11 March 2014 | rwelker9
for an actor just beginning his professional career, I would rate Antony Hamilton highly for his efforts to make this film a big success.
The movie begins somewhat like the Cecile B DeMile film of 1949 with the big muscular Samson being carried down to the river by soldiers the way that Victor Mature appeared at his mother's home and was first seen from the impressive back of his garments. The 1984 version probably takes liberties with the Bible story though, such as Israeli soldiers being conscripted by the Philistines to patrol their own territory.
Many will criticize the Antony Hamilton version for not having lavish props like the 1949 film but to be fair the 1984 film was MADE FOR TV -- our victor mature film was made for audiences who didn't yet know about television. For example, slaying 1000 soldiers was much more spectacular in the Victor Mature version than in the Hamilton version.
Antony Hamilton is decidedly more muscular and chiseled than the beefy Victor Mature who was not living in our age of nutrition and weightlifting but Hamilton probably achieved his muscularity from sheer exercise more than from the weights -- he was a dancer with the Australian Ballet before becoming a model and then an actor.(Doubtless he was an actor on stage in his ballet roles -- he had to show all his feeling and thoughts on his face as he danced his various roles just as Lou Degni used the acting skills he had learned in his films when he studied opera.
We don't know exactly how Samson fell asleep with Delilah after he had revealed the secret of his great strength and in this film Delilah sensuously pours her wine on her breasts and Samson licks off the drug-laden wine from there and falls asleep, only to find his strength gone and his hair cut when he awakes.
This was perhaps Antony Hamilton's second film role only and he went on to do Mission Imppossible and many other television adventure series. He was closeted while doing Samson and Delilah in the 1980's and even stayed at fellow Australian Belinda Bauers beach house for the filming. eventually he became part of the gay scene who gathered on Coney Island , New York on the weekends and finally succumbed to HIV Aids. I was told that he had little money when he died -- so uncaring the film community seemed to be for him unlike Elizabeth Taylor with Rock Hudson -- so it makes sense that Hamilton went home to Australia to die of Aids-related pneumonia. A very sad end to a breathtakingly exciting career for a perfectly chiseled man.