Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Belinda Bauer, David Eisner, Anthony Hamilton, Jennifer Holmes, Stephen Macht
Director: Lee Philips
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Military & War
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Nothing more than a cheap copy from China
Mark L. Mckenzie | San Francisco, CA USA | 11/21/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"WARNING... THIS IS NOT RELEASED FROM ANY MAJOR STUDIO. It's from China and has english and chinese subtitles which never left my screen no matter where I started it from. It's not very clear but for a transfer from VHS to DVD it's okay. I asked for my money back as I don't care if it's hard to get, I'll wait till they do it right."
Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah
C. Teruel | 04/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well I can honestly say they don't make 'em like this anymore. This is the classic Biblical tale about the brave and mighty Samson and the beautiful, but deadly Delilah. Samson (Victor Mature)is a leader among his people. He falls in love with a Philistine woman named Semadar(Angela Landsbury). The woman who already has a suitor also likes Samson. Now Semadar's younger sister, Delilah (played by gorgeous Hedy Lamarr), has a big crush on Samson and lusts for him. After wrestling a lion with his bare hands, the Saran of Gaza(George Sanders)offers him a prize. Samson asks for Semadar's hand in marriage, leaving Delilah jealous and hurt. At his wedding Samson tells his famous riddle and makes a wager with all the guests. Out of spite Delilah tells Semadar's suitor to get the answer to the riddle. After tricking Semadar, the Suitor gets the answer. After a fight breaks out Semadar and her father get killed. Delilah vows to seek vengance on Samson. The Saran has imposed heavy taxes on people. The frustrated people decide to turn Samson in, but with a donkey's jawbone he slays 1,000 Philistines. The Saran and his new lover, Delilah, hear this news. Together they devise a plan on how to destroy Samson. Delilah decides to seduce Samson to try to get him to tell her the secret of his strength. She sucessfully seduces him and he falls madly in love with her. After several failed attempts to find out the secret of his strength, she gets mad at him and won't let him near her. Not being able to bear his beloved Delilah being mad at him, he tells her the secret of his stength is in his hair. When he falls into a deep sleep, Delilah cuts off his long hair. When Samson awakes, the Philistine army is waiting for him. The Philistines congratulate Delilah on her triumph in capturing Samson. Delilah had made a bargain with the Saran not to harm Samson, but after she leaves the Philistines blind him. After finding out what they have done to Samson, guilt starts eating away at her. Realizing she loves Samson, she decides to help him. Samson is brought to the temple of the Philistine god Dagon. There the Philistines humiliate Samson. Delilah pretends that she also will humiliate Samson. Samson asks her to take him where the two main support pillars of the temple are. There he asks God to help him one last time and give him back his strength. Samson pushes on the pillars, causing the whole temple to crumble and everyone in the temple to be crushed including Samson.
This is a fine example of the Hollywood Golden Age of making fantastic Biblical epics. With Cecil B. DeMille's lavish production and a great cast, this one's a winner. If you look carefully, you'll see some of the supporting actors from The Ten Commandments such as the ladies who played Miriam and Elisheba.
I bought the DVD with the picture of Delilah cutting of Samson's hair on the cover. This DVD came from China. This was probably taken off a VHS tape, but the picture and sound are good. I had no problems taking off the Chinese subtitles. I went to the menu where it says subtitles and selected "None." Hopefully one day we will be privalaged to have an official DVD release from Paramount with remastered picture and sound and lots of bonus features. For now this satisfies."
Not a strong production
FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 11/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The story of Samson and Delilah is one of the better known stories from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. It seems strange, therefore, that films almost always get the story wrong.
This 1984 version of the Samson and Delilah story gives Max von Sydow, the governor of Philistine Gaza, the top billing, because the stars playing the title roles were not as well known. Belinda Bauer portrays Delilah in a sultry but somewhat flattened role, and Antony Hamilton is 'introduced' as a new star, despite having made appearances prior to this production. Belinda Bauer is considered an American actress, despite being born in Australia; Antony Hamilton is considered an Australian actor, despite being born in Britain. The desert lands of the setting for this film are definitely not Gaza nor the northern end of Israel/Palestine, so in many ways things are very mixed up. One does want to give a willing suspension of disbelief in any theatrical or cinematic release, but sometimes the small items add up to too much, if there isn't substance elsewhere to carry the film.
