Samson and Delilah

1949

Samson and Delilah

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

63%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

58%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,065
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Movie Info

Samson 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

Cast

Hedy Lamarr
as Delilah
George Sanders
as The Saran of Gaza
Julia Faye
as Hisham
Francis McDonald
as Story Teller
John Miljan
as Lesh Lakish
Arthur Q. Bryan
as Fat Philistine Merchant
Kasey Rogers
as Spectator
Victor Varconi
as Lord of Ashdod
John Parrish
as Lord of Gath
Frank Wilcox
as Lord of Ekron
Russell Hicks
as Lord of Ashkelon
Fritz Leiber
as Lord Sharif
Mike Mazurki
as Leader of Philistine Soldiers
Davison Clark
as Merchant Prince
George Reeves
as Wounded Messenger
Frank Reicher
as Village Barber
George Zoritch
as Sword Dancer
Hamil Petroff
as Sword Dancer
Frank Mayo
as Master Architect
Lloyd Whitlock
as Chief Scribe
Crauford Kent
as Court Astrologer
Steve Roberts
as Bergam at Feast
Ed Hinton
as Makon at Feast/Double for Victor Mature
Carl Saxe
as Slave
Charles Meredith
as High Priest
Boyd Davis
as Priest
John 'Skins' Miller
as Man with Burro
Lester Sharpe
as Saddle maker
Edgar Dearing
as Tax collector
Hugh Prosser
as Tax Collector
John Merton
as Assistant tax collector
Al Ferguson
as Villager
Tom Tyler
as Philistine Captain of Gristmill
Ray Bennett
as Overseer at Gristmill
Charles Judels
as Danite Merchant
Brahm van den Berg
as Temple Dancer
Eric Alden
as Courtier
Ted Mapes
as Captain Killed by Jawbone
Jeff York
as Spectator
Bert Moorhouse
as Spectator
Margaret Field
as Spectator
John Kellogg
as Spectator
Charles Dayton
as Midget at Arena
Henry Wills
as Saran's charioteer
Stephen Roberts
as Bergam at Feast
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Critic Reviews for Samson and Delilah

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (3)

  • It's Cecil B. DeMille at his most lavish, with a screenful of sets, costumes and dramatic effects.

    Jun 19, 2019 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Wonderfully chintzy and hokey Bible epic once described as the only film in which the hero had bigger tits than the heroine.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Mar 25, 2006 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Mar 5, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Lavishly produced, this Oscar nominated epic is a good example of DeMille's type of spectacles.

    Apr 27, 2011 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Samson and Delilah

  • Sep 11, 2018
    Victor Mature is terrible in this ridiculous testosterone fest that feels completely dated now, with a protagonist so misogynistic and women portrayed in the worst way possible, which makes me wonder why we are supposed to admire such a brute (chosen by the "Lord," no less) in the first place.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2009
    Brilliant movie classic and a lesson to all that women arent to be trusted...lol..only kidding.
    Barry L Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2008
    Good Biblical effort.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer
  • Jul 14, 2007
    DeMille is like a circus programmer, always thinking about what the yokels might squeeze the moolah out for and then working to give 'em just that. And here is a great example of his brain at work (you can practically feel it working!) every scene prepared like a Halloween funhouse meant to rouse you from whatever ails you. Be it with action, or eye candy, or music, or lighting, this knucklehead guy really bends over backwards to please, to justify your money. Oh, and there's some Bible story too. The story very nearly stalls only when that its a Biblical tale is trotted out. George Sanders, underappreciated character actor, very nearly steals the whole film.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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