Samson and Delilah

  • Directors: Cecil B DeMille
  • Producers: Cecil B DeMille
  • Writers: Fredric M Frank, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Harold Lamb, Jesse Lasky Jr
  • Genres: Drama, History, Romance
  • Actors:

Samson, a Hebrew placed under Nazirite vows from birth by his mother, is engaged to a Philistine woman named Semadar. During a fight at their wedding feast, Semadar is killed and Samson becomes a hunted man. Shortly after the death of Semedar, the Saran of Gaza (Sanders) imposes heavy taxes on the Dannites, with the purpose of having Samson betrayed by his own people. Saran’s plan works and frustrated Dannites hand over Samson to the Philistines. News of his capture reaches Saran and Delilah, Semadar’s sister, and they are pleased to hear that the mighty Samson was captured.

Samson is taken by the high priest Ahur (Wilcoxon) and a regiment of Philistine troops. En route back to Gaza, Ahtur decides to taunt Samson. Ahtur stops his march in a valley. Here Samson prays to God, asking for strength against the Philistines. Then the wind starts blowing and thunder crashes. Samson then rips apart his chains and ropes and begins to combat the Philistines. At first he fights in hand-to-hand combat, killing a few Philistines and even toppling Ahtur’s war chariot, breaking Ahthur’s arm in the act. Samson then takes the jawbone of an ass and starts killing more and more Philistines. The sheer power of Samson and his strikes with the jawbone destroy the helmets of the Philistines, crushing their skulls. In the end the Philistine force is destroyed.

However, before he does, he says these final words: “My eyes have seen thy glory, oh Lord. Now let me die with my enemies.” Samson topples the second pillar. Immediately the colossal statue of Dagon, which was supported by those two pillars, begins falling. Seeing their impending doom, many decide to run. Then the whole support of the statue of Dagon crumbles and the statue comes crashing down, falling on the upper levels on the temple, where some were situated. Saran decides not to run despite the warnings of his subjects; he just lifts his wine and says “Delilah” as the statue falls on him. Portions of the crumbling temple begin to fall, crushing many. Some die as they jump from the upper levels to avoid the statue. In the end the temple lies in rubble. Among the rubble lie hundreds of dead Philistines, including Saran and Ahtur. Samson lies among these, having completed his mission.

The King of Kings

  • Directors: Cecil B DeMille
  • Producers: Cecil B DeMille
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Drama, History
  • Actors: H B Warner, Dorothy Cumming, Ernest Torrence, Joseph Schildkraut, James Neill

The film opens as Mary Magdalene entertains many men around her. Upon learning that Judas is with a carpenter she rides out on her chariot drawn by zebras to get him back. Peter is introduced as the Giant apostle, and we see the gospel writer Mark as a child who is healed by Jesus. Our first sight of Jesus is through the eyesight of a little girl, whom he has healed. He is surrounded by a halo. Mary arrives afterwards and talks to Judas, who reveals that he is only staying with Jesus in hopes of being made a king after Jesus becomes the king of kings, and the seven demons are cast out of her in a multiple exposure sequence. Jesus is also shown resurrecting Lazarus and healing the little children. At the very end of the film Jesus is shown ascending inside a house, which then changes into the tops of modern skyscrapers. “I am with you always” appears on the screen. Nearly all of the film’s intertitles are quotes (or paraphrases) from Scripture.

The Ten Commandments

  • Directors: Cecil B DeMille
  • Producers: Cecil B DeMille
  • Writers: Jeanie MacPherson
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Theodore Roberts, Charles De Roche, Estelle Taylor, Richard Dix, Julia Faye, Rod La Rocque

Despite its epic scale, the Moses story only takes up about the first half of the film. After that, the story changes to a modern setting involving the commandments. Two brothers make opposite decisions, one to follow his mother’s teaching of the ten commandments and become a poor carpenter, and the other to break every one of them and rise to the top. The film shows his unchecked immorality to be momentarily gainful, but ultimately disastrous.

A thoughtful contrast is made between the carpenter brother and his mother. The mother reads the story of Moses and emphasizes strict obedience and fear of God. The carpenter, however, reads from the New Testament story of Jesus’ healing of lepers. His emphasis is on a loving and forgiving God. The film also shows the mother’s strict lawful morality to be flawed in comparison to her son’s version.

The Little American

  • Directors: Cecil B DeMille, Joseph Levering
  • Producers: Cecil B DeMille, Mary Pickford
  • Writers: Cecil B DeMille, Clarence J Harris, Jeanie MacPherson
  • Genres: Action, Drama, History, Romance, War
  • Actors: Mary Pickford

Karl Von Austreim (Jack Holt) is a subject of the German Emperor and lives in America with his German father and American mother. He notices a young lady, who is revealed to be a little American, named Angela Moore (Mary Pickford). As she is celebrating her birthday on the Fourth of July of 1914, she receives flowers from the French Count Jules De Destin (Raymond Hatton). They are interrupted by Karl, who also gives her a present. They soon battle for Angela’s attention. To lose his competition, Count Jules arranges for Karl to be sent on the Imperator for Hamburg, where he will have to join his regiment. Angela is crushed when he announces he will have to leave. The next day, Angela reads in the paper the Germans and French are at war and 10,000 Germans have been killed already.

Three months pass by without having heard from Karl. Overseas, Karl is wounded in the war. Germany has its own problems when they find out about spies selling munitions to the enemy. Word spreads out all boats which is thought to be selling munitions to enemies, will be sunk. Angela happens to be on one of those boats, where she was attending a party. While the ship is sinking, passengers try to escape by jumping in the water. Angela saves herself by climbing on a floating table and begs for the attacking captains not to fire at them. She does this with success, as the captains assure her they will send patrol officers to pick them up. Although being tired, Angela is finally saved.

Angela secretly calls the French with the hidden telephone and informs them that there are three gun holders near the chateau. The French prepare themselves and attack the Germans. The Germans realize someone is giving the French information and Karl catches Angela. The fellow soldiers meanwhile are looking for the spy. Karl tries to help Angela flee, but they are caught and Angela is captured. The commander orders the soldiers to shoot Angela. Karl tries to save her, but is now ordered to be shot as well for treason. As they face their death, the French bomb the mansion. Angela and Karl both survive and try to escape the town. However, they are too weak to run and both collapse near a statue of Jesus. The next day, they are found by the French soldiers. They initially order Karl to be shot, but Angela begs them to set him free. They eventually grant her to fly back to America with Karl by her side as a German prisoner.