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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

Hedy Lamarr's first Technicolor film. See more »

Goofs

Just after Delilah rings for her servant to bring dinner, the mike boom can be seen casting a shadow on the inside wall of her tent. 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 »

Connections

Version of Samson (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
One of the better biblical epics....
10 November 2005 | by tambourine33See all my reviews

I've always loved this film. Granted, somehow it does not generate the 'huge epic' feel of some of the director's other work but it is a great film to sit down and relax in front of. Opulent costume design, good casting and excellent cinematography make this one of the better biblical epics that were being produced at the time.

Victor Mature, a fine physical specimen of the male physique, seems to fit perfectly into the role of the brooding and oft-troubled Samson. Burt Lancaster, I'm told, was the original choice for the part which I think would have been a bad choice. Although Lancaster is a better actor, on purely aesthetic grounds, the Mediterranean featured, tousle-locked Mature fitted better into the location.

George Sanders is superb as the Saran of Gaza. One of the other reviewers on this website said he portrayed a "sophisticated cad" which is the best description I have ever heard of Mr Sanders in this role or any other for that matter.

The absolute star of the show is the movie's other lead actor, Hedy Lamarr. This was undoubtedly the finest hour of an actress who either, curiously passed up or was just overlooked for many other leading parts. Hedy sets the screen on fire as the sensual and wicked Delilah, playing with and dragging every man on screen and in the audience in her wake. Many have questioned her acting ability. Truth is I doubt we shall ever really find out. Poor choice of scripts and directors resulted in her being pushed to the sidelines at MGM and eventually and sadly into complete obscurity.


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