Though Cecil B. De Mille's biblical epics did well at the box office, many critics deplored their sexploitation and poor taste. Samson and Delilah (1949), New York Times critic Bosley Crowther declared, was a "movie for DeMillions if there ever was one," containing "more chariots, more temples, more peacock plumes, more beards and more sex than ever before" -- and Crowther was a friend of De Mille's. Other critics were harsher still. One, for example, simply called the film "the most expensive haircut in history."
["We'll sell it as a story of Faith, story of the power of prayer," De Mille himself declared of the film. "That's for the censors and the women's organizations. For the public it's the hottest love story of all time!"]