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Cecil B. DeMille

Cecil B. DeMille

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Cecil Blount DeMille was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 and Academy Award-winning film producer
Film producer
A film producer oversees and delivers a film project to all relevant parties while preserving the integrity, voice and vision of the film. They will also often take on some financial risk by using their own money, especially during the pre-production period, before a film is fully financed.The...

 in both silent and sound films. He was renowned for the flamboyance and showmanship of his movies. Among his best-known films are Cleopatra
Cleopatra (1934 film)
Cleopatra is a 1934 epic film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and distributed by Paramount Pictures, which retells the story of Cleopatra VII of Egypt....

; Samson and Delilah
Samson and Delilah (1949 film)
Samson and Delilah is a 1949 film made by Paramount Pictures , produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr as the title characters...

; The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 drama film set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film was produced, directed, and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture...

, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

; and The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments (1956 film)
The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American epic film that dramatized the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the Hebrew-born Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince, becomes the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves. The film, released by Paramount Pictures in VistaVision on October 5, 1956, was directed by...

, which was his last and most successful film.

Early life


DeMille was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts
Ashfield, Massachusetts
Ashfield is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,737 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.- History :...

 while his parents were vacationing there and grew up in Washington, North Carolina
Washington, North Carolina
Washington is a city in Beaufort County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 9,744 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Beaufort County. The closest major city is Greenville, approximately 20 miles to the west....

. While he is known as DeMille (his nom d'oeuvre), his family name was Dutch and is usually spelled "Demil". His father, Henry Churchill DeMille (1853–1893), was a North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

-born dramatist and lay reader in the Episcopal Church, who had earlier begun a career as a playwright, writing his first play at age 15. His mother was Beatrice DeMille (née
NEE
NEE is a political protest group whose goal was to provide an alternative for voters who are unhappy with all political parties at hand in Belgium, where voting is compulsory.The NEE party was founded in 2005 in Antwerp...

 Samuel), whose parents were both of German-Jewish heritage. She emigrated from England with her parents in 1871, when she was 18, where they settled in Brooklyn, New York. According to biographer Carol Easton, Beatrice grew up in a middle-class English household.

DeMille's parents met while they were both members of a local music and literary society in New York. She was attracted to Henry, a tall, redheaded student who shared her love of the theater. While he was "slender and mild-mannered," she had dark good looks that "must have seemed to him exotic," writes Easton. She was also intelligent, educated, forthright, and strong-willed, and they were mutually attracted to each other. They were also both born in 1853. She would later convert to Henry's faith when they married. Henry worked as a playwright, administrator and faculty member during the early years of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
The American Academy of Dramatic Arts is a fully accredited two-year conservatory with facilities located in Manhattan, New York City – at 120 Madison Avenue, in a landmark building designed by noted architect Stanford White as the original Colony Club – and in Hollywood, California...

, established in New York City in 1884.

In 1893, at the age of 40, Henry contracted typhoid fever
Typhoid fever
Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

 and died, leaving Beatrice with three children, a house, and no savings. Cecil was 11 at the time. Until Henry's sudden death, they had both loved the theater, and she "enthusiastically supported" her husband's theatrical aspirations. Recognizing his love of the theater and his efforts to become a playwright and producer, she wrote at his funeral,
"May your sons be as fine and as noble and good and honest as you were. May they follow in your steps . . . "


Within 8 weeks after the death, to provide an income for the family, Beatrice opened an acting workshop, the Henry C. De Mille School for Girls, in her home. She would later become one of the few successful women theater promoters on Broadway.

DeMille attended Pennsylvania Military College
Widener University
Widener University is a private, coeducational university located in Chester, Pennsylvania.Its main campus sits on 108 acres , just southwest of Philadelphia...

 in Chester, Pennsylvania
Chester, Pennsylvania
Chester is a city in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States, with a population of 33,972 at the 2010 census. Chester is situated on the Delaware River, between the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.- History :...

 from the age of 15. He had an elder brother, William
William C. DeMille
Willam C. deMille was an American screenwriter and film director from the silent movie era through the early 1930s. He was also a noted playwright prior to moving into film. Once he was established in film he specialized in adapting Broadway plays into silent films...

, and a sister Agnes, who died in childhood. Cecil DeMille's famous niece
Agnes de Mille
Agnes George de Mille was an American dancer and choreographer.-Early years:Agnes de Mille was born in New York City into a well-connected family of theater professionals. Her father William C. deMille and her uncle Cecil B. DeMille were both Hollywood directors...

 was named for her. He is credited with providing its name, and both Cecil (Class of 1900) and William (Class of 1901) graduated from the Academy, which they attended on scholarship. The Academy honored Cecil with an Alumni Achievement Award.

Broadway


DeMille began his career as an actor on the Broadway stage in the theatrical company of Charles Frohman
Charles Frohman
Charles Frohman was an American theatrical producer. Frohman was producing plays by 1889 and acquired his first Broadway theatre by 1892. He discovered and promoted many stars of the American theatre....

 in 1900. His brother William was already establishing himself as a playwright and sometimes worked in collaboration with Cecil. DeMille co-starred with some of the men and women whom he would later direct in films (i.e. Charlotte Walker
Charlotte Walker (actress)
Charlotte Walker was a Broadway theater actress from Galveston, Texas. She was the mother of character actress Sara Haden-Stage Actress:...

, Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford was a Canadian-born motion picture actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

, and Pedro de Cordoba
Pedro de Cordoba
Pedro de Cordoba , was an American actor.Pedro de Cordoba, who appeared in his first film, a 1915 version of Carmen, was actually a classically trained theatre actor who confessed he did not enjoy appearing in silent films nearly as much as he liked working on stage...

, among others). DeMille also served as producer and/or director for many plays. Some of these plays were later adapted into silent and sound films. Cecil and his brother occasionally worked with David Belasco
David Belasco
David Belasco was an American theatrical producer, impresario, director and playwright.-Biography:Born in San Francisco, California, where his Sephardic Jewish parents had moved from London, England, during the Gold Rush, he began working in a San Francisco theatre doing a variety of routine jobs,...

. Belasco was legendary for the way he lit his stage scenes, as well as creating a lurid atmosphere. In 1911, Belasco premiered a play titled The Return of Peter Grimm. DeMille claimed he wrote the play and that Belasco had plagiarized DeMille's work without compensation. DeMille later adopted many of Belasco's stage lighting and atmospheric techniques in such films as The Cheat, a move some saw as revenge against Belasco.

Motion pictures



DeMille entered films in 1913. He directed dozens of silent
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

 films, including Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

' first production, The Squaw Man (1914), which was co-directed by Oscar Apfel
Oscar Apfel
Oscar C. Apfel was an American film actor, director, screenwriter and producer. He appeared in 167 films between 1913 and 1939, and also directed 94 films between 1911 and 1927.-Biography:...

, before coming into huge popularity during the late 1910s and early 1920s, when he reached the apex of his popularity with such films as Don't Change Your Husband
Don't Change Your Husband
Don't Change Your Husband is a 1919 comedy film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. A print of the film survives.-Cast:* Elliott Dexter - James Denby Porter* Gloria Swanson - Leila Porter* Lew Cody - Schuyler Van Sutphen* Sylvia Ashton - Mrs. Huckney...

(1919), The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments (1923 film)
The Ten Commandments is a 1923 American epic silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Theodore Roberts as Moses, Charles de Rochefort as Pharaoh Ramesses, Estelle Taylor as Miriam the sister of Moses, and James Neill as Aaron, the brother of Moses...

