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Samson and Delilah


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Product Details

  • Actors: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Henry Wilcoxon
  • Directors: Cecil B. DeMille
  • Writers: Fredric M. Frank, Harold Lamb, Jesse Lasky Jr., Vladimir Jabotinsky
  • Producers: Cecil B. DeMille
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Paramount
  • VHS Release Date: April 1 2004
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300216012
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #805 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Behaving as if it hadn't already been immortalized in Judges, chapters 13-16, Cecil B. DeMille immortalized history's most famous haircut all over again in this 1949 classic of the Epic Saga genre. Victor Mature is a trifle bovine as Samson--which perhaps isn't so inappropriate--but Hedy Lamarr's Delilah is a magnet on fire. Impossibly perfect and sexy, she sashays through the movie in a whole wardrobe of revealing halter tops, bending the men like blades of grass. These days it's hard to enjoy a DeMille film without condescension: from Samson's fight with a lion that might well be stuffed, to the famous collapsing-temple scene, we are constantly aware of how far movies have come, and the Philistines parade around in costumes that won an Oscar but can only remind the modern viewer of Klingon cocktail parties. But in so many other ways this is very classy filmmaking. DeMille takes considerable liberties with the biblical story to come up with a sort of Ur-narrative of love, betrayal, and remorse that you can swallow very nicely with or without its religious ingredient. Best exchange: Lamarr--"You killed him with... your hands. Oh, Samson!" (Jumps on Mature's back.) Mature--"Hey! One cat at a time!" Also stars George Sanders, a very youthful (and miscast) Angela Lansbury, and impassioned music by Victor Young. --Richard Farr

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jacques Potvin on March 18 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Images superbes et qualité du DVD un autre film à avoir dans sa collection de DVD un classique des drames bibliques.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is my favorite"Biblical"film. Great cast,great film production
a class act all the way. The "Ten commandments" &"Ben Hur" were all
great epics in their rights but I'm I alone when I say we're really
just waiting for the parting of the red sea and the chariot race.
This epic was told entertainingly (and mercifully) at 128 minutes
and has just as many glorious technicolor moments as the later award
winners. The so called drugged lion fight is actually no better or
worse than say "Hercules" or "Demetrius and the Gladiators" Keep in
mind this is 1949, The choregraphed Man vs.beast dance was still in
its infant stage. There's also the wedding feast fight and the bone
of an Ass massacre not to mention Climatic collapse of the mighty
Dagon temple. I hope that Paramount pays attention to detail when<BRthey finally put this technicolor wonder out on disc with original
trailer (I know Greatest show on earth is out this month so maybe
just maybe) "I'll need no eyes to find you"
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Format: VHS Tape
One of DeMille's finest, from the sets and costumes to the superb acting and expressive music. Even the bit players are wonderful (look for George Reeves as the wounded Messenger relating the Battle of Ramath-Lehi to an incredulous George Sanders in terms that echoed the intro to Reeves' most famous role a few years later!). Lamarr is stunning, Mature is intense ("Look about you, Delilah..."), Sanders plays himself as the world-weary Seran of Gaza. Even ol'warhorse and longtime DeMille associate Henry Wilcoxson gets to shine as Prince Atur (he was originally supposed to play Samson, but was considered too old). There is no counting of the stars. Five is not nearly enough.
Our only quibble is with the way Dagon is portrayed in the temple scene. All the decor is Babylonian, and the idol looks like Moloch, the Canaanite sun god to whom certain kings of Judah used to sacrifice infants until commanded by God, through King Josiah, to desist (2 Chron. 28:3; 33:6; Jer. 7:31; 32:35; 2 Kings 23:10). The Philistines were related to the Phoenicians, not the Babylonians. Their wealth came from the sea. Dagon was an ocean god like Neptune, and was portrayed as a fish or a merman. The only decor in the movie that properly reflects Dagon are Delilah's fish earrings in the wedding scene.
This should be released on DVD so that like Miriam says at the end, we can watch his story "for a thousand years"!
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Format: VHS Tape
De Mille, with God as his co-maker. In general, the plot follows the bible story, though Victor Mature's Samson, costumed in terry leotards and a montrous wig, bilious and flaccid, as though he couldn't pull down the papier-mache temple. He does it, though, and he (his double) wrestles a moth-eaten lion and crowns several extras with the jaw of an ass. Hedy Lamarr was in general considered too old for the role of Delilah (Lamarr was thirty six at the time) but when De Mille couldn't get pitiful Gail Russell for Delilah (she always arrived on set drunk) it had to be Lamarr, who's Delilah, with her slurry German-English would be more at home in a Yorkville Bar than in a high-tone Philistine residence. All in all, the film does not enhance the glory of De Mille or his Associate; its splendors are purely in the camp division. Among the supporting cast are George Sanders, as the head man of the Philistines, Henry Wilcoxon, looking as nobly baffled as ever, and Angela Lansburry in a brief role as Delilah's sister, for whom Mature yearns, to the inexplicable despair of Lamarr. The sets are wonderously cheasy. Paramount. Color.
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Format: VHS Tape
... Audiences who saw "Samson and Delilah" as well as the later "Ten Commandments", really thought that the Bible was being brought to the screen accurately and faithfully. In this respect, DeMille was a genius for making a "sucker" out of the public, along the same lines as P.T. Barnum. DeMille had such a flair for the melodramatic and an uncanny ability to mix sex and religion that he fooled, and continues to fool, the public to this day....
Apart from a few of his early silent pictures, like "Male and Female" and "Joan the Woman", DeMille's sound biblical epics are just trash. They are big, colorful, loud and usually filled with special effects and gigantic set-pieces, such as the crashing of the Philistine temple. Yet the acting in all of these films is without depth and is stilted, hammy and pretentious. "Samson and Delilah" is no exception. It does entertain in spite of itself. What is worrisome is that people still watch this and other of DeMille's biblical films and believe they are faithful to scripture and history. They are not; they are simply HUMBUG!
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By Edward on Oct. 26 2000
Format: VHS Tape
When "Samson and Delilah" was released in 1949, Hollywood was on the edge of its big Biblical boom, pictures like "The Robe" and "Salome". Cecil B DeMille had been doing this stuff for decades -- his original "The Ten Commandments" in 1923 and his "The Sign of the Cross" in 1932 -- and the fact is "Samson and Delilah" is a lot more entertaining than DeMille's "The Greatest Show on Earth", which won the Best Picture Oscar a couple of years later. Church groups made it a mission to the movies to see this two-hour epic version of the story that takes up three chapters in Judges. But this is not the Bible, this is Stories from the Bible, in comic book colors. I know, be nice, but I'm afraid DeMille took himself veeery seriously. His trailers often had him pontificating like an avuncular professor about Moses or Andrew Jackson or Charlton Heston. However, the contradiction in his films -- the Bible-thumping one minute and sniggering suggestions of sex the next -- make him seem like a carnival barker, selling an all-healing elixir before bringing out the burly-Q girls. I'm afraid it reveals a basic contempt for his audience. After 35 years, critics had become a little weary of DeMille's modus operandi; his 1956 re-make of "The Ten Commandents" was described by Playboy as "run-of-DeMille". The title roles in "Samson and Delilah" are played by Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr. I have never understood Mature's hunk status. His physique was not half as impressive as that of Burt Lancaster, who was originally set for the role. All Mature's musculature seems to have gone into his face, and when he tries to emote it's a little alarming. Much more impressive physically is Hedy Lamarr as Delilah.Read more ›
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