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Samson and Delilah

Samson and Delilah

Director: Cecil B. DeMille

Cast: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders


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Samson and Delilah is Cecil B. DeMille's characteristically expansive retelling of the events found in the Old Testament passages of Judges 13-16. Victor Mature plays Samson, the superstrong young Danite. Samson aspires to marry Philistine noblewoman Semadar (Angela Lansbury), but she is killed when her people attack Samson as a blood enemy. Seeking revenge,


Samson and Delilah is Cecil B. DeMille's characteristically expansive retelling of the events found in the Old Testament passages of Judges 13-16. Victor Mature plays Samson, the superstrong young Danite. Samson aspires to marry Philistine noblewoman Semadar (Angela Lansbury), but she is killed when her people attack Samson as a blood enemy. Seeking revenge, Semadar's younger sister Delilah (Hedy Lamarr) woos Samson in hopes of discovering the secret of his strength, thus enabling her to destroy him. When she learns that his source of his virility is his long hair, Delilah plies Samson with drink, then does gives him the Old Testament equivalent of a buzzcut while he snores away. She delivers the helpless Samson to the Philistines, ordering that he be put to work as a slave. Blinded and humiliated by his enemies, Samson is a sorry shell of his former self. Ultimately, Samson's hair grows back, thus setting the stage for the rousing climax wherein Samson literally brings down the house upon the wayward Philistines. Hedy Lamarr is pretty hopeless as Delilah, but Victor Mature is surprisingly good as Samson, even when mouthing such idiotic lines as "That's all right. It's only a young lion." Even better is George Sanders as The Saran of Gaza, who wisely opts to underplay his florid villainy. The spectacular climax to Samson and Delilah allows us to forget such dubious highlights as Samson's struggle with a distressing phony lion and the tedious cat-and-mouse romantic scenes.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Despite its campy dialogue and hammy acting, this 1949 Cecil B. DeMille biblical epic hit paydirt at the box office and remains popular on TV movie channels. Credit the following for its enduring appeal: the knockout beauty and exposed bellybutton of Hedy Lamarr portraying Delilah; the virility and acrobatic eyebrows of Victor Mature portraying Samson; the hand-to-paw combat between a ferocious lion (really a toothless stand-in) and Mature (really a stuntman); and the extravagance of DeMille's sets and costumes. DeMille was always willing to go big, whatever the cost, hiring the most popular stars to recite the lines and the best carpenters and engineers to build the backdrops. In Samson and Delilah, however, he was not willing to go overseas. The entire production was filmed in California. There is plenty of action, as Samson wrestles, cracks skulls, and topples a massive building. There is also romance, as Delilah bewitches Samson and he bends a spear for her. Finally, there is visual splendor in the silks and satins, jewels, gleaming armor, and Technicolor. George Sanders delivers the best performance in the film as a jaded, worldly wise ruler in Gaza. The most spectacular scene occurs at the end of the film after Samson has his famous bad hair day and grows back enough of his locks to wreak revenge. Most critics hate the film, but they probably watch it when nobody is looking.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hedy Lamarr Delilah
Victor Mature Samson
George Sanders The Saran of Gaza
Angela Lansbury Semadar
Henry Wilcoxon Ahtur
Edgar Dearing Tax collector
Olive Deering Miriam
Russ Tamblyn Saul
Fay Holden Hazeleponit
Julia Faye Haisham, Delilah's maid
William Farnum Tubal, Delilah's Father
Lane Chandler Teresh
Moroni Olsen Targif
Francis McDonald Story Teller
Wee Willie Davis Garmiskar
John Miljan Lesh Lakish
Arthur Q. Bryan Fat Philistine Merchant
Laura Elliot Spectator
Victor Varconi Lord of Ashdod
John Parrish Lord of Gath
Frank Wilcox Lord of Ekron
Russell Hicks Lord of Ashkelon
Boyd Davis First Priest
Fritz Leiber Lord Sharif
Davison Clark Merchant Prince
George Reeves Wounded Messenger
Pedro de Cordoba Bar Simon
Frank Reicher Village Barber
Colin Tapley Prince
Ray Bennett Overseer at Gristmill
Stanley Blystone Actor
Charles Dayton Midget at Arena
Margaret Field Actor
Byron Foulger Actor
Kenneth Gibson Man
Fred Graham Actor
Charles Judels Danite Merchant
John Kellogg Spectator
Fred Kohler Soldier
Bob Kortman Vendor
Bert Moorhouse Actor
Karen Morley Woman
Hamil Petroff Sword Dancer
Crane Whitley Actor
Jeff York Actor
George Zoritch Actor
Olive Carey Miriam
Mike Mazurki Leader of Philistine Soldiers
Dorothy Adams Woman
Eric Alden Courtier
Nils Asther Prince
Betty Boyd Woman
Harry Cording Prince
James Craven Prince
Claire Du Brey Woman
Betty Farrington Woman
Al Ferguson Villager
Greta Granstedt Woman
Ed Hinton Makon at Feast,Double for Victor Mature
Crauford Kent Court Astrologer
Ted Mapes Captain Killed by Jawbone
Frank Mayo Master Architect
Philo McCullough Merchant
Charles Meredith High Priest
John Merton Assistant tax collector
Gertrude Messenger Woman
John Miller Man with burro
Hugh Prosser Tax Collector
Carl Saxe Slave
Lester Sharpe Saddle maker
Tom Tyler Philistine Captain of Gristmill
Pierre Watkin Second Priest
Lloyd Whitlock Chief Scribe
Henry Wills Saran's charioteer
Harry Woods Gammad
Charles Evans Manoah, Samson's father
Stephen Roberts Bergam at Feast

Technical Credits
Cecil B. DeMille Director,Producer
George Barnes Cinematographer
Anne Bauchens Editor
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Hans Dreier Art Director
Ray Evans Songwriter
Fredric M. Frank Screenwriter
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Vladimir Jabotinsky Screenwriter
Dorothy Jeakins Costumes/Costume Designer
Gordon Jennings Special Effects
Devereaux Jennings Special Effects
Theodore Kosloff Choreography
Harold Lamb Screenwriter
Jesse Lasky Screenwriter
Paul K. Lerpae Special Effects
Hal Lierley Makeup
Harold Lierly Makeup
Jay Livingston Songwriter
Ray Moyer Set Decoration/Design
Gus Peters Costumes/Costume Designer
Gile Steele Costumes/Costume Designer
Walter Tyler Art Director
Gwen Wakeling Costumes/Costume Designer
Wally Westmore Makeup
William Wood Makeup
Bill Woods Makeup
Dewey Wrigley Cinematographer
Victor Young Score Composer,Songwriter,Cinematographer,Musical Direction/Supervision

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Samson and Delilah
1. Scene 1 [5:53]
2. Scene 2 [4:47]
3. Scene 3 [4:30]
4. Scene 4 [6:57]
5. Scene 5 [8:07]
6. Scene 6 [7:21]
7. Scene 7 [9:03]
8. Scene 8 [7:11]
9. Scene 9 [5:23]
10. Scene 10 [6:52]
11. Scene 11 [9:35]
12. Scene 12 [5:40]
13. Scene 13 [5:28]
14. Scene 14 [6:24]
15. Scene 15 [5:07]
16. Scene 16 [7:16]
17. Scene 17 [4:54]
18. Scene 18 [3:29]
19. Scene 19 [5:13]
20. Scene 20 [5:54]
21. Scene 21 [6:08]
22. Scene 22 [2:19]


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