Movie Industry: Cecil B. Demille Essay

2365 words - 9 pages

The youngest films of the movie industry were not sheer matter of creative worth, but moderately scientific creations. At the time of the early 20th century era of making films, a cluster of scriptwriters, producers, and directors gradually transformed films into an intermediate tool for expression. A key player to the American film industry was Cecil B. Demille, an American film director and producer, known for both his renowned films in both the silent era and post silent era. DeMille is credited as being a visionary of the film industry, venturing into uncharted territories of film and pushing social norms. Prior to his career as a filmmaker, the film industry was on the verge of arriving at a new period of modernism. The old attitude among citizens that was brought on by Victorianism in the 19th century was progressively fading. The Victorian era had been comprised of, “virtues’ of sexual repression and restriction…. a code of positive morals that include[d] perseverance and an aversion to idleness; a sense of moral uniformity…self control, discipline, self-confidence, [and] self-sufficiency” (Belton 96). In other words, the era bred close-minded individuals, rigid to change and new ideas. As DeMille started his path into the movie business, he highlighted an upcoming subset of individuals and showcased the expanding diversity in the populace of America. Cecil B. DeMille influenced American film cinema to take on more diverse scripts in which the public had never seen before, through the implementation of both foreign actors and characters in his films and interwove them into his theatrical storylines.
DeMille was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts and birthed into an artistically inclined family. DeMille’s father and mother, Henry Churchill DeMille and Matilda Beatrice Samuel DeMille, respectively were highly involved in the arts. His father, a professor at Columbia University, was also a minister at an Episcopal Church as well as a playwright. In addition to Henry, DeMille’s brother, William, also prospered in playwriting. Partly due to the fact that DeMille had a relatively strong background of artistic influence in his family, he “pursued callings as an actor, play broker, producer, and writer” (Birchard 1). DeMille would struggle in his beginning years in the theater industry, not experiencing much accomplishment and finding it hard to relinquish his debts and support a family. It was not until DeMille’s film The Squaw Man in 1914, a joint effort with producer Jesse L. Laskey, that he was able to breakthrough his rut in world of theater. The film marked a turning point in DeMille’s life as he realized in light of the meek achievements he had made in the theater industry, he coped far better in the realm of film.
While DeMille was making his transition into the world of film, at the same time, the United States had set foot in an age in which an exceptional quantity of immigrants were making their way into the country....

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