Classic Christmas Movie Releases: Samson and Delilah

Classic Christmas Movie Releases:  Samson and Delilah

Cecil B. DeMille’s Masterpiece Released December 21, 1949.

SAMSON AND DELILAH; 1949; Studio: Paramount; Director: Cecil B. DeMille; Cast: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Henry Wilcoxon 

The biblical tale of Samson is brought to life with characteristically opulent style and melodramatic flair by Cecil B.DeMille;  the sumptuous romantic epic won Academy Awards for Costume Design and Art Direction.  Although Mature was cast over many other possible lead actors for his physique and past performances, he proved problematic for DeMille, as he was afraid of nearly everything involved in the making of the movie, from animals to props to water.

As for Lamarr, DeMille originally intended her to play Esther in another biblical production that never happened.  A highlight, typical of DeMille’s sprawling and complex projects, is a huge action set-piece as Samson brings down the temple of the Philistine god, Dagon.  Using a combination of full-size sets and model photography, the sequence was completed over the course of an entire year.  “I prayed for an angel of the Lord, and the Devil sent me you.”

Appreciation for the expert commentary on “Samson and Delilah” goes to Dr. Arnold Blumberg.  THANKS DOC!!  Doc is an educator, publisher, author, comic and pop culture historian, and former museum curator.  He was the editor of The Overstreet Comic Book Price guide and teaches courses in everything from comics to zombies to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Find him on Twitter @DoctoroftheDead.