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Samson and Delilah (1949)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 21 September 1950 (Italy)
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
Edit

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)

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(with overture and exit music)

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

According to his 1959 autobiography "Groucho and Me," Groucho Marx was invited to a special screening of the film and a Paramount Pictures executive asked him if he liked it. Groucho replied, "Well, there's just one glaring fault . . . No picture can hold my interest where the leading man's bust is larger than the leading lady's!" See more »

Goofs

When Delilah is sitting on the balcony, shadows fall on the blue sky behind her, revealing it to be a wall on the set. 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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years at the Movies (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

For To Win A Bride
(uncredited)
Written by Victor Young and Jesse Lasky Jr.
See more »

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User Reviews

Engrossing, vivid,absorbing and a tribute to the Old Testament
18 June 1999 | by Charlie-123See all my reviews

In 1949, I was 11years old and saw it in NYC when it was first released. My aunt Ethel, may she rest in peace, took me during Christmas vacation. I was mesmerized by it which led me to check out the story in that Chapter of the O.T. called Judges. And I remember being asked by my 6th or 7th grade teacher to do an oral report about the film before the class. I found it a bit awkward to discuss the idea of seduction at that time especially when I heard the pubescent girls giggling. At any rate I did make that report and remember displaying the book I had bought about the film right at the theater. I estimate from age 11 to 14, I saw the film a dozen times and I'm not kidding. In my adulthood, I saw it once on free TV and rented it once for kicks. Quite honestly, I never saw a more beautiful woman than Hedy in that role. And Victor was perfect thanks to his countenance and physique. After seeing it first and then reading the story in the O.T. I came to the conclusion that the film certainly was factual and illuminating. The bible came alive thanks to the genius of Cecil B.DeMille. The special effects were brilliant, way ahead of its time. What I especially loved about this film was the haunting score by Victor Young and I do remember going out to buy it on 78 rpm disks. And I do have the radio program on cassette, "Lux Presents Hollywood-Samson and Delilah starring Mature and Lamarr. That last scene will always stick in my mind as Samson, standing blind between the two main pillars of the Temple of Dagon, the Phillistine God,called on Jehovah to give him the strength to crush his enemies and WHAT A SCENE FOLLOWED. Good heavens, DeMille was indeed a GENIUS! I recommend the film to EVERYONE because of the amazing story, color


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