Bruce Macdonald’s starred US movie hit “Samson” is now available in the cinema version (FSK 16) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on Blu-ray, DVD and VoD portals. The film, released on the label “M-Square Pictures”, is a magnificent mix of the history adventures “The Ten Commandments” and “300”. “Samson” is visually stunning and filled with…
The film “Samson” was directed by Bruce MacDonald, who most recently directed the surfer biopic “The Perfect Wave“. In the bible epic play i.a. the Hollywood stars Billy Zane (“Back to the Future“, “Twin Peaks“, “Titanic“), Rutger Hauer (“Blade Runner“, “Sin City“) and Lindsay Wagner (“The Seven Million Dollar Woman“). The film, which made it into the top 10 official box office charts in the US and is distributed by Universal in many other countries, appears physically and digitally on the M-Square Pictures label in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
1170 BC: The people of Israel are living desperately under the iron bondage of the Philistines, waiting for a Savior. Samson seems to be this Redeemer: even his birth is a miracle, because his mother actually could not have children. But an angel announced that she will have a child whose hair must never be cut, and that he will become a hero of Israel. That’s the way it is, and the long-haired kid becomes the young Samson (Taylor James), who slowly becomes aware of his unimaginable powers and then, as the head of Israel – as Judge – keeps the Philistines in check.
But Samson is not only strong and courageous, he also has weaknesses. He likes puzzles, even though he often loses. And he likes beautiful women, mostly those of the enemy, the Philistines, which always gets him in trouble. When he confides the secret of his enormous power to his wife Delila (Caitlin Leahy), she betrays him and the cunning Rallah (Jackson Rathbone) can capture Samson. Samson is imprisoned, blinded and forced to do slave labor. But that is not yet Samson’s end …
About Taylor James:
Taylor James was born on January 26, 1980 in Sevenoaks, England. In the years 1980 to 1986, he lived with his family in South Africa, before returning to the UK to attend school. Taylor James attended secondary school in Northamptonshire from 1991 to 1997 before studying drama at Northampton College for two years. In 2000, Taylor James was awarded a scholarship at the London Studio Center, where he continued his studies for another three years. Upon graduation, Taylor began his career on stage performing in many London musicals such as “Guys and Dolls” and “Footloose“. Taylor James starred in 2007 in his first feature film “Mamma Mia!” for Universal with.
In 2008, Taylor continued his work on stage with pieces such as “Danton’s Death” and “Duchess of Malfi” and more recently “Romeo and Juliet” for Sir Kenneth Branagh’s theater group. In 2018 he had his breakthrough as a film actor with the lead role in “Samson“.
About Billy Zane:
William George Zane, better known as Billy Zane, was born on February 24, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois. His parents were amateur actors and ran a medical college. He spent his high school years at Francis Parker High School in Chicago. Soon after graduation from high school, Billy Zane decided to go to California to try his luck as an actor. Within three weeks, he received his first engagement in the movie “Back to the Future” (1985) and played the role of the match, one of Biff Tannen’s hitters. This role he later took over again in the sequel “Back to the Future II” (1989). Then, after a few more minor roles, he scored several major roles in television movies, such as the villain Hughie Warriner in the Australian thriller “Deathly silence” (1989), where he also met his future wife Lisa Collins, with whom he was married from 1989 to 1995.
In 1990 he also starred in “Memphis Belle,” a film version of a 1944 documentary film about a bomber in World War II. In 1991, he appeared as John Justice Wheeler in several episodes of David Lynch‘s television series “Twin Peaks” (1990) and starred as Caledon Hockley in “Titanic” (1997). Shortly thereafter, he appeared in the television movie “Cleopatra” (1999), where he also met his future fiancée, the actress Leonor Varela, from which he later split up again. In 2005, he had a recurring role as poetry-loving ex-demon Drake in the television series “Charmed – Witching Witches“, in 2012 he starred in “The Scorpion King 3 – Fight for the Throne” and in 2018 he thrilled as Elliot in the Main role of the film “Lucid“.
