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->"Mr. [=DeMille=], I'm ready for my close-up."
-->-- '''[[WhiteDwarfStarlet Norma Desmond]]''', ''Film/SunsetBoulevard''

->"Well, it got so that every piss-ant prairie punk who thought he could shoot a gun would ride into town to try out the Waco Kid. I must have killed more men than Cecil B. [=DeMille=]."
-->-- '''[[RetiredGunfighter The Waco Kid]]''', ''Film/BlazingSaddles''

Cecil Blount [=DeMille=] (Aug 12, 1881 - Jan 21, 1959) was an American film maker whose name has become synonymous with extravagant Hollywood {{Epic Movie}}s.

His best known production, the 1956 version of ''Film/TheTenCommandments'' (a remake of his own 1923 silent film) that made a star out of CharltonHeston, best illustrates the film qualities [=DeMille=] is famous for. Massive sets, extras by the thousands and scenes guaranteed to leave audiences' jaws on the floor. To this day, Moses' parting of the Red Sea remains an incredible piece of cinematography.

Considered the poster boy for tyrannical directors, [=DeMille=] did not tolerate fools gladly and despised actors who weren't willing to take risks for their art, as was the case with leading man Victor Mature on 1949's ''Samson and Delilah''. Despite his large, burly physique Mature was revealed to be a man of many fears and phobias - not only did he refuse to wrestle a perfectly tame, toothless lion, he also ran away when a giant wind fan malfunctioned during the scene where Samson killed the Philistine army with "the jawbone of an ass" (donkey) and hid in his dressing room, cowering in fear. This angered [=DeMille=] so much that he got on his speaker phone and declared to the entire cast and crew that Mature was "100% yellow."

Not considered a great director of actors, [=DeMille=] excelled at directing and coordinating large crowds of extras during epic scenes while he relied on an unofficial stock company of actors, such as long time collaborator Henry Wilcoxon, who knew how to give him what he wanted without needing much guidance.

The cartoon image of a movie director (guy in a beret, sunglasses and riding boots, carrying a cigar or riding crop in one hand and a megaphone in the other, e.g. the director in the 2007 ''Ballet Shoes'') was originally a reference to [=DeMille's=] odd taste in work clothes. The monocle also sometimes depicted was an affectation of both Creator/FritzLang (who also smoked with a cigarette-holder) and ErichVonStroheim, but not de Mille.

[=DeMille=] had a particular taste for costume design, and was called upon to design the [[MilitaryAcademy U.S. Air Force Academy]]'s cadet uniforms. The design is still used.

He appeared AsHimself in several Paramount films: ''Star Spangled Rhythm'', ''Variety Girl'', ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'' and ''The Buster Keaton Story''. For several years he moonlighted as the producer and on-air host of the ''Radio/LuxRadioTheatre'' show.

Today his name is invoked whenever anyone refers to a motion picture whose production values go way over the top.

He was also one of the first directors to mix religion and eroticism in his movies. He would display sensational scenes of debauchery and then punish the perpetrators in order to have them pay for their sins.

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!!(Very) Partial list of films directed by [=DeMille=]:
* ''The Squaw Man'' (1914, 1918 and 1931)
* ''Film/TheCheat'' (1915)
* ''Manslaughter'' (1922)
* ''Film/TheTenCommandments'' (1923 and 1956)
* ''Film/TheKingOfKings'' (1927)
* ''The Sign of the Cross'' (1932)
* ''Cleopatra'' (1934)
* ''Film/SamsonAndDelilah'' (1949)
* ''Film/TheGreatestShowOnEarth'' (1952)
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