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Samson and Delilah

Samson and Delilah(1950)

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By 1,000 B.C., the people of Dan have been enslaved by the Philistines for forty years. Samson, the Danite son of Manoah, falls in love with Semadar, the Philistine daughter of Tubal. Although Samson's Danite neighbor Miriam has been promised to him, Samson is determined to marry Semadar. When the Lord of the Five cities, the Saran of Gaza, takes Semadar lion-hunting, Semadar's seductive sister Delilah leads Samson to the lion before the hunters arrive, and watches as Samson kills the animal bare-handed. Delilah, who is infatuated with Samson, is impressed by his show of strength and tells the royal Saran of his feat. Doubting Delilah's word, the Saran orders his massive wrestler Garmiskar to fight with Samson, and Samson easily defeats him. When the Saran offers Samson his ring as a prize, Samson asks that his prize be the Philistine bride of his choosing, and the Saran agrees, even though mixed marriages are frowned on. Delilah is furious when Samson chooses her sister, who was already promised to Ahtur, the Philistine military leader of Dan. At his week-long wedding feast, Samson challenges Ahtur's warriors, who were invited by Delilah, with a riddle, and offers luxurious tunics as a prize. Ahtur convinces Semadar to get the answer from Samson, but when Samson discovers that she has betrayed him, he leaves the feast and steals tunics from innocent travelers. By the time Samson returns, Semadar has married Ahtur instead. Samson angrily forces his way into the wedding chamber and Ahtur's warriors start a violent attack, during which Semadar and Tubal are killed. Although Ahtur's warriors are to blame for the carnage, Delilah vows revenge against Samson as she watches her home burn. Ahtur spends the following year trying to track down Samson, who is protected by his fellow Danites until the Philistines begin to starve them. Samson is then captured after a single Danite betrays him, and Delilah, who is now living in Gaza as the Saran's courtesan, revels in the news. However, when Samson's guards stop on their journey for water, Samson prays to God to imbue him with the strength to fight his oppressors. Samson's prayers are answered, and after breaking free from his bonds, he slays his captors with the jawbone of an ass. Appalled that 1,000 warriors were felled by one man, the Saran accepts Delilah's plan to seduce Samson into revealing the secret of his strength. The princes of Gaza offer Delilah a wealth of silver for Samson's capture, and Delilah secures the Saran's promise that he will not kill Samson, but will force him to work on the grist mill. Delilah travels to Samson's hideout in the hills of Saul, and sets up a luxurious tent to lure him. Samson, who has been pillaging from wealthy travelers, plans to rob the tent until he discovers Delilah there, and he soon falls prey to her seduction. Although Samson initially resists her inquiries as to the secret of his strength, he finally succumbs to her and reveals that his strength is derived from his wealth of hair. When Miriam arrives to tell Samson that his family and friends are being slaughtered by the Philistines because of him, Samson plans to go to their aid, but is drugged by a jealous Delilah and collapses. Delilah then shears off Samson's hair, and he is taken in chains to Gaza, where he realizes that he has betrayed his God. Ahtur blinds Samson with a heated sword and chains him to the grist mill. As time passes, Delilah is haunted by her betrayal of Samson, whom she loves despite herself, and prays for help. After Samson's hair grows back, he breaks free of his chains and forgives Delilah. Delilah urges him to escape with her, as he will soon be taken to the temple as a trophy to the Philistine god Dagon, and will be chained between two columns and used for sport. However, Samson is bent on avenging his God and warns Delilah to stay away from the temple, as the power of God is with him. All the noblemen and citizens of the city gather at the temple to watch as Samson is tortured and trapped in a net. The Saran accedes to Miriam's plea to release Samson only if Delilah agrees, but Delilah, still jealous of Miriam, refuses. However, Delilah is sickened by Samson's humiliation and torture at the hands of dwarves and Garmiskar, and leaves the Saran's side to help him. Delilah pretends to whip Samson, then at his request, chains him to the massive columns which support the temple. After pledging his eternal love to Delilah, Samson prays to God for strength, and pulls down the columns. As the temple and the statue of Dagon collapse, killing thousands, Samson prays to die with his enemy. Miriam, who witnesses the disaster, tells young Saul that Samson's strength will never die, as his story will be told for a thousand years.