Sound Feature: Samson and Delilah


Studio: A Cecil B. DeMille Production
Paramount Pictures
Released: December 21, 1949 (road show)

Featured Cast: Victor Mature, Hedy Lamarr, Henry Wilcoxon, Angela Lansbury, George Sanders

Producer-director: Cecil B. DeMille
Screenwriters: Fredric M. Frank, Harold Lamb, Jesse Lasky Jr.
Sources: the Book of Judges, chapters 13-16, and the Vladimir Jabotinsky novel Judge and Fool
Art directors: Hans Dreier, Walter Tyler
Costumers: Edith Head, Dorothy Jeakins, Elois Jenssen, Gile Steele, Gwen Wakeling
Cinematographer: George Barnes
Photographic effects: Gordon Jennings
Music: Victor Young
Editor: Anne Bauchens


A beautiful woman vows revenge on a man of superhuman strength after he spurns her and destroys her village.

Production Quote

“I asked the distinguished proponent of expensive production if he can achieve his accustomed splendor in this era of reefed budgets. The producer-director, who has been running counter to critics and budgeteers since he started his first picture, replied simply, ‘Some subjects require less outlay than others. My next is going to be a simple story about a man and a woman.’”

– William R. Weaver, “DeMille Starts Samson,” Motion Picture Herald, October 16, 1948


“Samson and Delilah is a fantastic picture for this era in its size, in its lavishness, in the corniness of its story-telling and in its old-fashioned technique. But it adds up to first-class entertainment. The smarties and the hinterlanders will view it from diametrically opposed standpoints, but whether laughing at it or with it, neither the hepsters nor the squares will find any of its two hours and eight minutes dull or unenjoyable. As for the kids, Samson is the greatest invention since Superman.”

– Weekly Variety, October 26, 1949

Letters From Regional Theater Owners

“Crowds jammed Times Square and Broadway last week when Samson and Delilah had its dual world premiere at the Paramount and Rivoli theaters.”

– “Biblical Spectacle Unveiled at Dual World Premiere,” Showmen’s Trade Review, December 31, 1949

Artist Comment

“In bringing the Samson episodes to the screen, we were dramatizing a story that has been a bestseller for 3,000 years. What book has sold more copies than the Bible?”

– Cecil B. DeMille, Autobiography


Samson and Delilah cost $3,097,563.05 and achieved a profit of $5,564,825.17.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include the considerable profits realized from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)