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Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004)

Documentary about the legendary American film director from his introduction to the film industry in its early years to his death in 1959. After a falling out with Adolph Zukor, he left ... See full summary »

Director:

Kevin Brownlow
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth Branagh ... Narrator (voice)
Steven Spielberg ... Himself - Interviewee
Martin Scorsese ... Himself - Interviewee
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Himself (as Junior Coughlan)
Baby Peggy ... Herself - Interviewee (as Diana Serra Cary)
Angela Lansbury ... Herself - Interviewee
Henry Hathaway ... Himself - Interviewee (archive footage)
A. Arnold Gillespie A. Arnold Gillespie ... Himself - Interviewee (archive footage)
Agnes de Mille ... Herself - Interviewee (archive footage)
Cecilia DeMille Presley ... Herself - Interviewee
Samuel Goldwyn ... Himself - Interviewee (archive footage)
Betty Lasky Betty Lasky ... Herself - Interviewee
Cecil B. DeMille ... Himself (archive footage)
Robert S. Birchard Robert S. Birchard ... Himself - Interviewee
Charles Chaplin ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Documentary about the legendary American film director from his introduction to the film industry in its early years to his death in 1959. After a falling out with Adolph Zukor, he left Paramount Pictures to found his own company but it too failed and moved on to MGM where his films were less successful than he had hoped. By 1931 DeMille, despite his huge successes in the silent era, was practically unemployable. Given a second chance at Paramount DeMille found his now classic formula of religious or epic tales with more than just a tinge of sex. Firmly re-established, he would stay with the studio for the rest of his career. He became a fervent anti-communist leading to a confrontation with his colleagues in the Directors Guild. He continued making films regardless and died as one of the most commercially successful in Hollywood history. Written by garykmcd

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Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 2004 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Photoplay Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Only the narrator's name is in the cast/crew list. All other credited performers are identified by the narrator or with an onscreen graphic. See more »

Connections

References Old Wives for New (1918) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Outstanding But Not Available
22 April 2017 | by blue-7See all my reviews

I first saw this outstanding documentary at Brigham Young University with Kevin Brownlow in attendance and have always felt it to be the best filmed overview of DeMille's career. BYU in Provo, UT houses the massive DeMille collection and supplied a number of things for the documentary. Wanting to teach a mini course on DeMille I went looking for the availability of CECIL B. De MILLE: American EPIC only to learn that it is not available on DVD. Originally it had been made for TCM and that seems to be the only place that it has had screenings. Checking with BYU about its availability I learned that it has not and likely never will be released as a DVD as clearing the rights of material used in the documentary would be far too costly. One of the nicest things about this work is that Elmer Bernstein, who composed the score for THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, not only appears in the documentary but also scored this work -- and the music is outstanding. It sad that monetary requirements keep such a fine documentary out of print.


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