Samson and Delilah (1949)
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Movie InfoSamson and Delilah is Cecil B. DeMille's characteristically expansive retelling of the events found in the Old Testament passages of Judges 13-16. Victor Mature plays Samson, the superstrong young Danite. Samson aspires to marry Philistine noblewoman Semadar (Angela Lansbury), but she is killed when her people attack Samson as a blood enemy. Seeking revenge, Semadar's younger sister Delilah (Hedy Lamarr) woos Samson in hopes of discovering the secret of his strength, thus enabling her to destroy him. When she learns that his source of his virility is his long hair, Delilah plies Samson with drink, then does gives him the Old Testament equivalent of a buzzcut while he snores away. She delivers the helpless Samson to the Philistines, ordering that he be put to work as a slave. Blinded and humiliated by his enemies, Samson is a sorry shell of his former self. Ultimately, Samson's hair grows back, thus setting the stage for the rousing climax wherein Samson literally brings down the house upon the wayward Philistines. Hedy Lamarr is pretty hopeless as Delilah, but Victor Mature is surprisingly good as Samson, even when mouthing such idiotic lines as "That's all right. It's only a young lion". Even better is George Sanders as The Saran of Gaza, who wisely opts to underplay his florid villainy. The spectacular climax to Samson and Delilah allows us to forget such dubious highlights as Samson's struggle with a distressing phony lion and the tedious cat-and-mouse romantic scenes. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Samson and Delilah
Cecil B. DeMille has again dipped into the Bible for his material, made appropriately dramatic revisions in the original, and turned up with a DeMille-size smash.
Wonderfully chintzy and hokey Bible epic once described as the only film in which the hero had bigger tits than the heroine.
If you'll settle for gold-plated pageants, for muscular episodes and for graphic inducements to wolf-whistling, then "Samson and Delilah" is for you.
The film cannot avoid the broad contours of Samson's story, of course, but it does tweak things in ways that make Samson look a little more heroic.
Here DeMille, the master of the crowd scene, is in top form managing thousands of extras, particularly in the savage battle scenes in which Samson destroys the Philistine army with the jawbone of an ass.
Lavishly produced, this Oscar nominated epic is a good example of DeMille's type of spectacles.
Was once best described by the film critic Dilys Powell as the only epic film in which the hero had bigger tits than the heroine.
Most entertainment is gained from watching Mature going through the painful process of emoting, which is rather like watching an overlarge ham hock attempt to break out into a broad grin.
Audience Reviews for Samson and Delilah
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