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Samson and Delilah (1949)

When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Jesse Lasky Jr. (screenplay) (as Jesse L. Lasky Jr.), Fredric M. Frank (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hedy Lamarr ... Delilah
Victor Mature ... Samson
George Sanders ... The Saran of Gaza
Angela Lansbury ... Semadar
Henry Wilcoxon ... Ahtur
Olive Deering ... Miriam
Fay Holden ... Hazelelponit
Julia Faye ... Hisham
Russ Tamblyn ... Saul (as Russell Tamblyn)
William Farnum ... Tubal
Lane Chandler ... Teresh
Moroni Olsen ... Targil
Francis McDonald ... Story Teller (as Francis J. McDonald)
William 'Wee Willie' Davis ... Garmiskar (as William Davis)
John Miljan ... Lesh Lakish
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Storyline

Though his people, the Israelites, are enslaved by the Philistines, Samson, strongest man of the tribe of Dan, falls in love with the Philistine Semadar, whom he wins by virtue of a contest of strength. But Semadar betrays him, and Samson engages in a fight with her real love, Ahtur, and his soldiers. Semadar is killed, and her sister Delilah, who had loved Samson in silence, now vows vengeance against him. She plans to seduce Samson into revealing the secret of his strength and then to betray him to the Philistine leader, the Saran. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HISTORY'S MOST BEAUTIFUL AND TREACHEROUS WOMAN! (original print ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 1950 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$28,800,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a 60-minute radio adaptation of the film on Monday, November 19th, 1951 with Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

A boy in Samson's village is named "Saul." Samson hints or predicts that one day he will be king of Israel. The script states repeatedly that Samson was a "Danite" (member of the Tribe of Dan). The Bible states King Saul was a member of the Tribe of Benjamin and grew up near Jerusalem (not in Dan's territory). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Before the dawn of history, ever since the first man discovered his soul, he has struggled against the forces that sought to enslave him. He saw the awful power of nature rage against him. The evil eye of the lightning... The terrifying voice of the thunder... The shrieking, wind-filled darkness enslaving his mind with shackles of fear. Fear bred superstition, blinding his reason. He was ridden by a host of devil gods. Human dignity perished on the altar of idolatry. And tyranny ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although the opening credits mention "Holy Land Photography," the second-unit location shooting occurred in North Africa (Algiers and Morocco), not Palestine or the Middle East. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 30 Rock: Black Tie (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Fat Philistine Merchant
(uncredited)
Written by Victor Young and Jesse Lasky Jr.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The man has the strength of a Devil! No he has the strength of a God!
24 February 2008 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

Biblical epic that became the biggest hit, up until then, in Paramount Pictures history. The story about the Hebrew Hercules Samson, Victor Mature, who redeemed himself from a life of foolhardiness and slavery by taking down the Temple of Dagon, the Philistine Idol God. Samson not only destroyed Dagon's temple he took the lives, together with his own, of 3,000 of his bitter enemies and tormentors in the movies', Samson and Delilah, spectacular and ground shaking final scene.

Never living up to what God wanted from him, to lead his people the ancient Israelites against the hated and occupying Philistines, Samson instead lead a life of womanizing and partying mostly with the Philistines who more then anything else wanted him dead. Because of his super-human strength Samson felt safe from anything that the Philistines could do to him, killing hundreds who tried, in capturing or killing the biblical strongman.

It's when the Philistine temptress the drop-dead gorgeous Delilah, Hedy Lamarr, got to work on the big guy that he left himself open to be captured, by the Philistine army, in revealing the source of his strength; His black curly locks of hair on his head. Blinded, with a red hot iron put to his eyes, Samson was then forced to pull the grind-mill and made to look helpless as he was brutally mocked and tortured by his Philistine captors.

As the days weeks and months went by and his hair, the source of his great strength, grew back Samson with Delilah's, who had since repented what she did to him, help then planned to finish the job that he never really started; annihilate his and his peoples enslavers the hated Philistines. Samson did it by, with Delilah's leading him to them, tearing down the pillars that held up Dagan's temple and thus bringing the entire house down.

The film "Samson and Delilah" still holds up quite well despite it's bargain basement, compared to those now, special effects. Victor Mature as Samson was at his best being able to show off his hunky body without having to wear a suit and tie, as well as pants, like in his previous blockbusters "Kiss of Death" and My Darling Clementine". Heady Lamarr in her first Technicolor movie showed why she was considered to be, just get a load of her violet/lavender eyes, the most beautiful women in the world at that, back in 1950, time.

The movies director Cecil B. DeMille really had very little to go on in making the biblical blockbuster in that it was based on only four chapters, the 13 to 16, of the Book of Judges. It was an obscure 1930 German language novel "the Judge and the Fool" by Vladimir Jabotinsky that filled in all the gaps and made a full length two hour plus film about the subject, Samson & Delilah, possible.


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