• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as current film releases with spiritual significance, and a few bits and pieces on the Bible.

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    Films about Samson

    Having discussed DeMille's Samson and Delilah (1949), and the version by the Bible Collection recently, I thought I would round up a list of all the films about Samson I could find info for. There were A LOT more than I had bargained for! My main three sources for this was the Internet Movie Database, Campbell and Pitts's "The Bible on Film", and Tyler Williams's online The Old Testament on Film list. Campbell and Pitts's book was published in 1980 and thus pre-dates the internet. It lists only 9 films, the first seven of which are from the silent era. The IMDB lists a good deal more, but many of these have nothing to do with the biblical Samson. Tyler's list includes 20 films which should all be pretty reliable. By combining these three lists there are 49 films which have some relation to the biblical Samson:
    (1903) Samson et Dalila
    (1908) Samson
    (1908) Samson
    (1908) Samson moderne
    (1911) Samson and Delilah
    (1914) Samson
    (1914) Samson [and Delilah]
    (1915) Samson
    (1918) Sansone contro i Filistei
    (1919) Samson
    (1920) Sansone e i rettili umani
    (1922) Samson and Delilah
    (1922) Samson und Delila
    (1927) Samson and Delilah
    (1927) Samson at Calford
    (1936) Samson
    (1948) Samsun el kabir [The Mighty Samson]
    (1949) Samson and Delilah
    (1960) Maciste nella valle dei re [Son of Samson]
    (1961) Sansone [Samson contre Hercule]
    (1961) Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World
    (1962) El Santo contras las mujeres vampiro, [Samson vs. the Vampire Women]
    (1962) Furia di Ercole, La [Fury of Samson]
    (1962) Maciste contro lo sceicco [Samson Against the Sheik]
    (1963) Santo en el museo de cera [Samson in the Wax Museum]
    (1963) Ercole sfida Sansone [Hercules, Samson & Ulysses]
    (1963) Samson and the Slave Queen
    (1963) Sansone contro i pirati [Samson Against the Pirates]
    (1964) Samson
    (1964) Ercole, Sansone, Maciste e Ursus gli invincibili [Samson and the Mighty Challenge]
    (1964) Maciste alla corte dello zar [Samson vs. the Giant King]
    (1964) Sansone e il tesoro degli Incas
    (1964) Maciste nelle miniere di re Salomone [Samson in King Solomon's Mines]
    (1966) I Grandi condottieri [Great Leaders of the Bible-Gideon and Samson]
    (1967) Samson & Goliath
    (1975) Stevie, Samson and Delilah
    (1981) Samson et Dalila
    (1981) Samson et Dalila
    (1984) Samson and Delilah
    (1985) Samson and Delilah
    (1985) Samson & Delilah
    (1987) Samson dan Delilah
    (1988) Melech Hasalim [Magic Samson]
    (1990) Samson & Goliath
    (1991) Aaj Ka Samson
    (1995) Samson le magnifique
    (1996) Samson and Delilah
    (1999) Samson & Delilah
    (2002) Samson et Dalila
    It is immediately obvious that whilst some of these films include the name Samson in their title, very little of the biblical character is retained except his super-strength. Titles such as Samson vs. the Giant King, Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World and my personal favourites Samson vs. the Vampire Women and the intriguingly titled Samson in the Wax Museum clearly have very little to do with the Book of Judges. There are at least 14 such films out of this 49. But that still leaves an incredible 35 films about Samson. Some of these maybe shorts or cartoons, and some of them may not have anything to do with the biblical Samson, such as Andrzej Wajda's 1961 film Samson which I removed from the list. Even so, with the obvious exception of Jesus, I can think of no other character from the bible who has appeared in more films than this.

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