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I remember DeMille primarily in two ways:
(1) Host of 'Lux Radio Theater', a Saturday morning full hour radio recreation of hit movies, sometimes with the original leads;
(2) The lead character in a long industry joke that ends with the punchline, "Anytime you're ready, C.B."
Arye (Leslie) Michael Bender |
January 21, 2009 at 09:06 AM
"De Mille was noted for his films on religious themes, which reportedly have grossed a total of more than $750 million over the world since 1925." [ $5.3 Billion in 2007 dollars, supposed the most by any single producer before Spielberg]
"De Mille had directed more than 70 films, and exhibitors' reports said only two lost money."
"Evangelist Billy Graham called De Mille "a prophet on celluloid who has had the privilege of bringing the Word of God to more people throughout the world than any other man.""
Putting the Bible on film in huge cast of thousands spectacular epics showed De Mille as a marketing genius: (1) the mass audience is already predisposed toward the subject and the film is virtually guaranteed to make money, (2) the book is in the public domain, no royalties or shared profits and no creative disputes with authors all of whom have been dead for at least nearly two thousand years, (3) What film critic would attack religious judeo-christian movies in those years? Probably get branded a communist or aethist if you attacked a De Mille production.
De Mille made mediocre movies that were huge moneymakers because he knew what to put up on the screen that audiences would want to see.
Richard H |
January 21, 2009 at 06:29 PM