REVIEW: SAMSON AND DELILAH
Legendary director Cecil B. DeMille’s epic masterpiece SAMSON AND DELILAH makes its long-awaited DVD debut on
March 12, 2013 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr in the title roles, SAMSON AND DELILAH tells the story of the Bible’s fabled strongman and the woman who seduces and betrays him. The film brings to life Samson’s incredible feats, including his battle with a lion, his single-handed assault on a thousand Philistine soldiers, his struggle with a giant and finally the spectacular climax in which he pulls down the pagan temple. But it is Delilah’s quest for revenge and ability to bring down even the mighty Samson that drive this thrilling and powerful story. The lavish production earned five Academy Award® nominations and won for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. The film also stars venerable actors George Sanders, Angela Lansbury and Henry Wilcoxon.
Sometimes referred to as DeMille’s rehearsal for The Ten Commandments, SAMSON AND DELILAH was enormously popular around the world upon its release in 1949. Over 60 years later, the original film elements required significant work in order to return the film to the vibrant masterpiece that had so thrilled theater audiences. The original nitrate three-strip Technicolor negatives were scanned in 4K, and the three strip image was registered, cleaned and color corrected in 4K. In addition, DeMille’s original nitrate print was used in order to complete the original music overture and special effect work was done to clean up original optical images, a particularly tricky three-strip challenge. Finally, the original mono audio track was cleaned up and restored.
Interestingly, the restoration team noticed a shimmer effect in some of the scenes. Since they were simultaneously restoring Sunset Boulevard, they looked at production photos of Norma Desmond’s visit to the SAMSON AND DELILAH set and saw the enormously powerful lights that were required for the Technicolor production. This explained the shimmer effect, which was left intact.
English Mono Dolby Digital, French Mono Dolby Digital and Spanish Mono Dolby Digital
English, French and Spanish subtitles