Original title: Samson
Director: Bruce Macdonald
Screenplay: Jason Baumgardner, Zach Smith
Book: Jason Baumgardner, Zach Smith, Galen Gilbert, Timothy Ratajczak
Actors & actresses: Taylor James, Billy Zane, Lindsay Wagner, Caitlin Leahy, Rutger Hauer, Jackson Rathbone, Brandon Auret, Frances Sholto-Douglas, Greg Kriek, Califf Ryan, Danny Keough, Sven Ruygrok, Andre Jacobs, Garth Collins, Matthew Dylan Robert, James Ryan, Casey Dolan, Lily Spangenberg, Caroline Midgley, Alex-Connor Sawyer, Hennie Bosman, Amit Raz, Dylan Williams, Gordon van der Spuy, Chad Phillips, Martin Van Geems, Rehane Abrahams, Riaz Solker, Dale Jackson, Akram Allie, Duane Behrens, Dylan Skews, Joe Vaz Joe Vaz, Scott George
Producer: Jim Ameduri, Vlokkie Gordon, Elizabeth Hatcher-Travis, Craig Jones, Bruce Macdonald, Michael Scott, David A.R. White, Alysoun Wolfe, Brittany Yost
Coproducer: Ian Campbell, Vance Null, Jackson Rathbone
Cinematography: Trevor Michael Brown, Brian Shanley
Sound: Barry Donnelly, Richard Hocks, Geoff Kock, Charl Mostert, Chips Paul, Warren Santiago
Cutting: Tim Goodwin, Vance Null, Gabriel Sabloff
Special effects: Delon Baatjes, Doug Hardy, Sean Parker, Julio Scholze
Visual effects: Robert Crisp, Janna Daniel, Jesse Daniel, Daniel P. Jones, Kyle Maier, Nick Siebold, Dustin Solomon, Hilton Treves
Stunts: Nathan Barris, Tamer Burjaq, Bjorn De Klerk, Matt Esof, Francois Groenewald, Dan Hirst, Dean Johnson, Daniel Oliver Jones, Malin Kirjonen, Scott Kirkbride, Ernest St.Clair, Matthew Van Leeve, Ian Williamson
Costumes: Dihantus Engelbrecht
Music: Will Musser, Pancho Burgos-Goizueta
Production companies: Pure Flix Productions, Boomtown films
Year of productions: 2018
Countries: South Africa, USA
Length: 110 Min
Rating: FSK 16 (Uncut version)
Aspect ratio: 2.35 : 1
Sound: Surround Sound 5.1
Filmlabel: M-Square Pictures
Uncut version (Germany):
Blu-Ray & DVD release date: October 11, 2019
VoD release date: October 11, 2019
About Caitlin Leahy:
Chicago-born Caitlin Leahy is the middle of five children of Matt and Ellen Leahy. She received a BA in Theater at Columbia College in her hometown. Shortly thereafter, Caitlin moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in film and television. She works as a model and starred in, among others, the fourth season of HBO’s “Eastbound and Down” as well as in advertising for companies such as Bentley Motors, Slot Brewing Co, Boat Barn, Walmart. In the movie “Samson” she plays the female lead.
About Rutger Hauer:
Rutger Hauer (*1944) grew up in Amsterdam as the son of the acting teachers Arend and Teunke Hauer. After school, he first worked as an electrician and carpenter, while he took acting lessons in an evening school. He then graduated from the Academy for Theater and Dance and was a member of a troupe for five years until he was cast in the lead role in Paul Verhoeven‘s hit television series “Floris“. In 1973, he gave him the lead role in the film “Turkish Delight“, which also became a success outside the Netherlands. He received his first international role in 1975 in the British thriller “The Wilby Conspiracy” alongside Michael Caine and Sidney Poitier. After further films in the Netherlands, three of them again under the direction of Paul Verhoeven, Hauer played in 1981 for the first time in an American film, in “Nighthawks” alongside Sylvester Stallone. This film, but especially the following year’s “Blade Runner” by Ridley Scott made him known internationally. His portrayal of replica Roy Batty in Blade Runner was highly praised by critics and is considered one of his best roles.
Another highlight of his career was the movie “The Day of the Hawk” (1985) with Michelle Pfeiffer. He was a serial killer in the cult movie “Hitcher the Highway Killer.” In 1988, he received a Golden Globe Award for “Best Support by An Actor in Supporting Role in a Series for his role in a series or Motion Picture Made for TV” for his role in “Escape from Sobibor“,
After acting in British and US television productions in the 1990s, Hauer made a movie comeback in the early 2000s with roles in “Confessions – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” “Sin City,” and “Batman Begins”, for which he again received the recognition of the critics. His career spans more than 150 film and television productions. Rutger Hauer died on 19 July 2019 a short, serious illness.
About Lindsay Wagner:
Lindsay Wagner was born in Los Angeles in 1949. She moved to Portland, Oregon, with her mother after the parents separated, where she gained her first acting experience at the school. After graduating, she financed her studies, among other things as a model and received first small roles in television productions.
She became known in the critically acclaimed role of Susan Kingsfield in “The Time of Exams” (1973). She came to international fame in “The Seven Million Dollars Woman” (1976), for which she also won an Emmy as “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series” in 1977. Her strong influence in the media and her desire to use it as a way to communicate ideas to help people on her personal journey are reflected in so many of the films she starred in as “The Doctor’s Incredible Journey Meg Laurel” (1979),” A Woman Cries for Life” (1983), “The Moral Dilemma on the Death Penalty” (1983); “The Trail of Fear” (1986), “847 – Flight of Dread” (1988), “Sold and Humiliated” (1995) and “Four Extraordinary Women” (2006). Due to the number of these successful productions, she has often been referred to as the “Queen of Television Movies“.
