DeMille, Cecil B.


DeMille, Cecil B.

▪ American film director
in full  Cecil Blount DeMille  
born August 12, 1881, Ashfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
died January 21, 1959, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
 American motion-picture producer-director, whose use of spectacle attracted vast audiences and made him a dominant figure in Hollywood for almost five decades.

      He was the son of the playwright Henry Churchill DeMille. After studying at the Pennsylvania Military College and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he began his career in the theatre as an actor in 1900. He was soon collaborating with his brother, the playwright William Churchill DeMille.

      In 1913 DeMille joined Jesse Lasky, Samuel Goldwyn (Goldwyn, Samuel), and Arthur Freed (Freed, Arthur) in forming the Jesse Lasky Feature Play Company, which subsequently became Paramount Pictures (Paramount Pictures Corporation). DeMille's own first film was a western, The Squaw Man (released 1914), one of the first full-length feature films produced in Hollywood. His ability to give the public what it wanted soon made him a “name” director in the days when directors were virtually unknown. From 1919 to 1923 DeMille made comedies that reflected the postwar freedom from moral restraint, but then he began to produce films dealing with biblical subjects and featuring spectacular crowd scenes and sets. Among these were The Ten Commandments (1923) and The King of Kings (1927), which, it is estimated, was seen by 800 million people.

      DeMille was known for his strong and assertive personality: he was the first director to use a megaphone on the set and the first to install a loudspeaker system for issuing orders. He was also noted for his right-wing political views and his strenuous opposition to labour unions. In later decades DeMille concentrated on large productions, culminating in Samson and Delilah (1949), The Greatest Show on Earth (which won the Academy Award for the best picture of 1952), and a second version of The Ten Commandments (1956), his 70th and last film. His other major films included The Sign of the Cross (1932) and Union Pacific (1939). From 1936 to 1945 DeMille appeared on radio in a popular weekly series of adaptations of recent motion pictures.

      Although many critics dismissed DeMille's films as devoid of artistic merit, he was conspicuously successful in a genre—the epic—that he made distinctively his own. His numerous honours include a special Academy Award (1949) for “brilliant showmanship” and the Irving G. Thalberg Award (1952).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • DEMILLE, CECIL B. — DEMILLE, CECIL B. (1881–1959), U.S. film producer and director. DeMille was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts. His parents, Henry and Beatrice, were playwrights. His father was a minister, for whom his mother, born an English Jew, converted. After… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • DeMille, Cecil B(lount) — (12 ago. 1881, Ashfield, Mass., EE.UU.–21 ene. 1959, Hollywood, Cal.). Director y productor de cine estadounidense. En 1913 se asoció con Jesse Lasky (1880–1958) y Samuel Goldwyn para formar la compañía precursora de Paramount Communications. Su… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • DeMille, Cecil B(lount) — born Aug. 12, 1881, Ashfield, Mass., U.S. died Jan. 21, 1959, Hollywood, Calif. U.S. film director and producer. In 1913 he joined Jesse Lasky (1880–1958) and Samuel Goldwyn to form the forerunner of Paramount Communications. Their first venture …   Universalium

  • Cecil B. DeMille — Born Cecil Blount DeMille August 12, 1881(1881 08 12) Ashfield, Massachusetts, United States Died January 21, 1959(1959 01 21) (aged 77) Hollywood, California, United States …   Wikipedia

  • Cecil B. DeMille — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Cecil B. DeMille Cecil B. DeMille en una foto publicitaria de la Paramount Nombre real Cecil Blount DeMille …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cecil B. deMille — Naissance 12 août 1881 Ashfield, Massachusetts, États Unis Nationalité(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cecil B DeMille — Cecil B. DeMille Cecil B. DeMille Naissance 12 août 1881 Ashfield, Massachusetts, États Unis Nationalité(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cecil Blount DeMille — Cecil B. DeMille Cecil B. DeMille Naissance 12 août 1881 Ashfield, Massachusetts, États Unis Nationalité(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cecil Blount deMille — Cecil B. DeMille Cecil B. DeMille Naissance 12 août 1881 Ashfield, Massachusetts, États Unis Nationalité(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cecil B. De Mille — Cecil B. DeMille Cecil B. DeMille Naissance 12 août 1881 Ashfield, Massachusetts, États Unis Nationalité(s) …   Wikipédia en Français


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