Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Photo of the Day

Samson (Eric Thal) and Elizabeth Hurley (Delilah) during an intimate moment from SAMSON AND DELILAH TV production

At 3 hours long this production is a tad too long. The 1949 film was already padded to the max with Delilah trying to know Samson's secret for his strength over and over again but this TV production at 3 hours is way too long. I'll be blunt, Elizabeth Hurley was miscast and has difficulty acting in a non-contemporary way. Her scenes are always awkward and the delivery of her lines is wooden. Hedy Lamarr wasn't the greatest of actresses but she was still able to convey what her character needed to convey. Things get better when the story focuses just on the two leads, talking or making love, but still her presence is not a positive thing, not matter how beautiful she is. It's almost the same thing with Eric Thal. The first 2 hours with almost only Thal, which is rather dull and stretched out, Thal not able to shoulder the story by himself but once he becomes the older Samson and his scenes with Hurley, goofy dialogue notwithstanding, his acting improves.

The director was, of all people, experimental filmmaker and famed photographer Nicolas Roeg. Why did he agree to do this beats me. It seems totally out of character. The direction is almost as bland as other made-for-tv productions but Roeg's experimental side shows up several times during the film, with cool camera angles and original staging of the actors in several scenes. These moments were fun to watch, certainly when Delilah was about to cut Samson's hair, which is an improvement over the 1949 film. The way the director shot the actors in bed was, hmm, hot. Decidedly not for the Christian crowd out there.

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