De Mille, Cecil B

De Mille, Cecil B


Born Aug. 12, 1881, in Ashfield; died Jan. 21, 1959, in Hollywood. American director and producer.

De Mille studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. From 1902 to 1910 he was an actor on the stage. He was one of the organizers of the Paramount Pictures Corporation (1912). He produced comedies and society dramas. The success of the films Male and Female (1919), Why Change Your Wife? (1920), and Forbidden Fruit (1921) was due to the playing up of sex and the advertising of fashionable clothes and high society manners. The eclectic, pseudomonumental style of his films was conclusively defined in the biblical “hits” The Ten Commandments (1923) and King of Kings (1927). In the 1930’s and 1940’s, De Mille became one of the outstanding masters of Hollywood, producing works notable for their professionalism and the high level of acting. From the end of the 1940’s, De Mille again made films on biblical subjects and spectacular “supercolossi” (Samson and Delilah, 1949; The Greatest Show on Earth, 1952; The Ten Commandments, 1956).


Mourlet, M. Cecil B. De Mille. [Paris, 1968.]