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on March 14, 2013
In the history of filmmaking, no other director handled the genre of Biblical epics with more panache and reverence than Cecil B. DeMille. Yet, in his entire celebrated career the director made only five such movies: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1923), KING OF KINGS (1927), THE SIGN OF THE CROSS (1932), SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949), and his own remake of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956).

The fourth film in DeMille's Biblical canon is his most passionate, and its style and structure was responsible for inspiring the highly successful Italian sword and sandal sub-genre a decade later. From the moment that scroll unfurls introducing the opening title - CECIL B. DEMILLE'S SAMSON AND DELILAH - you know you're going to be in for a thoroughly satisfying viewing experience. Offering rip-roaring action, colorful spectacle, and sensual romance all presented in an engaging storytelling manner, this is a masterpiece of the kind only DeMille could make. The picture manages to stay quite faithful to the Bible account in Judges 13-16, with only a few instances where Jesse L. Lasky, Jr. and Fredric M. Frank's script takes dramatic license. For instance, the film depicts Samson's bride and Delilah as sisters whereas the Bible doesn't substantiate such a relationship between them. Also, in the movie Samson is blinded by a red-hot blade held close to his eyes, while in the actual account they're bored out of their sockets. Aside from these textual deviations the film is a largely accurate, vivid dramatization of the most famous romantic betrayal in recorded history.

Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr flesh out definitive portrayals in the lead roles; Mature is beefy and totally at ease playing the straying strongman whose weakness is women, and Lamarr is the epitome of the beautiful seductress who betrays him. The two actors are so perfectly suited as Samson and Delilah, that it's impossible to imagine someone else in their place. The supporting players are also top-notch: George Sanders is superb as the cynical Saran who has both envy and respect for Samson, Angela Lansbury plays Samson's fickle bride-to-be Semadar, and Henry Wilcoxon makes a strong impression as Samson's jealous rival, Ahtur.

The production values of SAMSON AND DELILAH are of the highest quality by 1949 standards, and the film won deserved Oscars for Hans Dreier and Walter Tyler's art direction, Sam Comer and Ray Moyer's set decoration and Edith Head's costumes. Gordon Jennings' special effects department created some spectacular visuals, which still pass muster today. The big climax set in the Philistine Temple of Dagon is a triumph of convincing miniature high-speed photography and integrated live action. George Barnes' Technicolor cinematogaphy is lush and artfully lit, reminiscent of the paintings by Rembrandt. I'd be amiss if I didn't give high praise for Victor Young's fabulous music score which, in my opinion, is one of the finest ever written. Everything about this DeMille extravaganza is done with an expertise and a showmanship that defined an era of great cinematic entertainment.

Paramount Home Video has finally released SAMSON AND DELILAH on DVD in meticulously restored condition, and it looks and sounds terrific - as good as it must've been on its initial release. This edition contains Victor Young's overture and exit music, which was also on the previous laser disc that served as the source for unauthorized DVD copies of this title. The new edition contains no special features, and has the standard menu options of English, French and Spanish subtitles, and scene selections. The audio is in the original mono. Looking as sumptuous as it does on DVD, it's curious why Paramount didn't opt for a Blu-ray edition. Maybe down the line...

Something many people today forget is that Cecil B. DeMille was one of the founding fathers of America's film industry. He made movies that were enormously popular with the public because he had an innate understanding of what people wanted and the creative ability to deliver it. SAMSON AND DELILAH demonstrates that inimitable DeMille touch to the fullest degree.

My highest recommendation.
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on March 25, 2017
"Samson and Delilah" directed by Cecil B. DeMille starring Victor Mature as 'Samson' and Hedy Lamarr as irresistibly-beautiful 'Delilah' along with a very young Angela Lansbury and erudite and cunning master of condescension George Sanders as Philistine leader 'Saran'

The surprising thing is that although DeMille's version of 'Samson And Delilah' was first released in 1949 ==> upon re-watching in 2017 (on AMAZON video), this film is still Super-entertaining, with a brisk-pace, witty-dialog, fantastically charismatic characterizations, Epic action and a Story that while taking some Liberties, stays true in spirit to the old-testament 'Book of Judges' story of Samson (although DeMille's 'Delilah' is portrayed as a more sympathetic character, with redemptive qualities at film's finale).

Victor Mature presents a down-to-Earth and very 'human' Samson, who even projects an engaging sense of humor at times --- but most certainly exhibits battle-ready ferocity when called for (and the initial death-struggle with the Lion is still quite intense and entertaining), and of course Samson's final act of retribution tearing-down the gigantic Philistine Temple pillars calling upon his full-reservoir of divine Strength in the process, is still quite spectacular to behold ==> without the aide of CGI-effects!

And Hedy Lamarr seems like the 'perfect' embodiment of 'Delilah' in both appearance and attitude, who capitalizes on her irresistibility to fulfill desires and get her way (most times). Hedy Lamarr also exhibits superlative acting and a genuinely charismatic and deeply-indelible 'presence' (in addition, DeMille allows 'Delilah' a bit of redemption at finale, exhibiting genuine love for Samson which results in an uncharacteristic act of self-sacrifice at least in this filmed version).

