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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 »
Reviews
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 (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 <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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cecil B. DeMille considered Betty Hutton for the role of Delilah. 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

As Samson and Delilah (1949) starts, the title is written on scroll, that is opened, to be read. The remaining opening credits, after the scroll and title, are normal. Closing credits are normal, also. 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

Referenced in Liberty Heights (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
NOT Another run of DeMille Picture
11 August 2004 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

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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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 »
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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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