Samson and Delilah is Cecil B. DeMille's characteristically expansive retelling of the events found in the Old Testament passages of Judges 13-16. Victor Mature plays Samson, the superstrong young Danite. Samson aspires to marry Philistine noblewoman Semadar (Angela Lansbury), but she is killed when her people attack Samson as a blood enemy. Seeking revenge, Semadar's younger sister Delilah (Hedy Lamarr) woos Samson in hopes of discovering the secret of his strength, thus enabling her to destroy him. When she learns that his source of his virility is his long hair, Delilah plies Samson with drink, then does gives him the Old Testament equivalent of a buzzcut while he snores away. She delivers the helpless Samson to the Philistines, ordering that he be put to work as a slave. Blinded and humiliated by his enemies, Samson is a sorry shell of his former self. Ultimately, Samson's hair grows back, thus setting the stage for the rousing climax wherein Samson literally brings down the house upon the wayward Philistines. Hedy Lamarr is pretty hopeless as Delilah, but Victor Mature is surprisingly good as Samson, even when mouthing such idiotic lines as "That's all right. It's only a young lion". Even better is George Sanders as The Saran of Gaza, who wisely opts to underplay his florid villainy. The spectacular climax to Samson and Delilah allows us to forget such dubious highlights as Samson's struggle with a distressing phony lion and the tedious cat-and-mouse romantic scenes.
by Hal Erickson synopsis