Cecil B. de Mille


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De Mille, Cecil B.

(Cecil Blount De Mille), 1881–1959, American movie director and producer, b. Ashfield, Mass. In 1914, together with Samuel GoldwynGoldwyn, Samuel
, 1882–1974, American film producer, b. Warsaw, Poland. Goldwyn arrived in the United States in 1896, and with Jesse L. Lasky and Cecil B. De Mille he organized the Jesse Lasky Feature Photoplay Company, coproducing The Squaw Man (1913).
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, he made the first feature-length film in Hollywood, The Squaw Man. The following year he came into prominence with Carmen, the first of his "spectacle" films. These were marked by their epic style and theatricality, by their mass crowd scenes, and often by their biblical themes. In 1953 he won an Academy Award for The Greatest Show on Earth. His biggest and most popular production, The Ten Commandments (1956), was a remake of his 1923 film. Among his other "spectacle" films are King of Kings (1927), The Crusades (1935), Samson and Delilah (1949), and Union Pacific (1952).

Bibliography

See his autobiography, ed. by D. Hayne (1959, repr. 1985); biographies by C. Higham (1980), S. Louvish (2008), and S. Eyman (2010); study by G. Ringgold and D. Bodeen (1969); G. Ringgold and D. Bodeen, The Complete Films of Cecil B. De Mille (1985).

De Mille, Cecil B. (Blount)

(1881–1959) film director; born in Ashfield, Mass. He made his Broadway acting debut in 1900. As a director, he made the first Hollywood picture, The Squaw Man (1914) becoming the creative force behind Paramount and a major contributor to Hollywood's rise to eminence. He became the master of the film spectacle, with moral themes enlivened by violence and sex. Two of his greatest triumphs were The Ten Commandments (1923 and remade in 1956) and The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). In addition to producing and directing at least 70 films (and being involved in many others), he directed and hosted "Lux Radio Theatre" (1936–45), which featured adaptations of movies and plays.
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Past recipients include: Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra, John Ford and Cecil B.