(1923), and The King of Kings (1927). A few of his silent films featured scenes in two-color Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

.

Cecil B. DeMille was known for being an instrumental catalyst for the rising status of many a struggling or unknown actor. Actor Richard Dix
Richard Dix
Richard Dix was an American motion picture actor who achieved popularity in both silent and sound film. His standard on-screen image was that of the rugged and stalwart hero.-Early life:...

's best-remembered early role was in the silent version of DeMille's The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments (1923 film)
The Ten Commandments is a 1923 American epic silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Theodore Roberts as Moses, Charles de Rochefort as Pharaoh Ramesses, Estelle Taylor as Miriam the sister of Moses, and James Neill as Aaron, the brother of Moses...

. Richard Cromwell
Richard Cromwell (actor)
Richard Cromwell, born LeRoy Melvin Radabaugh , was an American actor. His family and friends called him Roy, though he was also professionally known and signed autographs as Dick Cromwell. Cromwell's career was at its pinnacle with his work in Jezebel with Bette Davis and Henry Fonda and again...

 owed his 1930s movie fame in part to being personally selected by DeMille for the role as the leader of the youth gang in DeMille's poignant, now cult-favorite, This Day and Age
This Day and Age (film)
This Day and Age is a 1933 film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It is one of his rarest films and has not been released on DVD. In his book Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood, author Robert S...

(1933). To ensure that Cromwell's character used current slang, DeMille asked Horace Hahn
Horace Hahn
Horace L. Hahn was an American best known for working with Cecil B. DeMille on several films as a young man, including a supporting role in This Day and Age . He also served in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, and assisted Justice Robert H...

 to read the script and comment (at the time, Hahn was senior class president at Los Angeles High School).

DeMille displayed a loyalty to certain supporting performers, casting them repeatedly in his pictures. They included Henry Wilcoxon
Henry Wilcoxon
Henry Wilcoxon was an actor born in Roseau, Dominica, British West Indies, and best known as a leading man in many of Cecil B. DeMille's films, also serving as DeMille's associate producer on his later films....

, Julia Faye
Julia Faye
Julia Faye was a motion picture actress from Richmond, Virginia.-Career overview:Faye had resided in St. Louis, Missouri prior to coming to Hollywood in 1916, to visit friends. She visited one of the film studios and was introduced to Christy Cabanne. The two reminisced about St...

, Joseph Schildkraut
Joseph Schildkraut
Joseph Schildkraut was an Austrian stage and film actor.-Early life:Born in Vienna, Austria, Schildkraut was the son of stage actor Rudolph Schildkraut. The younger Schildkraut moved to the United States in the early 1900s. He appeared in many Broadway productions...

, Ian Keith
Ian Keith
-Life and career:Born Keith Ross in Boston, Massachusetts, Ian Keith was a veteran character actor of the legitimate theater, and appeared in a variety of colorful roles in silent features of the 1920s. His stage training made him a natural choice for the new "talking pictures"; he played John...

, Charles Bickford
Charles Bickford
Charles Bickford was an American actor best known for his supporting roles. He was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for The Song of Bernadette , The Farmer's Daughter , and Johnny Belinda...

, Theodore Roberts
Theodore Roberts
Theodore Roberts the actor is not to be confused with author Theodore Goodridge Roberts, 1877–1953, who wrote "The Harbor Master". Please see discussion page....

, Akim Tamiroff
Akim Tamiroff
Akim Mikhailovich Tamiroff was an Armenian actor. He won the first Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.Tamiroff was born in Tiflis, Russian Empire , of Armenian ethnicity. He trained at the Moscow Art Theatre drama school. He arrived in the U.S. in 1923 on a tour with a troupe of actors...

 and William Boyd
William Boyd (actor)
William Lawrence Boyd was an American film actor best known for portraying Hopalong Cassidy.-Biography:...

. He also cast leading actors such as Claudette Colbert
Claudette Colbert
Claudette Colbert was a French-born American-based actress of stage and film.Born in Paris, France and raised in New York City, Colbert began her career in Broadway productions during the 1920s, progressing to film with the advent of talking pictures...

, Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson was an American actress, singer and producer. She was one of the most prominent stars during the silent film era as both an actress and a fashion icon, especially under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille, made dozens of silents and was nominated for the first Academy Award in the...

, Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
Frank James Cooper, known professionally as Gary Cooper, was an American film actor. He was renowned for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic, but at times intense screen persona, which was particularly well suited to the many Westerns he made...

, Jetta Goudal
Jetta Goudal
Jetta Goudal was a Dutch-born American actress, successful in Hollywood films of the silent film era.-Early life:Goudal was born as Juliette Henriette Goudeket in 1891, daughter of Mozes Goudeket , a wealthy, Orthodox Jewish diamond cutter in Amsterdam, and Geertruida Warradijn...

, Robert Preston
Robert Preston (actor)
-Early life:Preston was born Robert Preston Meservey in Newton, Massachusetts, the son of Ruth L. and Frank Wesley Meservey, a garment worker and billing clerk for American Express. After attending Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, California, he studied acting at the Pasadena Community...

, Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard was an American film and theatre actress. A former child fashion model and in several Broadway productions as Ziegfeld Girl, she was a major star of the Paramount Studio in the 1940s. She was married to several notable men, including Charlie Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, and Erich...

 and Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid, and Planet of the Apes...

 in multiple pictures. He was not known as a particularly good director of actors, often hiring actors whom he relied on to develop their own characters and act accordingly.

DeMille had a reputation for tyrannical behavior on the set, and he despised actors who were unwilling to take physical risks. Such was the case with Victor Mature
Victor Mature
Victor John Mature was an American stage, film and television actor.-Early life:Mature was born in Louisville, Kentucky to an Italian-speaking father from the town Pinzolo, in the Italian part of the former County of Tyrol , Marcello Gelindo Maturi, later Marcellus George Mature, a cutler,...

 in Samson and Delilah
Samson and Delilah (1949 film)
Samson and Delilah is a 1949 film made by Paramount Pictures , produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr as the title characters...

, when Mature refused to wrestle the lion, though the lion was tame and toothless. (DeMille remarked that Mature was "100% yellow"). Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard was an American film and theatre actress. A former child fashion model and in several Broadway productions as Ziegfeld Girl, she was a major star of the Paramount Studio in the 1940s. She was married to several notable men, including Charlie Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, and Erich...

's refusal to risk personal injury in a scene involving fire in Unconquered
Unconquered
Unconquered is a 1947 adventure film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and released by Paramount. The film depicts the violent struggles between American colonists and Native Americans on the western frontier in the mid-18th century during the time of Pontiac's Rebellion, primarily around...

cost her DeMille's favor and probably a role in The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 drama film set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film was produced, directed, and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture...

. DeMille was, however, adept at directing "thousands of extras," and many of his pictures included spectacular set pieces, such as the parting of the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 in both versions of The Ten Commandments, the toppling of the pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 temple in Samson and Delilah
Samson and Delilah (1949 film)
Samson and Delilah is a 1949 film made by Paramount Pictures , produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr as the title characters...

, train wrecks in The Road to Yesterday
The Road to Yesterday
The Road to Yesterday is a 1925 silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Prints of the film reportedly survive at George Eastman House and in private collections.-Cast:* Joseph Schildkraut - Kenneth Paulton* Jetta Goudal - Malena Paulton...

