Samson and Delilah (1949 film), directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature
Samson and Delilah is a 1949 American romantic biblical drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and released by Paramount Pictures. Praised upon release for its Technicolor cinematography, lead performances, costumes, sets, and innovative special effects, the film was a box-office success. Released in December 1949, it was the highest-grossing film of 1950. Of its five Academy Award nominations, the film won two for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. More on the film
Samson is one of the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. According to the biblical account, Samson was given supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats. Samson had two vulnerabilities—his attraction to untrustworthy women and his hair, without which he was powerless. These vulnerabilities ultimately proved fatal for him.
Samson eventually fell in love with a woman named Delilah. The Philistines bribed Delilah with 1,100 silver pieces from each of the Philistine leaders, to get her to figure out the secret of Samson’s strength and tell them.
After asking him several times what the secret to his strength is: “Finally he disclosed to her all his heart and said to her: ‘A razor has never come upon my head, because I am a Naz′i·rite of God from my mother’s belly. If I did get shaved, my power also would certainly depart from me, and I should indeed grow weak and become like all other men.'”
She relayed this to the Philistine axis lords, got Samson to fall asleep, and while he was sleeping, had his head shaved. The Philistines then took him captive, put out both his eyes, and made him their slave.
One day as they are having a great party to worship their false god Dagon, the Philistines bring Samson out so they can make fun of him. By that time, Samson’s hair has grown out again. Samson has a young boy lead him to the pillars that hold the building up, prays to Jehovah for strength, takes hold of the pillars, and cries out: “Let my soul die with the Philistines.”
There are 3,000 Philistines on the roof of the building alone, and many more inside (the axis lords are all there as well), and when Samson pushes against the pillars, the building falls down and kills all of them, including Samson. More on Samson and Delilah
Movie poster for the original 1949 theatrical release of the film Samson and Delilah
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