Samson and Delilah
dvd cover
Based onHusband of Delilah (novel)
by Eric Linklater
Written byJohn Gay
Directed byLee Philips
StarringMax von Sydow
Belinda Bauer
Antony Hamilton
Daniel Stern
Victor Mature
Music byMaurice Jarre
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producerGregory Harrison
ProducerFranklin R. Levy
CinematographyGerry Fisher
EditorGeorge Jay Nicholson
Running time95 mins.
Production companyCatalina Productions
Original networkABC
Original releaseApril 1, 1984 (1984-04-01)

Samson and Delilah is a 1984 television film adaptation of the biblical story of Samson and Delilah directed by Lee Philips and starring Max von Sydow, Belinda Bauer, Antony Hamilton, Daniel Stern and Victor Mature. Mature played Samson in the 1949 film and had a small cameo as the father of Antony Hamilton's Samson. This was his final acting role. Based on the 1962 novel Husband of Delilah by Eric Linklater, Samson and Delilah originally aired on ABC.


The film is mostly the same as the original Biblical story, but with notable differences such as, once again, the expanded and sympathetic role of Delilah (Bauer), the introduction of the garrison commander (Stern) who is friends with Samson (Hamilton), more focus upon Samson's relationship with his first wife, a different handling of the 30 garments bet, and, perhaps the most crucial alteration of the climax. In the original story, maintained in the 1949 film and the 1996 film, Samson only regains his strength after his hair has grown long again, thus allowing him to tear down the Philistine temple. In this movie, however, Samson is taken to the Philistine temple just after his hair has been cut short, and he prays to God to restore his immense strength despite his short hair, and God complies, allowing Samson enough strength to tear down the stone pillars, thus destroying the temple. Delilah is saved through what looks like the intervention of God. She brings Samson back to his tribe to be buried. Philistea is portrayed as a theocracy with the high priest of Dagon as overlord. One might note that good Philistines, most notably Delilah and her surroundings, are given an Egyptian air while evil ones have a rather Mediterranean air. Indeed, the Philistines were originally a European people related to the Greeks that entered the Middle East through the Doric migrations around 1200 BC.



Mature says he told the producer "I'll play Samson's father if the price is right."[1] It was entirely shot in Mexico.[2]

Award nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1984 Emmy Award Nominated Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling Jan Van Uchelen
1985 BAFTA Award Best Short Film Mark Peploe


  1. ^ Champlin, Charles (Mar 29, 1984). "CRITIC AT LARGE: MATURE STILL HAS A HUNK OF A TIME". Los Angeles Times. p. m1.
  2. ^ "Samson and Delilah".