, Union Pacific
Union Pacific (film)
Union Pacific is a 1939 American dramatic western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea. Based on the novel Trouble Shooter by Western fiction author Ernest Haycox, the film is about the building of the railroad across the American West.-Plot:The 1862...

and The Greatest Show on Earth, and the destruction of a zeppelin in Madame Satan.

DeMille was one of the first directors in Hollywood to become a celebrity in his own right. From 1936 to 1944, DeMille hosted and acted as pitchman for Cecil B. DeMille's Lux Radio Theater
Lux Radio Theater
Lux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network ; CBS and NBC . Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences...

, a popular dramatic radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 show of the time. Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson was an American actress, singer and producer. She was one of the most prominent stars during the silent film era as both an actress and a fashion icon, especially under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille, made dozens of silents and was nominated for the first Academy Award in the...

 immortalized DeMille with the oft-repeated line, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up" in Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder was an Austro-Hungarian born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age...

's Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard (film)
Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett...

,
wherein DeMille played himself. DeMille also appeared as himself in Paramount's 1947 all-star musical comedy Variety Girl
Variety Girl
Variety Girl is an all-star movie musical produced by Paramount Pictures. Numerous Paramount contract players and directors make cameos or perform songs, with particularly large amounts of screen time featuring Bing Crosby...

and he narrated many of his later films, as well as appearing on screen in the introduction to The Ten Commandments.

DeMille first used three-strip Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

 in Northwest Mounted Police (1940). Following the favorable response to the vivid color photography, shot partly on location in the Canadian Rockies
Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. They are the eastern part of the Canadian Cordillera, extending from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia. The southern end borders Idaho and Montana of the USA...

, DeMille decided to always use Technicolor in his films.

While he continued to be prolific throughout the 1930s and 1940s, he is probably best known for his 1956 film The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments (1956 film)
The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American epic film that dramatized the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the Hebrew-born Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince, becomes the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves. The film, released by Paramount Pictures in VistaVision on October 5, 1956, was directed by...

(which is very different from his 1923 film of the same title). Also representative of his penchant for the spectacular was the 1952 production of The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 drama film set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film was produced, directed, and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture...

which gave DeMille an Oscar for best picture and a nomination for best director.

In 1949 or 1950, DeMille was recruited by Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner
Frank Wisner
Frank Gardiner Wisner was head of Office of Strategic Services operations in southeastern Europe at the end of World War II, and the head of the Directorate of Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency during the 1950s....

 to serve on the board of the anti-communist National Committee for a Free Europe
National Committee for a Free Europe
The National Committee for a Free Europe was an American anti-communist organization, founded on March 17, 1949 in New York, which worked for the spreading of American influence in Europe and to oppose Stalin's Soviet occupation and dictatorship...

, the public face of the organization that oversaw the Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a broadcaster funded by the U.S. Congress that provides news, information, and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East "where the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed"...

 service. In 1954, Secretary of the Air Force Harold E. Talbott
Harold E. Talbott
Harold Elstner Talbott, Jr. was the third United States Secretary of the Air Force.-Biography:He was born in Dayton, Ohio, in March 1888 and died in 1957...

 sought out DeMille for help in designing the cadet uniforms at the newly established United States Air Force Academy
United States Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States...

. DeMille's designs—most notably his design of the distinctive cadet parade uniform—won praise from Air Force and Academy leadership, were ultimately adopted, and are worn by cadets today.

Near the end of his life, DeMille began pre-production work on a film biography of Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell
Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell
Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, Bt, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB , also known as B-P or Lord Baden-Powell, was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, and founder of the Scout Movement....

, the founder of the Scout Movement
Scouting
Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society....

 and had asked David Niven
David Niven
James David Graham Niven , known as David Niven, was a British actor and novelist, best known for his roles as Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days and Sir Charles Lytton, a.k.a. "the Phantom", in The Pink Panther...

 to star in the film, which was never made. Because of illness, he asked his son-in-law
Son-in-Law
Son-in-Law was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and an influential sire, especially for sport horses.The National Horseracing Museum says that Son-in-Law is "probably the best and most distinguished stayer this country has ever known." Described as "one of the principal influences for stamina in...

, actor Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn
Antonio Rodolfo Quinn-Oaxaca , more commonly known as Anthony Quinn, was a Mexican American actor, as well as a painter and writer...

, to direct a remake of his 1938 film The Buccaneer
The Buccaneer (1958 film)
The Buccaneer is a 1958 War film, made by Paramount Pictures like the 1938 version and shot in Technicolor and VistaVision. It takes place during the War of 1812, and tells a heavily fictionalized version of how the pirate Jean Lafitte helped in the Battle of New Orleans and how he had to choose...

; although DeMille served as executive producer, he was unhappy with Quinn's work and tried unsuccessfully to remedy the situation. Despite a cast led by Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid, and Planet of the Apes...

 and Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner was a Russian-born actor of stage and film. He was best known for his portrayal of Mongkut, king of Siam, in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the film version; he also played the role more than 4,500 times on...

 and some impressive battle scenes, the film was considered a disappointment by many.

Though DeMille was respected by his peers, his individual films were often criticized by them. "Directorially, I think his pictures were the most horrible things I've ever seen in my life," said director William Wellman. "But he put on pictures that made a fortune. In that respect, he was better than any of us."

Personal life and death



DeMille married Constance Adams
Constance Adams DeMille
Constance Adams DeMille actress and wife of famed filmmaker Cecil Blount DeMille.-Early life:Constance Adams was born in Orange, NJ the daughter of Judge Frederic Adams, New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals, and Ella Adams, Frederic’s first wife. Frederic married a second time to a woman also...

 on August 16, 1902 and had one child, Cecilia. The couple adopted Katherine Lester
Katherine DeMille
Katherine DeMille was a Canadian-born American film actress.She was born Katherine Lester in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was orphaned as a child by the death of her father, an officer in the Canadian Army who died in World War I combat and loss of her mother to tuberculosis in 1920...

 in the early 1920s; her father had been killed in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and her mother had died of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

. Katherine married Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn
Antonio Rodolfo Quinn-Oaxaca , more commonly known as Anthony Quinn, was a Mexican American actor, as well as a painter and writer...

. They also adopted two sons, John and Richard
Richard de Mille
Richard De Mille was an author, investigative journalist, and psychologist. His 19th century Dutch American ancestors; Thomas Arnold Demill , Henrietta Elizabeth Demill , William Edward Demill , and Richard Mead Demill owned and operated a Commission Merchant company, Demill & Co...

, the latter of whom became a notable filmmaker, author, and psychologist.

During on-location filming in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 of the Exodus
The Exodus
The Exodus is the story of the departure of the Israelites from ancient Egypt described in the Hebrew Bible.Narrowly defined, the term refers only to the departure from Egypt described in the Book of Exodus; more widely, it takes in the subsequent law-givings and wanderings in the wilderness...

 sequence for 1956's The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments (1956 film)
The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American epic film that dramatized the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the Hebrew-born Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince, becomes the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves. The film, released by Paramount Pictures in VistaVision on October 5, 1956, was directed by...

,
the then-75-year-old DeMille climbed a 107-foot ladder to the top of the massive Per Rameses set and suffered a near-fatal heart attack. Aided by his daughter Cecilia, but against his doctor's orders, he was back directing the film within a week.

Though DeMille completed the film, it proved to be his last, for he never fully recovered from this episode, and died on January 21, 1959 of heart failure. He was entombed in Hollywood Memorial Cemetery (now known as Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery, originally called Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery, is one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles, California. It is located at 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard in the Hollywood...

