Samson and Delilah, Groucho Marx and breast size, Hail Caesar!
24 Hours of Victor Mature on Twitter…
An amusing, but inaccurate, post from Ravi Swami @oshunoxtra from London: ” – as Victor Mature once said, he had bigger boobs than the heroine…:)”
…as much as I would like to attribute it to my Dad…I tweeted back that:
Groucho Marx was indeed the author of this fine quote. At the 1949 premiere of Samson and Delilah (starring Victor Mature, Hedy Lamarr, and Angela Lansbury), Marx was asked by the film’s director, Cecil B. DeMille, what he thought of the epic picture. Marx stated: “Well, there’s just one problem C.B. No picture can hold my interest where the leading man’s tits are bigger than the leading lady’s!”
Ravi Swami’s response: “… – thank you for the correction of what is an immortal & pithy quote :)…”
Today, someone tweeted that VM starred with Deborah Kerr and Peter Ustinov in Quo Vadis (1951)….but that wasn’t VM…it was Robert Taylor.
A common misconception about VM, is that he starred in just about every sword and sandal movie ever made…:-)
Victor Mature has become synonymous with Biblical/sword and sandal films (so much so that even George Clooney is talking about how he used VM’s perceived film persona as inspiration for his recent role in ‘Hail, Caesar!”) Yet, less than a fifth of VM’s films were in this genre. Over half his films were in the more intimate genres of noir and western which captured VM doing his best and most subtle work.
Why, then, is he considered the king of high sandals and short tunics?
This is my explanation: First, for more than twenty years, starting back in the late 1960’s right on into the 1980’s, before everyone had cable, back when the entire United States watched the same few channels, The Robe (1953) and/or Samson and Delilah (1949) were always showcased around Easter time. People grew up seeing Victor Mature playing Demetrius and Samson…and for many, this was their main (if not only) exposure both to Victor Mature and to the Biblical/sword and sandal genre of the 1950’s… Second, nowadays, most people get their classic film education from TCM who tends to only show films from the MGM catalogue because that is what they own. Thus, many of Victor Mature’s terrific ’40’s and ’50’s films, owned by 20th Century Fox and other studios, don’t get exposed to a large modern audience, and have yet to become part of the modern film vernacular like Samson and Delilah and The Robe once were.
“I’m no actor and I’ve got 64 pictures to prove it!” – Victor Mature