Imagine directing a film version of The Ten Commandments. And including a scene, from the Bible, where God parted the Red Sea. OK. Now imagine directing that movie in 1923. When there was no such thing as a green screen, motion capture suits, or digital editing. What an incredible undertaking that would be. And it seems like a director might look for easier projects from then on.
But the director I’m talking about did The Ten Commandments again.
And I think most people would agree the second time was better than the first. At least it’s the one that anyone who remembers, recalls.
And the director of both epic Biblical movies was Cecil B. deMille. If you’re not a Silver Screen buff or aficionado, you might not recognize that name. His first name is pronounced with the short e, like set. But everyone, from back then, certainly knew that. Because he made such amazing, memorable movies. In fact, over 70 of them.
I read an article that said his first film, “The Squaw Man,” was “the 1st feature-length film ever made in Hollywood for Paramount Pictures. That was in 1914. And his career lasted into the 1950’s almost up until he died. During those years his epic films included Cleopatra, Samson and Delilah, and Sunset Boulevard.
Of course, he won many awards, including the Oscar.
And he enjoyed years of fame and fortune. But, from other bits of information I’ve read, he professed a Christian faith. Which might explain why he made Biblical themed movies. I hope that’s true. And I see no reason to think otherwise.
But, I didn’t actually get up this morning with a longing desire to write about Mr. deMille. Nope. It’s just that his birthday happens to be the same as another famous person. A much more important and intriguing person. And a person who changed my life permanently and profoundly.
Happy Birthday to my wife, Elgielene. The incomparable Miss El. Here’s to many more. 🎶
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