). At the time of his death, he was planning to direct a movie about space travel. He also wanted to do a film on the Biblical Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

.

Legacy and honors


A majority of the DeMille motion picture library now resides with EMKA, Ltd.
EMKA, Ltd.
EMKA, Ltd. is an in-name-only division of Universal Studios' television unit whose sole function is overseeing Paramount Pictures' pre-1950 sound feature film library. EMKA was formed by MCA in 1957 .In the aftermath of the landmark 1948 United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc...

 through the television division of NBC Universal
NBC Universal
NBCUniversal Media, LLC is a media and entertainment company engaged in the production and marketing of entertainment, news, and information products and services to a global customer base...

, due to Paramount Pictures' losing the rights to the DeMille films in 1958 to EMKA, so technically it is Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
-1920:* White Youth* The Flaming Disc* Am I Dreaming?* The Dragon's Net* The Adorable Savage* Putting It Over* The Line Runners-1921:* The Fire Eater* A Battle of Wits* Dream Girl* The Millionaire...

 that now oversees a vast part of DeMille's motion picture career as well as its related archival material. Samson and Delilah
Samson and Delilah (1949 film)
Samson and Delilah is a 1949 film made by Paramount Pictures , produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr as the title characters...

, although pre-1950, has been retained by Paramount, as are all the DeMille/Paramount silent films produced before 1928, and all sound films produced after 1950—television distribution for those films is handled by Trifecta Entertainment & Media
Trifecta Entertainment & Media
Trifecta Entertainment & Media is an American entertainment company founded in 2006. The company's founders previously held jobs as executives at MGM Television. Trifecta is primarily a distribution company and also handles advertising sales in exchange for syndication deals with local television...

.

In the mid-1950's, DeMille oversaw the development of a family of distinctive uniforms designed for use by the cadets, at the new Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs CO, for which he received the Defense Department's Exceptional Service Award.

The former film building at Chapman University
Chapman University
Chapman University is a private, non-profit university located in Orange, California affiliated with the Christian Church . Known for its blend of liberal arts and professional programs, Chapman University encompasses seven schools and colleges: Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media...

 in Orange, California
Orange, California
Southern California is well-known for year-round pleasant weather: - On average, the warmest month is August. - The highest recorded temperature was in 1985. - On average, the coolest month is December. - The lowest recorded temperature was in 1950...

 is named in honor of DeMille. The Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts now resides in Marion Knotts Studios.

The Golden Globe's annual Cecil B. DeMille Award
Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award
The Cecil B. DeMille Award is an honorary Golden Globe Award bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment". It was first presented on February 21, 1952 at the 9th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony and is named in honor of its...

 recognizes lifetime achievement in the film industry.

There are two schools named after him, Cecil B. DeMille Middle school, in Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

, and Cecil B. DeMille elementary school in Midway City, California
Midway City, California
Midway City is a census-designated place located in Orange County, California. It is bordered by the cities of Westminster to its east and Huntington Beach to its west. It was so named because it is midway between Long Beach and Santa Ana. The population was 8,485 at the 2010 census.It is one of...

.

Al Stewart's single Last Days of the Century
Last Days of the Century
Last Days of the Century is the eleventh studio album by Al Stewart, released in August 1988. It was re-released in 2007 with bonus tracks.Original LP ReleaseSide 1#"Last Days of the Century"...

 makes reference to him: "You look like a still from Cecil B. DeMille".

In the film Blazing Saddles
Blazing Saddles
Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, and Al Uger, and was based on Bergman's story and draft. The movie was nominated for three...

, Gene Wilder's gunslinger character says of himself, "I must have killed more men than Cecil B. DeMille." This was in reference to DeMille's disregard for the safety of his actors.

With DeMille renowned for his flamboyance and showmanship, Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

 frontman Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury was a British musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range...

 famously said of his band, "We're the Cecil B. DeMille of rock and roll, always wanting to do things bigger and better".

In the seventh episode of the six season of The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

, where Christopher Moltisanti
Christopher Moltisanti
Christopher "Chris" Moltisanti, played by Michael Imperioli, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He was Tony Soprano's protégé and a Capo in the Soprano crime family.-Biography:...

 is making an attempt to make a movie with Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley
Sir Ben Kingsley, CBE is a British actor. He has won an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards in his career. He is known for starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the film Gandhi in 1982, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor...

, Silvio Dante
Silvio Dante
Silvio Manfred Dante, often referred to as "Sil", played by Steven Van Zandt, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. He is the consigliere to Tony Soprano in the Soprano crime family. Silvio has one of the lowest profiles on the show. He is usually a behind the scenes figure...

 makes a funny remark by calling him "Cecil B. Moltisanti".

Filmography (as director)

Year Film Academy Award Wins Academy Award Nominations
1919
1919 in film
The year 1919 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*February 5 - Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith launch United Artists...

Male and Female
Male and Female
Male and Female is a 1919 silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Its main themes are gender relations and social class. It is based on the J. M. Barrie play "The Admirable Crichton".-Plot:...

1926
1926 in film
-Events:*August - Warner Brothers debuts the first Vitaphone film, Don Juan. The Vitaphone system used multiple 33⅓ rpm disc records developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories and Western Electric to play back audio synchronized with film....

The Volga Boatman
1927
1927 in film
-Events:*January 10 - Fritz Lang's science-fiction fantasy Metropolis premieres in Germany.*April 7 - Abel Gance's Napoleon often considered his best known and greatest masterpiece, premiers at the Paris Opéra and would demonstrate techniques and equipment that would not be used for years to...

The King of Kings
1928
1928 in film
-Events:Although some movies released in 1928 had sound, most were still silent.* July 28 - Lights of New York is released by Warner Brothers. It is the first "100% Talkie" feature film, in that dialog is spoken throughout the film...

Walking Back
Walking Back
Walking Back is a drama film directed by Rupert Julian and an uncredited Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Sue Carol - Patsy Schuyler* Richard Walling - Smoke Thatcher* Ivan Lebedeff - Beaut Thibaut* Robert Edeson - Mr. Thatcher Sr....

1928
1928 in film
-Events:Although some movies released in 1928 had sound, most were still silent.* July 28 - Lights of New York is released by Warner Brothers. It is the first "100% Talkie" feature film, in that dialog is spoken throughout the film...

Skyscraper
1929
1929 in film
-Events:The days of the silent film are numbered. A mad scramble to provide synchronized sound is on.*January 20 - The movie In Old Arizona is released. The film is the first full-length talking film to be filmed outdoors....

The Godless Girl
The Godless Girl
The Godless Girl is a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shown for years as his last completely silent film.-Production background:...

1929
1929 in film
-Events:The days of the silent film are numbered. A mad scramble to provide synchronized sound is on.*January 20 - The movie In Old Arizona is released. The film is the first full-length talking film to be filmed outdoors....

Dynamite
Dynamite (film)
Dynamite is a drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It stars Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford and Julia Faye...

1930
1930 in film
-Events:* November 1: The Big Trail featuring a young John Wayne in his first starring role is released in both 35mm, and a very early form of 70mm film and was the first large scale big-budget film of the sound era costing over $2 million. The film was praised for its aesthetic quality and realism...

Madam Satan
Madam Satan
Madam Satan is a dramatic pre-Code musical film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille for MGM, one of the few DeMille made for the Culver City studio...

