Cast: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Henry Wilcoxon, Russ Tamblyn, Olive Deering, Edgar Dearing, Fay Holden, Julia Faye, William Farnum, Lane Chandler, Moroni Olsen, Francis Mcdonald, Wee Willie Davis, John Miljan, George Reeves, Nils Asther, Mike Mazurki, Jeff York, Jerry Maren
Plot / Synopsis:
The story of Samson and Delilah is adapted from the Biblical Book of Judges.
Wildly successful at the box-office, DeMille's Biblical epic is known for the beauty of its leading lady and the spectacular toppling of the temple of Dagon.
Samson, a Hebrew placed under Nazirite vows from birth by his mother, is engaged to a Philistine woman named Semadar. During a fight at their wedding feast, Semadar is killed and Samson becomes a hunted man. Shortly after the death of Semedar, the Saran of Gaza (Sanders) imposes heavy taxes on the Dannites, with the purpose of having Samson betrayed by his own people. Saran's plan works and frustrated Dannites hand over Samson to the Philistines. News of his capture reaches Saran and Delilah, Semadar's sister, and they are pleased to hear that the mighty Samson was captured.
Samson is taken by the high priest Ahur (Wilcoxon) and a regiment of Philistine troops. En route back to Gaza, Ahtur decides to taunt Samson. Ahtur stops his march in a valley. Here Samson prays to God, asking for strength against the Philistines. Then the wind starts blowing and thunder crashes. Samson then rips apart his chains and ropes and begins to combat the Philistines. At first he fights in hand-to-hand combat, killing a few Philistines and even toppling Ahtur's war chariot, breaking Ahthur's arm in the act. Samson then takes the jawbone of an ass and starts killing more and more Philistines. The sheer power of Samson and his strikes with the jawbone destroy the helmets of the Philistines, crushing their skulls. In the end the Philistine force is destroyed.
News of the defeat of Ahtur at the hands Samson reaches Saran. Saran feels embarrassed that the army that had conquered so many armies fell to one man with the jawbone of an ass as his weapon. Saran ponders how to defeat Samson. Delilah comes up with the idea of seducing Samson, thus having him reveal the secret of his strength and deliver Samson up for punishment. Her plan works; she cuts his hair, which he feels gives him his strength. Falling in love with him, Delilah regrets her act after Samson is blinded by his captors. He is brought to the temple of Dagon for the entertainment of the Philistines and of Saran. He is tortured and jeered at. Saran gives Delilah the opportunity to exact her punishment from Samson with a whip. Delilah tells Samson to take hold of the whip and she would direct him to where the two main support pillars of temple were. She does and Samson tells Delilah to run away because death would come to the temple. Delilah is reluctant to leave, but eventually does. Samson then prays to God asking for strength one last time.
As he begins to push on the pillars, the crowd begins to laugh at him. The priests of Dagon tell Samson to forget his god and to kneel before Dagon. Ahtur then decides that Samson will kneel by force if he has to. Ahtur takes several soldiers to help him. Samson is still pushing on the pillars. Eventually one of them jerks to one side. The crowd's laughs cease as they watch in awe how Samson moved the pillars. Samson manages to topple the first pillar, crushing Ahtur and his soldiers. Surprised at what was happening, one of Saran's subjects exclaims, "He has the strength of the devil!" to which Saran responds, "No. The strength of a god!" Samson then proceeds to topple the second pillar.
However, before he does, he says these final words: "My eyes have seen thy glory, oh God! Now let me die with my enemies." Samson topples the second pillar. Immediately the colossal statue of Dagon, which was supported by those two pillars, begins falling. Seeing their impending doom, many decide to run. Then the whole support of the statue of Dagon crumbles and the statue comes crashing down, falling on the upper levels on the temple, where some were situated. Saran decides not to run despite the warnings of his subjects; he just lifts his wine and says "Delilah" as the statue falls on him. Portions of the crumbling temple begin to fall, crushing many. Some die as they jump from the upper levels to avoid the statue. In the end the temple lies in rubble. Saul and Miriam are looking at the remains and Saul asks if he had to die.