Cover image for Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood
Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood
Birchard, Robert S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvi, 430 pages, 48 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1998.3.D39 B57 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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" ""Far and away the best film book published so far this year.""--National Board of Review Cecil B. DeMille was the most successful filmmaker in early Hollywood history. Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood is a detailed and definitive chronicle of the screen work that changed the course of film history and a fascinating look at how movies were actually made in Hollywood's Golden Age. Drawing extensively on DeMille's personal archives and other primary sources, Robert S. Birchard offers a revealing portrait of DeMille the filmmaker that goes behind studio gates and beyond DeMille's legendary persona. In his forty-five-year career DeMille's box-office record was unsurpassed, and his swaggering style established the public image for movie directors. DeMille had a profound impact on the way movies tell stories and brought greater attention to the elements of decor, lighting, and cinematography. Best remembered today for screen spectacles such as The Ten Commandments and Samson and Delilah, DeMille also created Westerns, realistic "chamber dramas," and a series of daring and highly influential social comedies. He set the standard for Hollywood filmmakers and demanded absolute devotion to his creative vision from his writers, artists, actors, and technicians.

Author Notes

Robert S. Birchard, an award-winning film editor and film historian, is also the author of King Cowboy: Tom Mix and the Movies. His "In the Beginning" episode of the Discovery Channel's Hollywood Chronicles series, which he wrote and directed, received a Silver Award at the Houston International Film Festival.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Credited with making 70 films over a period of 42 years, DeMille helped shape not only the form of the Hollywood film itself--from Westerns and war films to biblical epics and sex comedies--but also the stereotype of the imperial filmmaker, wearing a uniform of jodhpurs, puttees, and slouch hat. Birchard (independent film editor and historian) brings this colossal showman, producer, and director to life in this very readable and well-researched study. Organized into 70 chronological chapters (one for each of DeMille's films), the book provides detailed accounts of those films and their production histories along with brief but relevant biographical information about the filmmaker. Because of its wide scope, this volume adds significantly to the two previous scholarly studies of DeMille, both by Sumiko Higashi: Cecil B. DeMille and American Culture: The Silent Era (CH, Jun'95) and Cecil B. DeMille: A Guide to References and Resources (1985). The latter still contains the most comprehensive bibliography on DeMille. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Academic and public libraries; all levels. J. I. Deutsch George Washington University

Table of Contents

Kevin ThomasCecil B. DeMille
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xi
1. The Squaw Manp. 1
2. The Virginianp. 14
3. The Call of the Northp. 19
4. What's-His-Namep. 23
5. The Man From Homep. 27
6. The Rose of the Ranchop. 30
7. The Girl of the Golden Westp. 34
8. The Warrens of Virginiap. 37
9. The Unafraidp. 41
10. The Captivep. 44
11. The Wild Goose Chasep. 47
12. The Arabp. 50
13. Chimmie Faddenp. 52
14. Kindlingp. 54
15. Maria Rosap. 57
16. Carmenp. 60
17. Temptationp. 64
18. Chimmie Fadden Out Westp. 66
19. The Cheatp. 68
20. The Golden Chancep. 71
21. The Trail of the Lonesome Pinep. 76
22. The Heart of Nora Flynnp. 79
23. The Dream Girlp. 82
24. Joan the Womanp. 90
25. A Romance of the Redwoodsp. 103
26. The Little Americanp. 107
27. The Woman God Forgotp. 112
28. The Devil Stonep. 116
29. The Whispering Chorusp. 118
30. Old Wives for Newp. 121
31. We Can't Have Everythingp. 125
32. Till I Come Back to Youp. 127
33. The Squaw Man (first remake)p. 131
34. Don't Change Your Husbandp. 135
35. For Better, For Worsep. 138
36. Male and Femalep. 144
37. Why Change Your Wife?p. 150
38. Something to Think Aboutp. 155
39. Forbidden Fruitp. 158
40. The Affairs of Anatolp. 162
41. Fool's Paradisep. 165
42. Saturday Nightp. 169
43. Manslaughterp. 172
44. Adam's Ribp. 175
45. The Ten Commandmentsp. 178
46. Triumphp. 190
47. Feet of Clayp. 194
48. The Golden Bedp. 197
49. The Road to Yesterdayp. 200
50. The Volga Boatmanp. 210
51. The King of Kingsp. 216
52. The Godless Girlp. 227
53. Dynamitep. 234
54. Madam Satanp. 241
55. The Squaw Man (second remake)p. 248
56. The Sign of the Crossp. 251
57. This Day and Agep. 261
58. Four Frightened Peoplep. 267
59. Cleopatrap. 275
60. The Crusadesp. 283
61. The Plainsmanp. 293
62. The Buccaneerp. 299
63. Union Pacificp. 306
64. North West Mounted Policep. 312
65. Reap the Wild Windp. 316
66. The Story of Dr. Wassellp. 323
67. Unconqueredp. 329
68. Samson and Delilahp. 334
69. The Greatest Show on Earthp. 341
70. The Ten Commandmentsp. 351
Appendix A DeMille Pictures, Inc., Costs and Grossesp. 365
Appendix B Other Cecil B. DeMille Film Creditsp. 369
Appendix C Unrealized Projectsp. 371
Appendix D Film Appearancesp. 373
Notesp. 377
Bibliographyp. 405
Indexp. 407