1931
1931 in film
-Top grossing films:-Academy Awards:*Best Picture: Cimarron - MGM*Best Actor: Lionel Barrymore - A Free Soul*Best Actor: Wallace Beery - The Champ*Best Actor: Fredric March - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde...

The Squaw Man
The Squaw Man (1931 film)
The Squaw Man is a film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It was the third version of the same play that he filmed, and the first in sound. It stars Warner Baxter in the leading role. The film lost $150,000 in its initial release...

1932
1932 in film
-Events:*Cary Grant's film career begins*Katharine Hepburn's film career begins*Shirley Temple's film career begins*Disney released Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon in three-strip Technicolor film.*Santa, first sound film made in Mexico released....

The Sign of the Cross
The Sign of the Cross (film)
The Sign of the Cross is a pre-Code epic film released by Paramount Pictures, produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille from a screenplay by Waldemar Young and Sidney Buchman, and based on the original 1895 play by Wilson Barrett....

1933
1933 in film
-Events:* March 2 - King Kong premieres in New York City.* June 6 - The first drive-in theater opens, in Camden, New Jersey.* British Film Institute founded....

This Day and Age
This Day and Age (film)
This Day and Age is a 1933 film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It is one of his rarest films and has not been released on DVD. In his book Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood, author Robert S...

1934
1934 in film
-Events:*January 26 - Samuel Goldwyn purchases the film rights to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from the L. Frank Baum estate for $40,000.*February 19 - Bob Hope marries Dolores Reade...

Four Frightened People
Four Frightened People
Four Frightened People is a film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, released by Paramount Pictures, and starring Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Mary Boland, and William Gargan.-Plot:...

1934
1934 in film
-Events:*January 26 - Samuel Goldwyn purchases the film rights to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from the L. Frank Baum estate for $40,000.*February 19 - Bob Hope marries Dolores Reade...

Cleopatra
Cleopatra (1934 film)
Cleopatra is a 1934 epic film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and distributed by Paramount Pictures, which retells the story of Cleopatra VII of Egypt....

1 5
1935
1935 in film
-Events:*Judy Garland signs a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer .*Seven year old Shirley Temple wins a special Academy Award.*The Bantu Educational Kinema Experiment started in order to educate the Bantu peoples.-Top grossing films:-Academy Awards:...

The Crusades
The Crusades (film)
- Plot :Mostly taking elements from the Third Crusade, King Richard is enlisted in a crusade to bring Jerusalem back into Christian hands in order to get out of a betrothal with Alice, the Princess of France. En route, Richard meets Berengaria the Princess of Navarre and marries her in exchange...

1 0
1936
1936 in film
The year 1936 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*May 29 - Fritz Lang's first Hollywood film Fury, starring Spencer Tracy and Bruce Cabot, is released.*November 6 - first Porky Pig animated cartoon...

The Plainsman
The Plainsman
The Plainsman is a 1936 American Western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. The film presents a highly fictionalized account of the adventures and relationships between Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill Cody, and General George Custer, with a...

1938
1938 in film
The year 1938 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*January — MGM announces that Judy Garland would be cast in the role of "Dorothy" in the upcoming Wizard of Oz motion picture. Ray Bolger is cast as the "Tinman" and Buddy Ebsen is cast as the "Scarecrow". At Bolger's insistence,...

The Buccaneer
The Buccaneer (1938 film)
The Buccaneer is a 1938 American adventure film made by Paramount Pictures based on Jean Lafitte and the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. It was produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille from a screenplay by Harold Lamb, Edwin Justus Mayer and C. Gardner Sullivan adapted by Jeanie...

1 0
1939
1939 in film
The year 1939 in motion pictures can be justified as being called the most outstanding one ever, when it comes to the high quality and high attendance at the large set of the best films that premiered in the year .- Events :Motion picture historians and film often rate...

Union Pacific
Union Pacific (film)
Union Pacific is a 1939 American dramatic western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea. Based on the novel Trouble Shooter by Western fiction author Ernest Haycox, the film is about the building of the railroad across the American West.-Plot:The 1862...

1 0
1940
1940 in film
The year 1940 in film involved some significant events, including the premieres of the Walt Disney classics Pinocchio and Fantasia.-Events:*February 7 - Walt Disney's animated film Pinocchio is released....

North West Mounted Police
North West Mounted Police (film)
North West Mounted Police is a 1940 American action adventure film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, and Madeleine Carroll. This was DeMille's...

1 4
1942
1942 in film
The year 1942 in film involved some significant events, in particular the release of a film consistently rated as one of the greatest of all time, Casablanca.-Events:...

Reap the Wild Wind
Reap the Wild Wind
Reap the Wild Wind is a serialized story written by Thelma Strabel in 1940 for The Saturday Evening Post, which was the basis for the 1942 film starring Ray Milland, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard, Robert Preston, and Susan Hayward, and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, his second picture to be filmed in...

1 2
1944
1944 in film
The year 1944 in film involved some significant events, including the wholesome, award-winning Going My Way plus popular murder mysteries such as Double Indemnity, Gaslight and Laura.-Events:*July 20 - Since You Went Away is released....

The Story of Dr. Wassell
The Story of Dr. Wassell
The Story of Dr. Wassell is a Technicolor World War II film set in the Dutch East Indies, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Gary Cooper, Laraine Day, Signe Hasso, and Dennis O'Keefe. It is based on the wartime activities of US Navy Doctor Corydon M...

1 0
1947
1947 in film
The year 1947 in film involved some significant events.-Events:*May 22 - Great Expectations is premiered in New York.*November 24 : The United States House of Representatives of the 80th Congress voted 346 to 17 to approve citations for contempt of Congress against the "Hollywood Ten".*November 25...

Unconquered
Unconquered
Unconquered is a 1947 adventure film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and released by Paramount. The film depicts the violent struggles between American colonists and Native Americans on the western frontier in the mid-18th century during the time of Pontiac's Rebellion, primarily around...

1 0
1948
1948 in film
The year 1948 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* Laurence Olivier's Hamlet becomes the first British film to win the American Academy Award for Best Picture.-Top grossing films : After theatrical re-issue- Awards :...

California's Golden Beginning
California's Golden Beginning
California's Golden Beginning is a short film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* John Eldredge* Louis Jean Heydt* Harold Vermilyea* Lane Chandler* Will Wright* Irving Bacon...

1949
1949 in film
The year 1949 in film involved some significant events.-Top grossing films :- Awards :Academy Awards:*Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff, starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello...

Samson and Delilah
Samson and Delilah (1949 film)
Samson and Delilah is a 1949 film made by Paramount Pictures , produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr as the title characters...

2 5
1952
1952 in film
The year 1952 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* January 10 - Cecil B. DeMille's circus epic, The Greatest Show on Earth, premieres at Radio City Music Hall in New York City....

The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 drama film set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film was produced, directed, and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture...

2 5
1956
1956 in film
The year 1956 in film involved some significant events.-Events:* October 5 - The Ten Commandments opens in cinemas and becomes one of the most successful and popular movies of all time, currently ranking 5th on the list of all time moneymakers * February 5 - First showing of documentary films by...

The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments (1956 film)
The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American epic film that dramatized the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the Hebrew-born Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince, becomes the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves. The film, released by Paramount Pictures in VistaVision on October 5, 1956, was directed by...

