the city,

and bring this seal to my master of arms.

Tell him I said to arm all the Judeans.

It is the Eve of the
sabbath of the Judeans.

They gather in their temple.

Azmand, see that they never leave it.


you will use your horseman to
put down any resistance in the city.

My good Shumer,

I give you the pleasure of escorting

their leader Mordecai to the gallows.

Off with you!


the queen.

Yes, master.

Ahh! Oh!

Guards! Guards!

I prophesied that our prince Haman

will be the most popular
ruler in the history of Persia.

I failed Haman. _?_

Don't worry, my stupid one.

The gates are guarded.

No one can leave the city.

Or enter it.


Yeah, I served with you
in the Egyptian campaign.

I'm a blacksmith now.


I'm here on the King's
orders to arm our people.

Are there any more of the
old company in Shushan?

Enough for a core of defense my captain.

Gather them together
and wait in the marketplace.

And there are others here
in Shushan. Not soldiers.

But they can swing a club or an ax.

Then we'll arm them to, Toviyah.

Seek them out and send them to the temple.


Lord dear God, I called to thee.

Even as David called.

In David's words, I
affirm my love for thee.

The lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:

He leadeth me in the paths of
righteousness for his name's sake.


though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil:

For thou art with me;

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:


I'll wager my weight in
gold they'll reject their faith

by remaining away from their temple.

I wouldn't wager a copper mite

against our new king's wisdom.

Simon is waiting for us.

Our day at last.

So they congregate like
animals in the slaughter pen.

Simplifies my work.

You and you, close the doors.

Who goes there?

A bring a token to prince
Haman from general Klydrathes.

Open the gate.

Ah, a token from Klydrathes.


Gisco, my chariot!



Open the door!

Open up!

Seize him.

Hang him.

Hang him high.

He that keepeth Israel shall
neither slumber nor sleep.

This night of the deliverance of our people

must live in memory.

Haman cast Pur to decide our doom, so...

let it be called Purim.

And let it be remembered

with holidays of gladness,

like those we knew
sometimes at the village.

So it shall be, my lion of Israel.

The first Purim.

And just as Simon would have wanted it.

We who are alive must go on living.

Simon wouldn't have your sorrow.

Nor, would he have you
bring sorrow to the king.

I know that although Ahasuerus
gave you a choice of remaining here,

it was his secret wish that
you would return to him.

When you didn't, he went away to the wars,

because he cared not
whether he lived or died.

Have you heard anything from the battle?


Word of a Persian defeat by the Greeks.

And to him, defeat is a
word worse than death.

It was never for his
victory that I loved him.

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