Samson & Delilah (1950) (VHS) ~ Hedy Lamarr (actor) Cover Art

Samson & Delilah (1950) (VHS)

Hedy Lamarr (actor), Victor Mature (actor) and Cecil B. DeMille (director)


Current Price: $30.16

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Review

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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