After many other film roles, especially in television films, she received the 1985 Genii Award as “Performer of the Year”. Lindsay is also co-author of bestsellers of vegetarian cookbooks. She has also worked extensively on human rights, domestic violence, animal welfare and the environment.
About Jackson Rathbone:
Jackson Rathbone became internationally known with the role of Jasper Hale in the films of the “Twilight Saga” (2008-2012). Jackson Rathbone spent his youth in Norway and Texas (USA) among other countries. He graduated from the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy with a high school diploma before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in drama and music. As an actor, Jackson Rathbone has appeared in over twenty feature films to date and has also starred in several television programs as the lead actor, guest star, and in recurring roles.
He also works as a producer, producing several indie movies and the web series “Aim High“, supported by Warner Brothers. In 2015 he wrote, directed and acted in the web series “Couch Surfing“.
As a musician and songwriter Jackson Rathbone has released several albums with his band “100 Monkeys“. He is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano, bass, drums, harmonica, ukulele and banjo) and has released many songs under his name in which he plays all the instruments himself and sings. Jackson Rathbone currently lives in Los Angeles.
The biblical figure Samson:
Samson (also Samson) lived, according to the Old Testament, in the time of the Judges when the Israelites were subjugated by the Philistines because they “disapproved of the Lord.” The angel of the Lord prophesied to his mother, who was barren, the birth of a son who would redeem the people of Israel and whose hair should never be shorn. Samson was educated and trained according to the rules of the Nazarites. As a young man, Samson left his village to visit the cities of the Philistines, where he fell in love with a woman from the city of Timna, whom he married despite the opposition of his parents, who favored a young Israelite. On the way to his parents-in-law, ask for the hand of his bride, he was attacked by a lion, whom he killed by tearing it in half.
At the wedding celebration, Samson proposes a puzzle competition to the thirty philistine bridesmaids. If they solved the mystery in the seven days that the festival lasted, he would give them thirty pieces of fine linen and just as many clothes. If not, they would owe Samson the same. The puzzle was about his fight with the lion, of which only he knew. For three days, the Philistines present could not solve the puzzle. Then they threatened Samson’s bride to burn her and her parents’ house, if she does not tell them the answer. On her tearful plea, on the seventh day he betrayed her the solution, which she in turn told the Philistines. Samson could not redeem his promised commitment, so he went to the nearby Ashkelon, killed thirty men there and robbed their clothes to settle his stake in the puzzle contest.
In his absence, his wife was married to another philistine man. When Samson wanted to see her, his father-in-law refused, but offered him to marry her younger, more beautiful sister. Samson and theIsraelites took revenge, chased three hundred foxes, tied them together at their tails, lit the tails, chased them into the fields, and thus burned the entire crop. In revenge, the Philistines now burned Samson’s wife and her father’s house and its inhabitants. Samson then withdrew after a bloody conflict with the Philistines in the protection of the cliff of Etam in Judah.
A Philistine army set out to demand the release of Samson from Judah’s residents. 3,000 Judah men made their way to Etam, handcuffing Samson and handing it over to the Philistines. However, at the handover, he tore the ropes and killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. After that, Samson was Israel’s judge for twenty years. One day, Samson traveled to Gaza and fell in love with a young woman, Delila.The Philistines told Delila to find out the secret of Samson’s strength. When she found out that his strength was in his hair, she revealed the secret to the Philistines. When Samson slept in her lap, he was shorn by her, then captured and blinded by the Philistines. However, when his hair grew again, he regained his strength and brought down the Philistine Temple, killing himself and 3,000 Philistines.
Comments on the movie
“This is a poignant, action-packed portrait of Samson that should not be missed.” (Thechristianfilmreview.com)
“A captivating saga that has been impressively done for the big screen.” (Lee Strobel, author of “The Fall of Jesus”)
“An epic movie that reflects many of today’s fears, even though it plays thousands of years ago.” (Andy Peterson, author and founder of “Lion King Ministries”)
“Powerful! This is the historically known story of faith and strength, dramatically staged.” (Brad Bloom, editor of The Faith and Fitness Magazine)
Equipment and technical data
Picture format: DVD WS 2.31: 1 anamorphic; Blu-Ray WS 2.31: 1 / 1080p 23.976 | Total runtime Blu-Ray 106 min, DVD 102 min | Sound formats: German DD 5.1, English DD 5.1 | Subtitle: german | Bonus Materials: Original Trailer, Behind the Scenes Featurette “The Heart of Samson” (German subtitled); Music video “Home”; Music video “Strength and Victory”, trailer show | FSK 16