Movie 4min

A Modern Samson (1907)

Original title: Un moderno Sansone
Not rated.

Director Gaston Velle
Country Italy
Language Italian
(Original) Un moderno Sansone
(Country Spesific) Ein moderner Samson
(Country Spesific) En moderne Samson
Based on the Bible Black and White Comedy Modern Adaption Samson and Delilah Short Silent Film Strength

Samson of ancient history was strong until his locks were shorn by Delilah, so was the modern Samson of our story, which opens at a country fair, where the usual paraphernalia attendant at a country fair is apparent. Our attention is turned to the strong men's tent where three herculean fellows who lift heavy weights, showing the strength of their muscles, are challenging all to compete with them. Our modern Samson, with hair that had not been trimmed by a barber for many months, puts in an appearance, and, listening to the challenge, he there and then agrees to accept the same, and, followed by his wife and all their country friends, he enters into the tent. Placing himself in the center of an admiring group, he asks for number one to come out, when the man who was lifting the two-hundred pound weight comes to him. They shake hands, and to the great astonishment of the Strong man, Samson, with scarcely any effort, lays him in the dust. The second is treated in like manner, and the third, a large, herculean figure, strides forward as though he would make mincemeat of Samson, proceeds to use his strength, but to his great amazement, he finds himself whirled round and round by Samson, and when he comes to his feet, he stalks off acknowledging his defeat The reserve man now comes along and is served in a like manner. No greater laurels are now to be won and Samson is lifted high on shoulders and carried out into the fair grounds to a café He treats his wife to all that is best, but incidentally upsets a table at the rear of his seat, and jumping up to apologize, he squirts the seltzer water all over his wife, and the waiter, who has come upon the scene, and who begins to retaliate, but Samson merely puts out his hand and his assailants go down like ninepins. They call the police, complaining of their damaged bodies, and give him a charge, but at a push, one on each side, down go the policemen, and Samson takes to his heels, leading his pursuers a pretty chase, throwing down the policemen, and all who come within reach of his hands. He seems to bear a charmed life, for every one who touches his person seems to go over, but by force of numbers he is finally overpowered, and is led to a cell. This does not suit Samson at all, who at once commences to investigate how he can get out. Trying the door, he finds it a little too strong for him, so he turns his attention to the bars of the window, which he proceeds to bend as though they were laths in his hand. Tearing down the upright bars, he now takes hold of the cross bars, and, gripping one of these, he pulls and half the wall comes with it into his cell. The aperture now being large enough, he jumps out of his cell. The police, hearing the noise, opening the door of the cell, find that their prisoner has gone, and seeing the aperture in the wall, rush after him, but he escapes them all. Finally reaching his home, he appears before his astonished wife, whom he orders to prepare his dinner. She resents his imperiousness, and he proceeds to force her to obey his commends. She puts before him his food, and after eating and drinking he falls asleep, in which condition he is found by his wife. She, like Delilah of old, taking a pair of scissors in her hand, proceeds to clip off the flowing tresses of Samson, and letting them strew the floor, awaits results. By-and-by Samson awakes, and seeing the floor covered with his hair, is about to belabor his wife, but he finds that in the loss of his hair his strength is also gone and the tables are turned. The poor, helpless wife proceeds to wreak vengeance upon him for all the ignominious wrongs she had received at his hands. Samson, not fully realizing his condition, takes hold of a chair to beat his wife, but has not even strength to lift that, and so he becomes helpless as a babe in her hands, and receives his due and just castigation from her hands.

Source: The Moving Picture World, September 14, 1907

Samson is a provincial who arrived in Paris with his wife to visit the capital. Finding himself passing through a fairground, he publicly wants to measure his strength against that of many hut fighters and is victorious, receiving thunderous applause. At a coffee shop, he comes to an argument with the waiter and gives new proof of his truly exceptional strength, but his fury is calmed by some guards, who after a lot of effort managed to take him to prison. Closed within the cramped cell, our hero miraculously tears down the walls and walks away.

Returning to the house after many hilarious events, he tries to take a rest, not without having first beaten his wife, who exasperatedly thinks of taking revenge on Samson by cutting his hair which is the secret of her ineluctable strength. When Samson awakens, he feels weak and weak and the bride takes advantage of it to administer a good correction.

Source: Catalogo Cines, Rome, January-April 1907 - Translated

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Gaston Velle - Director
Filoteo Alberini - Cinematography