1 7

Silent
  • The Squaw Man (1914)(Extant)
  • Brewster's Millions
    Brewster's Millions (1914 film)
    Brewster's Millions is a 1914 comedy film directed by Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille. It's an adaptation of the novel written by George Barr McCutcheon. The novel had also been turned into a successful 1906 Broadway play that also starred Edward Abeles...

    (1914)(Lost)
  • The Master Mind
    The Master Mind
    The Master Mind is a 1914 American black & white silent crime/drama film directed by Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille. The plot revolves around a defense attorney who, unable to obtain the acquittal of an innocent young man, concocts a complicated and diabolical scheme to revenge himself upon the...

    (1914)(Lost)
  • The Only Son
    The Only Son (1914 film)
    The Only Son is a 1914 drama film directed by Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Jim Blackwell - Thomas Brainerd, Sr. * A. MacMillan - Henry Thompson* Thomas W. Ross - Thomas Brainerd, Jr.* Jane Darwell - Mrs. Brainerd...

    (1914)(Lost)
  • The Man on the Box
    The Man on the Box
    The Man on the Box is a 1914 comedy-drama film directed by Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille. It was based on the 1904 book by Harold MacGrath.-Cast:* Horace B. Carpenter - Russian ambassador* Jane Darwell - Mrs. Chadwick* William Elmer - Troop commander...

    (1914)(Lost)
  • The Call of the North
    The Call of the North
    The Call of the North is a 1914 silent adventure-drama film directed by Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Robert Edeson - Ned & Graehme Stewart* Theodore Roberts - Galen Albert* Winifred Kingston - Virginia* Horace B...

    (1914)(Extant)
  • The Virginian
    The Virginian (1914 film)
    The Virginian is a 1914 film based upon the novel by Owen Wister, and starring Dustin Farnum as the Virginian. The movie is the first of several versions, including a 1929 movie with Gary Cooper and Walter Huston and a 1960 television series. The 1914 film was directed by Cecil B....

    (1914)(Extant)
  • What's His Name
    What's His Name
    What's His Name is a 1914 comedy/drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Max Figman - Harvey* Lolita Robertson - Nellie* Sydney Deane - Uncle Peter* Richard L'Estrange - Best Man* Merta Carpenter - Friend Of Nellie's* Fred Montague - Fairfax...

    (1914)(Extant)
  • The Man from Home
    The Man from Home (1914 film)
    The Man from Home is a 1914 drama film based on a novel by Booth Tarkington and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Year later the story was remade by George Fitzmaurice as The Man from Home.-Cast:* Charles Richman - Daniel Voorhees Pike...

    (1914)(Lost)
  • Rose of the Rancho
    Rose of the Rancho
    Rose of the Rancho is a 1914 Western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film cost $16,988 to make, and grossed $87,028.-Plot:Esra Kincaid takes land by force and, having taken the Espinoza land, his sights are set on the Castro rancho...

    (1914) (Extant)
  • The Ghost Breaker
    The Ghost Breaker
    The Ghost Breaker is a 1914 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel and based on the Broadway play of the same name by Paul Dickey and Charles W. Goddard. It is considered widely to be the first film of a long line based on the genre of haunted house horror...

    (1914)(Lost)
  • The Girl of the Golden West
    The Girl of the Golden West (1915 film)
    The Girl of the Golden West is a 1915 Western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It was originally a play by David Belasco, which he then turned into a novel. It became an opera by Giacomo Puccini in 1910. Prints of the film survive in the Library of Congress film archive...

    (1915)(Extant)
  • After Five
    After Five
    After Five is a 1915 comedy film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel.-Cast:* Edward Abeles - Ted Ewing* Sessue Hayakawa - Oki, the Valet* Betty Schade - Nora Hildreth* Jane Darwell - Mrs...

    (1915)(Lost)
  • The Warrens of Virginia (1915)(Extant)
  • The Unafraid
    The Unafraid
    -Cast:* Rita Jolivet - Delight Warren* House Peters - Stefan Balsic* Page Peters - Michael Balsic* William Elmer - Jack McCarty* Lawrence Peyton - Danilo Lesendra* Theodore Roberts - Dual Empire Secret Agent* Al Ernest Garcia - Joseph* Marjorie Daw - Irenya...

    (1915)(Extant)
  • The Captive
    The Captive (film)
    -Cast:* Blanche Sweet - Sonya Martinovich* House Peters - Muhamud Hassan* Page Peters - Marko* Theodore Roberts - The burgomaster* Gerald Ward - Milos Martinovich* Jeanie MacPherson - Milka* Marjorie Daw* William Elmer - Turkish officer* Tex Driscoll...

    (1915)(Lost)
  • The Wild Goose Chase
    The Wild Goose Chase (film)
    The Wild Goose Chase is a 1915 comedy-drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film is now considered to be lost.-Cast:* Ina Claire - Betty Wright* Lucien Littlefield - The 'grind'* Helen Marlborough - Mrs. Wright* Raymond Hatton - Mr. Wright...

    (1915)(Lost)
  • The Arab
    The Arab (1915 film)
    The Arab is a 1915 silent adventure film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Edgar Selwyn had starred in the Broadway play version of the story in 1911. This film is based on that play. A print of the film survives at the Gosfilmfond film archive.-Cast:...

    (1915)(Extant)
  • Chimmie Fadden
    Chimmie Fadden
    Chimmie Fadden is a 1915 comedy film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film is now considered to be lost.-Cast:* Victor Moore - Chimmie Fadden* Raymond Hatton - Larry, His Brother* Mrs. Lewis McCord - Mrs...

    (1915)(Lost)
  • Kindling
    Kindling (film)
    Kindling is a 1915 drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Charlotte Walker, in her film debut. The film is based on a 1911 Broadway play by Charles A...

    (1915)(Extant)
  • Carmen
    Carmen (1915 Cecil B. DeMille film)
    Carmen is a 1915 silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It is based on the novella by Prosper Mérimée. The existing versions of this film appear to be from the 1918, re-edited release.-Plot:...

    (1915)(Extant)
  • Chimmie Fadden Out West
    Chimmie Fadden Out West
    Chimmie Fadden Out West is a 1915 comedy-Western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.-Plot:Chimmie is sent out west as part of a scam by a railroad company. He is to pretend to find gold, then retreat as the company takes advantage. Things do not go as planned.-Cast:* Victor Moore - Chimmie Fadden*...

    (1915)(Extant)
  • The Cheat (1915)(Extant)
  • Temptation
    Temptation (film)
    Temptation is a 1915 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It is now considered to be lost.-Cast:* Geraldine Farrar - Renee Dupree* Theodore Roberts - Otto Mueller* Pedro de Cordoba - Julian* Elsie Jane Wilson - Madame Maroff...

    (1915)(Lost)
  • The Golden Chance
    The Golden Chance
    The Golden Chance is a 1915 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. A print of the film survives at George Eastman House. DeMille remade the film in 1921 as Forbidden Fruit.-Cast:* Cleo Ridgely - Mary Denby* Wallace Reid - Roger Manning...

    (1915)(Extant)
  • The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
    The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1916 film)
    The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is a 1916 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It is based on the novel of the same name. A surviving motion picture at George Eastman House, Rochester.-Cast:* Charlotte Walker - June Tolliver...

    (1916)(Extant)
  • The Heart of Nora Flynn
    The Heart of Nora Flynn
    The Heart of Nora Flynn is a 1916 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Marie Doro - Nora Flynn* Elliott Dexter - Nolan* Ernest Joy - Brantley Stone* Lola May - Mrs. Stone* Billy Jacobs - Tommy Stone* Charles West - Jack Murray...

