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Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille was a director known around the world. His name above the title was as much a draw as were his stars and he ranks among the many innovative directors of his time. He was one of the few directors who survived the transition from silent to sound films and maintained his popularity throughout his lifetime.
Prior to working on this section, DeMille was never one of my favorite directors. Watching his films was almost like a “guilty pleasure” for me. While I’ve seen most of his sound films and some of his silents and see them again and again, I never felt that his work was truly art and therefore, in my mind, passed them off as just “OK” and not really important. With his over melodramatic stories, they somehow seemed dated and many of his characters were comical and the acting in his films wooden.
However, once I decided to do this tribute, I began to discover how great a director he really was. The more I learned, the more fascinating he became. Most of the major innovations he made were certainly during the silent era, but even in his sound films he found new and inventive ways to tell his story. A storyteller is really what he was and why, I think, the public flocked to his films. His name above the title was enough for the public to know that they were going to be entertained with a great story, opulent spectacle, and an “over the top” production. He was a hard worker and was truly dedicated to the film industry.
Now that this section is complete, I have a very different opinion of, and a great deal of respect for, Mr. DeMille and hope that after browsing through the entire site, like me, you will also see his exceptional talents.
I hope you’ll investigate Demille further by clicking on the links above to learn more about his career.