Hamilton, Bauer and von Sydow give tolerable performances, perhaps edging even toward good. However, the script is stilted and lacking in depth - whenever there seems to be a point of principle or 'meaningful' moment, it becomes a bit more like an item of kitsch. Each of the three main actors have turned in much better performances in other productions that one knows there is skill there, particularly with von Sydow, but it is lost in this production. Jose Ferrer, another veteran actor, has a slightly-more-than-cameo appearance, but is generally wasted as a pontificating priest without much depth. The script was written by John Gay (prolific television/teleplay script writer), based on a novel 'The Husband of Delilah' by Eric Linkletter. This departs considerably from the biblical text, and unfortunately not in ways that would give new meaning or added meaning to the story.
Perhaps director Lee Philips (also known for television direction in series such as 'Dynasty' and the film 'Hardhats and Legs') was hoping that the occasional display of beautiful bodies would distract the viewer from noticing the overall lack of substance. Both Bauer and Hamilton have sex appeal, but even here it tends to be wasted by second-rate camera angles and lighting, quick edits and cheesy music that made this a B-film even when first released.
The fight sequences between Samson and the lion, Samson and the Philistine garrison, and Samson and the Philistine army are poorly choreographed (the fake lion edited in with the real lion in portions looked obviously fake, as if someone borrowed a child's toy lion as the prop). The final Temple-crushing scene is tolerable, but even then the architectural detail is wrong - it was very clear the Temple did not rest upon the columns Samson pushed over, and the camera maneuvering to get Sidka, the Philistine governor, to be positioned under the falling idol was very poorly done.
I was astonished to learn that this production had an Emmy nomination, and of all categories for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling (Jan Van Uchelen). Perhaps this was for Delilah's hairstyles, which are okay, but as Samson's legendary strength is tied to his hair, I found myself thinking all through the film, 'He has terrible hair!' Hamilton's good looks were generally lessened by having a bad-hair day all through film; it was only when it was cut at the end that he began to look reasonable.
I was also astonished to learn that the composer of original music for this piece was Maurice Jarre, who wrote the music for 'A Passage to India', 'Ghost', 'A Walk in the Clouds' and 'The Year of Living Dangerously', films that I love, and from which the music is memorable. This sounded like 50s or 60s retreads from other B-films, sadly failing to augment the story or the setting.
Perhaps the most detrimental part of this show was the cameo by Victor Mature, who played one of the more memorable Samsons in film history, opposite Hedy Lamar, directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Even that film was a B-film, albeit a good B-film from an era in Hollywood when such biblical epics and pseudo-epics were written to a generally appreciated formula. Mature plays the father of Samson here, Manoah, but gives such a sad performance here I didn't recognise him, even though I knew he had a role in the film before I put the disc in to view! Perhaps it proves the point Mature made once, when applying for membership to a country club that didn't accept actors as members, 'I'm not an actor - and I've got 67 films to prove it!'
This film apparently was also nominated by BAFTA for best short film, and I cannot but wonder what was lacking in short films that year that this production would get such a nod.
If you're interested in the Samson story, this will not be a film to give new insights. If you're interested in seeing Antony Hamilton or Belinda Bauer in various states of undress, even then this film will disappoint, as there aren't many good scenes for that, either. I'm truly surprised this wasn't an Alan Smithee production. I really wanted to like this film, as Hamilton made so few productions before his untimely death, and in general I tend to like biblical epics, von Sydow films, and several of actors here. But alas, it was not to be.
Watch at your own risk.
Two-and-a-half stars, rounded to three for purposes here.
Samson & delilah
Charles R. Sykes | lees summit, mo | 02/08/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"got movie on time, clear for as old a movie as it was. One of my favorite movies of all time."