    (1916)(Extant)
  • Maria Rosa
    Maria Rosa
    Maria Rosa is a 1916 silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It was based on a 1914 Broadway stage play Maria Rosa by Angel Guimera...

    (1916)(Extant)
  • The Dream Girl
    The Dream Girl (film)
    The Dream Girl is a 1916 silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film is now considered to be lost. The film is an original story by DeMille writer Jeanie MacPherson.-Cast:* Mae Murray - Meg Dugan* Theodore Roberts - Jim Dugan...

    (1916)(Lost)
  • Joan the Woman
    Joan the Woman
    Joan the Woman is a 1916 silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Geraldine Farrar as Joan of Arc.It was the first film to use the Handschiegl Color Process for certain scenes...

    (1917)(Extant)
  • Lost and Won
    Lost and Won
    Lost and Won is a 1917 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Frank Reicher.-Cast:* Marie Doro - Cinders* Elliott Dexter - Walter Crane* Carl Stockdale - Kirkland Gaige* Mayme Kelso - Cleo Duvene* Robert Gray - Bill Holt* Clarence Geldart...

    (1917)(Extant)
  • A Romance of the Redwoods
    A Romance of the Redwoods
    __notoc__A Romance of the Redwoods is a 1917 American silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Mary Pickford.A print of the film survives in the film archive at George Eastman House.-Cast:* Mary Pickford as Jenny Lawrence...

    (1917)(Extant)
  • The Little American
    The Little American
    The Little American is a 1917 American silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film stars Mary Pickford as an American woman who is in love with both a German and a French soldier during World War I.-Plot:...

    (1917)(Extant)
  • The Woman God Forgot
    The Woman God Forgot
    -Cast:* Wallace Reid - Alvarado* Raymond Hatton - Montezuma* Hobart Bosworth - Cortez* Theodore Kosloff - Guatemoco* Walter Long - Taloc * Julia Faye - Tecza's handmaiden* Olga Grey - Aztec woman* Geraldine Farrar - Tecza...

    (1917)(Extant)
  • Nan of Music Mountain
    Nan of Music Mountain
    Nan of Music Mountain is a 1917 short drama film directed by George Melford and Cecil B. DeMille. A lost film. -Cast:* Wallace Reid - Henry de Spain* Ann Little - Nan Morgan * Theodore Roberts - Duke Morgan* James Cruze - Gale Morgan...

    (1917)(Lost)
  • The Devil-Stone
    The Devil-Stone
    The Devil-Stone is a 1917 romance film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film had sequences filmed in the Handschiegl Color Process ....

    (1917)(Incomplete; Library of Congress)
  • The Whispering Chorus
    The Whispering Chorus
    The Whispering Chorus is a 1918 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Raymond Hatton - John Tremble* Kathlyn Williams - Jane Tremble* Edythe Chapman - John Tremble's mother* Elliott Dexter - George Coggeswell* Noah Beery - Longshoreman...

    (1918)(Extant)
  • Old Wives for New
    Old Wives for New
    Old Wives for New is a 1918 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Prints of the film survive at the International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House.-Cast:* Elliott Dexter - Charles Murdock* Florence Vidor - Juliet Raeburn...

    (1918)(Extant)
  • We Can't Have Everything
    We Can't Have Everything
    We Can't Have Everything is a 1918 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The film is considered to be lost.-Cast:* Kathlyn Williams - Charity Coe Cheever* Elliott Dexter - Jim Dyckman* Wanda Hawley - Kedzie Thropp* Sylvia Breamer - Zada L'Etoile...

    (1918)(Lost)
  • Till I Come Back to You
    Till I Come Back to You
    Till I Come Back to You is a 1918 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Bryant Washburn - Capt. Jefferson Strong* Florence Vidor - Yvonne* Gustav von Seyffertitz - Karl Von Drutz * Winter Hall - King Albert...

    (1918)(Extant)

  • The Squaw Man
    The Squaw Man (1918 film)
    The Squaw Man is a 1918 Western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It is a remake of DeMille's 1914 film of the same name. It would be remade again by DeMille in 1931...

    (1918)(Incomplete)
  • Don't Change Your Husband
    Don't Change Your Husband
    Don't Change Your Husband is a 1919 comedy film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. A print of the film survives.-Cast:* Elliott Dexter - James Denby Porter* Gloria Swanson - Leila Porter* Lew Cody - Schuyler Van Sutphen* Sylvia Ashton - Mrs. Huckney...

    (1919)(Extant)
  • For Better, for Worse (1919)(Extant)
  • Male and Female
    Male and Female
    Male and Female is a 1919 silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Its main themes are gender relations and social class. It is based on the J. M. Barrie play "The Admirable Crichton".-Plot:...

    (1919)(Extant)
  • Why Change Your Wife?
    Why Change Your Wife?
    -Plot:Frumpy wife Beth devotes herself to bettering her husband's mind and expanding his appreciation for the finer things in life, such as classical music. When he goes shopping at a lingerie store to buy some sexier clothes for her, he meets Sally, the shop girl. Rejected by his wife for a night...

    (1920)(Extant)
  • Something to Think About
    Something to Think About
    -Cast:* Elliott Dexter - David Markely* Gloria Swanson - Ruth Anderson* Monte Blue - Jim Dirk* Theodore Roberts - Luke Anderson* Claire McDowell - Housekeeper* Michael D. Moore - Bobby * Julia Faye - Banker's Daughter...

    (1920)(Extant)
  • Forbidden Fruit
    Forbidden Fruit (1921 film)
    Forbidden Fruit is a 1921 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It is a remake of the 1915 film The Golden Chance, which was also directed by DeMille. The film survives in prints at George Eastman House and the Library of Congress.-Cast:...

    (1921)(Extant)
  • The Affairs of Anatol
    The Affairs of Anatol
    The Affairs of Anatol is a 1921 silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Wallace Reid as Anatol DeWitt Spencer* Gloria Swanson as Vivian Spencer * Wanda Hawley as Emilie Dixon* Theodore Roberts as Gordon Bronson...

    (1921)(Extant)
  • Fool's Paradise (1921)(Lost)
  • Saturday Night (1922)(Lost)(Lost)
  • Manslaughter
    Manslaughter (1922 film)
    Manslaughter is a 1922 silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Thomas Meighan, Leatrice Joy and Lois Wilson.-Plot summary:...

    (1922)(Extant)
  • Adam's Rib
    Adam's Rib (1923 film)
    Adam's Rib is a 1923 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. This film is considered lost. The story has nothing to do with the 1948 George Cukor film starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.-Cast:* Milton Sills - Michael Ramsay...

    (1923)(Lost)(Extant)
  • The Ten Commandments
    The Ten Commandments (1923 film)
    The Ten Commandments is a 1923 American epic silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Theodore Roberts as Moses, Charles de Rochefort as Pharaoh Ramesses, Estelle Taylor as Miriam the sister of Moses, and James Neill as Aaron, the brother of Moses...

    (1923)(Extant)
  • Triumph
    Triumph (1924 film)
    Triumph is a 1924 silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Leatrice Joy - Ann Land* Rod La Rocque - King Garnet* Victor Varconi - William Silver* Charles Ogle - James Martin* Theodore Kosloff - Varinoff* Robert Edeson - Smauel Overton...

