This lavish retelling of the story of the Hebrew strong man and history's most famous lady barber was based in part on the Old Testament, in part on Eric Linkletter's book Husband of Delilah, and in great part on the same-named 1949 Cecil B. DeMille movie epic. Newcomer Anthony Hamilton stars as Samson, who uses his awesome strength--not to mention the jawbone of an ass--to safeguard his fellow Hebrews from the persecution of the Philistines in the 11th Century BC. Fascinated by Samson, Philistine harlot Delilah (Belinda Bauer) pretends to fall in love with him so that she may learn the source of his muscle power. Upon discovering that his mightiness stems from his flowing mane of hair, Delilah drugs Samson's wine and pulls out the shears. Bald and blinded, Samson is transformed from the savior of his people into an enslaved object of Philistine ridicule. But redemption is at hand, and by film's end practically the entire cast has been entombed in the rubble wrought by Samson's final, desperate feat of strength. Victor Mature, who of course played Samson in the 1949 film, was coaxed out of retirment to portray Samson's father, while Max Von Sydow, who Biblical-movie credits include the part of Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told, delivers an impressively subtle performance as the Philistine governor. Filmed in Mexico, Samson and Delilah originally aired April 1, 1984, on ABC.
by Hal Erickson synopsis