Samson and Delilah (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-28-2014, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109939&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
82





Studio and Year: Paramount - 1949
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 133 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD Mono, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Victor Mature, Hedy Lamarr, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Henry Wilcoxon
Directed by: Cecil B. Demille
Music by: Victor Young
Written by: Jesse L. Lasky Jr. & Frederick M.Frank
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 11, 2014







"HISTORY'S MOST BEAUTIFUL AND TREACHEROUS WOMAN!"


Film Synopsis:

AN EPIC TALE OF STRENGTH AND SEDUCTION! When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.


My Take:

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 drives this thrilling and powerful story.

Cecile B. Demille’s passion for the subject matter and ability as a visionary filmmaker is readily apparent and shows in every aspect of the film’s production. I have fond memories of watching Samson and Delilah on television when I was growing up. Like many classic films prior to the advent of home video the only way to see it back then was when it aired which was usually around Easter. I love it for its epic scope, grandeur, totality of production and marvelous cast. The story is naturally timeless and my affection for it hasn’t diminished as I have gotten older. I am moved by it in much the same way now as I was when I was younger. As a biblical story I find it to be majestic and inspirational in its depiction of faith, and divinity. I also find it to be a compelling drama.

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.

Samson and Delilah earned five Academy Award nominations and won for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. It has been a long time since I have watched it and seeing it again during this review proved every bit as satisfying and probably more so thanks to its newly re-mastered high definition video (see below). I am thrilled to own it on Blu-ray and am glad to be able share it with my children.


Parental Guide:

The film contains mild thematic material.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 74

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency effects: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element): N/A



Video: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692


Samson and Delilah comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD Mono that has an average bitrate of 800 kbps.

In 2012 the film underwent a 4k Digital Restoration and the results are impressive. Colors are tonally balanced with lustrous primaries, clean rendering and delineated secondary hues that all look terrific. Fleshtones are appreciably lifelike with discernible texture and natural depiction. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is noteworthy. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual depth but most reveal subtle degrees of refinement and fidelity is never in question. Resolution is excellent as interior shots of the cavernous halls, lodgings and sets featured in the story offer clarity, detail and dimension that belie the film’s 60 plus year old age.

Of course this also made the faux scenery and dated special effects shots more obvious but that is to be expected. Blacks are noise free, stable and fairly deep. Contrast and brightness are balanced well which enliven bright scenes and colors while maintaining an appreciable level of visibility and dimension during darker segments. Grain is present although minimally inconsistent which appears attributable to the restoration process. The effects are not compromising to fidelity in my opinion. Paramount is to be commended on this excellent and faithful high definition presentation that is sure to please even discerning fans.

The monaural soundtrack is presented in Dolby TrueHD lossless and while it won’t knock your socks off I found it delivered the components in the original recording beautifully. The auditory is clean and free of unwanted clicks, pops or background hiss. Dialogue intelligibility is excellent as it is never lost amidst the other sounds coming through the central channel.

Bonus Features:

  • Theatrical trailer




Final Thoughts:

Samson and Delilah is among Cecil B. Demille’s greatest and most recognizable films and is a classic piece of American Cinema that is beloved by people the world over. This Blu-ray Edition from Paramount Home Entertainment features re-mastered high definition video that presents this film in an entirely new light. The lack of supplemental material should not stop film enthusiasts from acquiring this marvelous film as it has never looked better for viewing at home.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-28-2014, 09:37 AM
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"It's not 'Hedy,' it's 'Hedley.' Hedley Lamarr!" Now... "I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperadoes, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, s***-kickers and Methodists." Sheesh! Talk about treacherous! biggrin.gif

Another sword and sandal classic. I'll have to check it out.
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Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-28-2014, 11:00 AM
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I didn't even know this was coming (apparently Italy got a BD release ahead of NA)...I don't think I've ever seen this, and my religious-epic collection could use one more film... biggrin.gif
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...and I need your sweet love, Latina T-Mobile girl!

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-28-2014, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill C. View Post

I didn't even know this was coming (apparently Italy got a BD release ahead of NA)...I don't think I've ever seen this, and my religious-epic collection could use one more film... biggrin.gif

I'm still hoping for a BD of SODOM & GOMORRAH. Now THAT'S a movie I'd like to see re-made. Instead, we get POMPEII.

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post #5 of 11 Old 02-28-2014, 01:20 PM
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That'd be a bit too on the nose, I think, for most of the hardcore religious types for a feature film nowadays. We'll just have to settle for the segment from The Bible.

...and I need your sweet love, Latina T-Mobile girl!

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post #6 of 11 Old 03-01-2014, 06:29 AM
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The lack of supplemental material should stop film enthusiasts from acquiring this marvelous film as it has never looked better for viewing at home.

Ralph, Did you mean? The lack of supplemental material should NOT stop film enthusiasts from acquiring this marvelous film as it has never looked better for viewing at home.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-01-2014, 12:23 PM
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Ahhh! what a great film, if your a kid! We loved these movies, all of them! Vic M was great in that part! One must remember: NO CGI! They made these epics using real people and real animals. That alone is worth owning the classic epic movies from that time.
I'm so sick of CGI effects! They don't even come close to realism.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-01-2014, 09:14 PM
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I'll be definitely be picking this up

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post #9 of 11 Old 03-02-2014, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billymerritt View Post

The lack of supplemental material should stop film enthusiasts from acquiring this marvelous film as it has never looked better for viewing at home.

Ralph, Did you mean? The lack of supplemental material should NOT stop film enthusiasts from acquiring this marvelous film as it has never looked better for viewing at home.

Greetings,

Yes, that is how it should read. Correction made. Thanks..! smile.gif


Regards,

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-03-2014, 08:59 AM
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Thanks Ralph looking forward to this.
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-04-2014, 04:05 PM
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I was only walking round HMV last week thinking about this very film.. awesome.
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