In any event, Cecil B. DeMille's "Samson and Delilah" represents one of the Great Hollywood Biblical-Epics that might be a bit more focused on entertainment-value above authenticity but that is also obviously why this film was a huge block-buster in its Day........ and it is a good bet "Samson & Delilah's financial success paved the way for Cecil B. DeMille to produce the much Larger-scale and immortally beloved Epic "The Ten Commandments" in 1956. Note: the picture on this AMAZON video has surprisingly vibrant-color & superlative picture-quality for a nearly 70-year old film (amazing restoration!)
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on September 19, 2016
I first saw this movie in the mid '50s as a child. I thought it would be nice to go back and watch it again after 60 years. I can honestly say that this is a true cinematic classic. Even the production values have a 21st century feel to them. If you've never seen it--watch it. If you have--watch it again. -Daniel Lance Wright, Author Daniel Lance Wright
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on May 31, 2017
Samson would have been great as an Avenger. He would have been considered a demigod in Greek myth. The Bible describes him as a "miracle baby" who was given the Divine gift of Superhuman Strength. He wrestled a lion to death, he tore down the gates of Gaza, he took on an army of 1,000 Philistine soldiers by himself and WON. Ironically (because the Bible is full of ironic humor) he did this with the infamous "Jawbone of an Ass" as his only weapon. He also tore down the Temple of Dagon with his bare hands. He was brave, noble and had the heart of a true hero. But for all of this he was arrogant, full of himself, had an uncontrollable temper and had a weakness for girls that weren't good for him. That last bit is what sealed his fate. Looking for love in all the wrong places will bring down even the strongest of men... or women for that matter. Actually most often women, because we men are just awful, but here we see the "strongman" succumbing to the wiles of the "femme fatale." It's a part of life I'm afraid. This is the classic film version of the story. There are some major deviations from the Biblical account which will probably perturb fundamentalists who think that artistic expressions based on the Bible should invariably be word-for-word reenactments. But of course this is Hollywood. It's about entertainment, not a church sermon, so it must be accepted as such. Boy Angela Lansbury was hot when she was young!
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on August 15, 2016
Victor mature may not have been one of the best Hollywood actors, but allow me to say that the final scene here, where he prays to the Lord to help him achieve his final task, even though he is blind, is utterly believable. And Mr Cecil De Mille took care of the rest, meaning the destruction of the pagan temple in Gaza.
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on August 30, 2014
Cecil B. DeMille epic from the Bible. Hedy Lamar as Deliah is very good. Many believe she is the most beautiful woman ever to be in film. Her own life would make a better story than any she played in. She was Austrian and came here fleeing a husband who was a Nazi. She was so incredibly brilliant she is credited with developing some of the technology that eventually went into making cell phones possible (she was working on this for something to do with WWII).

The film also has a young Angela Lansbury as Deliahs sister. The film is fairly consistent with Judges. It shows how Samson failed to follow the Lords will and ended up in great trouble. I would say this is not one of DeMilles best. The photography is very well done.
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on August 5, 2013
Review is meant for DVD not the film or else I would have given it five full stars I love this classic & hope it gets a Blu-ray release someday soon because this film definitely deserves it

When I first saw this listed on Amazon during a search I thought it might look as bad as previous DVD's found on the net because I own one of those bad disk you know the one with the dull color & awful blurry lines

That said I decided to take a risk & buy this though I dreaded the possibility of wasting my earnings on another bad disk, but after the DVD arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the picture quality it was sharp & bright quite nice compared to the other disk I purchased a year ago, please note: I played the disk on an up-scaling blu-ray player but I also tested the play back in A/V mode to see how it would look & my recommendation is to play the disk in A/V mode the both modes play well with this DVD release but there is a slight improvement in playback on A/V mode

Other notes about the disk play there are no extra's only original overtures & scene selection that might be a disappointment if your like me & you enjoy DVD extra's but over all this recent release is the best in terms of picture quality though make sure you purchase this DVD from sellers that get their disk directly from the studio or else you risk getting a bad import or home made bootleg, I purchased mine through Amazon from a seller called MovieMars I had a great experience buying with this seller, well that's it hope this helps other buyers.
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on April 5, 2014
At last I have a strong ( Samsonised ) AV copy of this truly classic movie. This blu-ray version is easily the very best of any previous release. Colour saturation being deep and luxurious - and the print itself being virtually pristine. Projected onto my new GRANDVIEW Ten Foot screen was a little disappointing, however , since I had hoped for a full 16:9 frame - but the movie has been released in it's original 4 x 3 ratio ( not too surprising since the movie is some 60 years old ). Other than that I have no criticisms otherwise - the audio of course remains mono - but quite acceptable in context.

Like all the great oldie classics it is sad to reflect that ALL previous members of the cast have of course long since passed ( the one exception that I am aware of is of course the very young Russ Tamblyn ).

Bottom line : If you are an avid fan of this movie - then BUY IT in this latest blu-ray release. My congrats to Warner for the commendable effort !
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on December 3, 2013
Considering when this was produced, the film holds up fairly well. I cannot be entirely objective because I'm a huge Lamarr fan and have purchased everything available in which she has a part. I think this was her "biggest" role, although it came rather late in her career. For me, she steals every scene. I was also surprised to find that Victor Mature had more acting capability than I remembered -- from watching his films on TV as a kid. Bible-related films were common in the 60's, and some were better than others. I'm glad I purchased the movie because god only knows whether or not films such as this will be around in an era when older films become harder to locate -- and perhaps disappear when nothing but downloads are available.
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on July 2, 2016
Excellent movie! It includes the Overture and Exit Music which has never been on any of the DVDs, to the best of my knowledge. This movie is one of the greats up there with Cecil B. DeMille`s "The Ten Commandments." Of course this one is also directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
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