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*V AS IN BARNUM 289 Crowther, a White Plains conservative with a dazzling grasp of the classics, had no inkling of what awaited him. DeMille began by saying that he seemed to see a parallel in Samson's destruction and the present state of the world. "The free world has a Samson that is pulling the temple down on its head," the producer pointed out, adding that the menace was Communism. Crowther smiled goodnaturedly. DeMille observed that the opposition to Samson and Delilah appeared to him to be entirely from Communist sources. "I can't agree with you that only Reds disliked the picture," Crowther said quickly, smiling. '"Perhaps I didn't like it" The interview ended on a decidedly frigid note and as soon as Crowther was gone DeMille called in one of his staff. "The New Jork Times review says Samson and Delilah is in bad taste," he said. The aide frowned. "You seem a little uncertain. It does say the picture is in bad taste, doesn't it?" DeMille persisted. "Well, I don't seem to recall it...." DeMille brushed the remark aside. "I think you will find that other papers around the world pick up what the Times says—Australia, Paris, Belgium, London. I have noticed that the foreign reviews say Samson and Delilah is in bad taste. They are a Communist ring and if you can check the foreign critics I know that's what you'll find. It's a Red band circling the earth, and this is one of the ways they're fighting me." DeMille instructed the assistant to read every Samson and Delilah review in this country and abroad, then check the poli- tics of those critics who refer in any manner to the picture being in bad taste. For weeks the assistant pored over scores of reviews and was unable to uncover that specific reference in The New Yorfc Times or in any other American paper.