De Mille, Cecil B.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

De Mille, Cecil B.

Cecil B. De Mille: (Cecil Blount De Mille), 1881–1959, American movie director and producer, b. Ashfield, Mass. In 1914, together with Samuel Goldwyn, 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).

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).

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