Movie Mirrors Index

Samson and Delilah

(1949 c 131')

En: 6 Ed: 5

The biblical hero is seduced by a beautiful Philistine and for a while loses his strength.

Three thousand years ago Philistines oppress the Jews. Samson (Victor Mature) tells his mother and Miriam (Olive Deering) that he wants to marry the Philistine Semadar (Angela Lansbury), but Prince Ahtur (Henry Wilcoxon) is courting her too. Samson takes her younger sister Delilah (Hedy Lamarr) for a chariot ride. He wrestles a lion and kills him. The Saran of Gaza (George Sanders) arrives with his entourage. The Saran tells his wrestler to whip Sampson, who throws him down. Samson asks to marry Semadar.

At his wedding feast Samson asks a riddle, and they wager clothes. Ahtur tells Semadar to get the answer. Samson tells her and loses the wager. He rejects Semadar and robs men of their clothes to pay the wager. Samson learns that Semadar has wed Ahtur. Her father offers her younger sister Delilah to Samson; but he fights Ahtur and others and burns the place down. Semadar is killed.

Ahtur can't find Samson. So the Saran taxes the Danites a third to get Samson. Lesh Lakish (John Miljan) wants to deliver Samson, who is bound. The Saran gives jewels to Delilah. Samson prays and breaks free. He fights the soldiers with the jawbone of an ass. Delilah offers to get Samson if she is paid silver.

Delilah goes into the wilderness and sends the soldiers apart. Samson comes to her tent and robs her. She seduces him into staying with her. She asks what is the secret of his strength. Samson asks her to marry him and says his strength comes from God. Delilah learns that hair gives him strength. Miriam tells Samson that his parents and others were punished. Delilah is jealous of Miriam. Delilah drugs Samson and cuts off his hair.

Ahtur has Samson bound and says Delilah will be paid. Ahtur has Samson blinded. Gaza's rulers bring silver to Delilah. The Saran takes her to see Samson working in the mill. She learns that he cannot see her.

Months later Delilah prays for Samson. She finds him praying and offers to be his eyes. He breaks the chains. She says they will take him to the temple, and so he stays to fight them.

In the temple Delilah sits next to the Saran. Samson is brought in, and the boy Saul (Russell Tamblyn) runs to him. Miriam pleads before the Saran for Samson, but he says it is up to Delilah, who sends Miriam away. Midgets taunt Samson. Delilah goes to Samson and leads him to the pillars. Samson pushes the pillars down, and the idol falls. Miriam tells Saul that his story will be told.

This epic drama set during an early struggle between the Philistines (Palestinians) and Jews in Gaza reflects the ancient hatred between these peoples. All power comes from God, and those with discipline may learn how to use it to build or destroy. This story shows that women have power too.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index