    (1924)(Extant)
  • Feet of Clay
    Feet of Clay (film)
    Feet of Clay is a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Vera Reynolds and Rod La Rocque, and with set design by Norman Bel Geddes. The film is now considered to be a lost film.-Cast:* Vera Reynolds - Amy Loring...

    (1924) (Lost)
  • The Golden Bed
    The Golden Bed
    The Golden Bed is a 1925 drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Prints of the film survive in the film archive at George Eastman House.-Cast:* Lillian Rich - Flora Lee Peake* Henry B...

    (1925)(Extant)
  • The Road to Yesterday
    The Road to Yesterday
    The Road to Yesterday is a 1925 silent film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Prints of the film reportedly survive at George Eastman House and in private collections.-Cast:* Joseph Schildkraut - Kenneth Paulton* Jetta Goudal - Malena Paulton...

    (1925)(Extant)
  • The Volga Boatman (1926)(Extant)
  • The King of Kings (1927)(Extant)
  • Walking Back
    Walking Back
    Walking Back is a drama film directed by Rupert Julian and an uncredited Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* Sue Carol - Patsy Schuyler* Richard Walling - Smoke Thatcher* Ivan Lebedeff - Beaut Thibaut* Robert Edeson - Mr. Thatcher Sr....

    (1928)(Extant)
  • The Godless Girl
    The Godless Girl
    The Godless Girl is a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shown for years as his last completely silent film.-Production background:...

    (1929)(Extant)


Sound (All extant)
  • Dynamite
    Dynamite (film)
    Dynamite is a drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It stars Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford and Julia Faye...

    (1929)
  • Madam Satan
    Madam Satan
    Madam Satan is a dramatic pre-Code musical film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille for MGM, one of the few DeMille made for the Culver City studio...

    (1930)
  • The Squaw Man
    The Squaw Man (1931 film)
    The Squaw Man is a film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It was the third version of the same play that he filmed, and the first in sound. It stars Warner Baxter in the leading role. The film lost $150,000 in its initial release...

    (1931)
  • The Sign of the Cross
    The Sign of the Cross (film)
    The Sign of the Cross is a pre-Code epic film released by Paramount Pictures, produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille from a screenplay by Waldemar Young and Sidney Buchman, and based on the original 1895 play by Wilson Barrett....

    (1932)
  • This Day and Age
    This Day and Age (film)
    This Day and Age is a 1933 film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It is one of his rarest films and has not been released on DVD. In his book Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood, author Robert S...

    (1933)
  • Four Frightened People
    Four Frightened People
    Four Frightened People is a film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, released by Paramount Pictures, and starring Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Mary Boland, and William Gargan.-Plot:...

    (1934)
  • Cleopatra
    Cleopatra (1934 film)
    Cleopatra is a 1934 epic film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and distributed by Paramount Pictures, which retells the story of Cleopatra VII of Egypt....

    (1934)
  • The Crusades
    The Crusades (film)
    - Plot :Mostly taking elements from the Third Crusade, King Richard is enlisted in a crusade to bring Jerusalem back into Christian hands in order to get out of a betrothal with Alice, the Princess of France. En route, Richard meets Berengaria the Princess of Navarre and marries her in exchange...

    (1935)
  • The Plainsman
    The Plainsman
    The Plainsman is a 1936 American Western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. The film presents a highly fictionalized account of the adventures and relationships between Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill Cody, and General George Custer, with a...

    (1936)
  • The Buccaneer
    The Buccaneer (1938 film)
    The Buccaneer is a 1938 American adventure film made by Paramount Pictures based on Jean Lafitte and the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. It was produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille from a screenplay by Harold Lamb, Edwin Justus Mayer and C. Gardner Sullivan adapted by Jeanie...

    (1938)
  • Union Pacific
    Union Pacific (film)
    Union Pacific is a 1939 American dramatic western film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea. Based on the novel Trouble Shooter by Western fiction author Ernest Haycox, the film is about the building of the railroad across the American West.-Plot:The 1862...

    (1939)
  • North West Mounted Police
    North West Mounted Police (film)
    North West Mounted Police is a 1940 American action adventure film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, and Madeleine Carroll. This was DeMille's...

    (1940)
  • Reap the Wild Wind
    Reap the Wild Wind
    Reap the Wild Wind is a serialized story written by Thelma Strabel in 1940 for The Saturday Evening Post, which was the basis for the 1942 film starring Ray Milland, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard, Robert Preston, and Susan Hayward, and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, his second picture to be filmed in...

    (1942)
  • The Story of Dr. Wassell
    The Story of Dr. Wassell
    The Story of Dr. Wassell is a Technicolor World War II film set in the Dutch East Indies, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and starring Gary Cooper, Laraine Day, Signe Hasso, and Dennis O'Keefe. It is based on the wartime activities of US Navy Doctor Corydon M...

    (1944)
  • Unconquered
    Unconquered
    Unconquered is a 1947 adventure film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and released by Paramount. The film depicts the violent struggles between American colonists and Native Americans on the western frontier in the mid-18th century during the time of Pontiac's Rebellion, primarily around...

    (1947)
  • California's Golden Beginning
    California's Golden Beginning
    California's Golden Beginning is a short film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.-Cast:* John Eldredge* Louis Jean Heydt* Harold Vermilyea* Lane Chandler* Will Wright* Irving Bacon...

    (1948) (short subject)
  • Samson and Delilah
    Samson and Delilah (1949 film)
    Samson and Delilah is a 1949 film made by Paramount Pictures , produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr as the title characters...

    (1949)
  • The Greatest Show on Earth
    The Greatest Show on Earth
    The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 drama film set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film was produced, directed, and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture...

    (1952)
  • The Ten Commandments
    The Ten Commandments (1956 film)
    The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American epic film that dramatized the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the Hebrew-born Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince, becomes the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves. The film, released by Paramount Pictures in VistaVision on October 5, 1956, was directed by...

    (1956)


Filmography (appearing as himself)

  • Felix in Hollywood
    Felix in Hollywood
    Felix in Hollywood is a 1923 short featuring Felix the Cat. In the episode, Felix goes to Hollywood and meets Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S...

    (1923)
  • Hollywood
    Hollywood (1923 film)
    Hollywood was a silent comedy film directed by James Cruze, co-written by Frank Condon and Thomas J. Geraghty, and released by Paramount Pictures.The film has become famous as having featured cameos of more than thirty famous Hollywood stars...

    (1923)
  • Jens Månsson i Amerika (1947)
  • Variety Girl
    Variety Girl
    Variety Girl is an all-star movie musical produced by Paramount Pictures. Numerous Paramount contract players and directors make cameos or perform songs, with particularly large amounts of screen time featuring Bing Crosby...

    (1947)
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard (film)
    Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett...

    (1950)
  • The Fallbrook Story
    The Fallbrook Story
    The Fallbrook Story is a short subject film that told the story of a water rights battle between the citizens of the Fallbrook, California area and the federal government....

    (short subject) (1951)
  • Son of Paleface
    Son of Paleface
    Son of Paleface , is a western comedy film and sequel to The Paleface , directed by Frank Tashlin and written by Tashlin, Joseph Quillan and Robert L. Welch. It stars Bob Hope, Jane Russell and Roy Rogers.-Plot:...

    (1952)
  • The Greatest Show on Earth
    The Greatest Show on Earth
    The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 drama film set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film was produced, directed, and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture...

    (1952) -- Narrator
  • The Ten Commandments (1956) Introduces the film; also narrator

External links