Though his people, the Israelites, are enslaved by the Philistines, Samson (Victor Mature), strongest man of the tribe of Dan, falls in love with the Philistine Semadar (Dame Angela Lansbury), 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 (Henry Wilcoxon), and his soldiers. Semadar is killed, and her sister Delilah (Hedy Lamarr), 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 of Gaza (George Sanders).Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan were also reportedly candidates for the role of Samson. See more »
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 »
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 ...
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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 »
Previous home media releases of the film (LaserDisc, VHS) did not include the overture and exit music. They were restored for Paramount's official DVD release in 2013 and the subsequent Blu-ray release in 2014. See more »
By the time the 1940s were rolling around, Cecil B. DeMille was doing a lot less work, but the work was getting more expensive. DeMille took off a couple of years now between films to create the opulent splendor that typifies his work.
Well Samson and Delilah abounds in opulence. The color cinematography is first rate and reason enough to see the film. Of course it has the usual stilted dialog that is common in DeMille's costume work. But one has to remember that DeMille made his show business bones with David Belasco in the Edwardian era. And that's how folks talked in those Belasco plays.
Acting honors in this go to George Sanders as the Saran of Gaza, Philistine ruler and sophisticated cad. This was the height of Sanders career, he received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for All About Eve the same year. I think the Saran and Addison DeWitt would have understood each other very well.
Angela Lansbury is the original object of Samson's lust and she does okay, but personally if you had the choice between Jessica Fletcher and Tondelayo, who would you choose? Is that ever a no-brainer.
DeMille got a couple of loan-outs to play the leads. Hedy Lamarr could easily lay claim to be the most beautiful woman in the cinema. She never had much acting skill, but all she has to do is be seductive and that no one could do better.
And Victor Mature away from his home studio of 20th Century Fox where he was languishing, Samson and Delilah provided a whole new vista for him with roles in spectacle pictures where he could truly be that beautiful hunk of man.
Fay Holden is good as Samson's mother. In modern times I can just hear her telling him about settling down with a good Jewish girl.
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