[From Luc Moullet’s monograph Cecil B. DeMille: The Emperor of Mauve (2012, Capricci). See Table of Contents]

Akim Tamiroff in North West Mounted Police (1940): Technicolor Western comedy.

C.B.’s conservatism is not limited to politics.

DeMille is a man who doesn’t travel much; either the studio, or outdoor locations in California, or somewhere not too far. In his Canadian film, North West Mounted Police, it is clear that the distant exteriors in the background, photographed with transparencies, were shot by Arthur Rosson’s second unit. It wasn’t until the two last projects that C.B. deigned to actually travel, following the circus troupe around Florida (The Greatest Show on Earth) or going to Egypt (The Ten Commandments).

He often filmed the same thing. He may be the only one to have shot two remakes of one of his films, The Squaw Man in this case.

Forbidden Fruit is a new version of The Golden Chance, made five years earlier. Four Frightened People looks a lot like Male and Female. Don’t Change Your Husband and Why Change Your Wife are almost twin films. The Girl of the Golden West and A Romance of the Redwoods have very similar screenplays. Not to mention the two versions of the Ten Commandments.

He was to shoot a remake of The Buccaneer in 1957, but finally, overcome by age, he made way for his son-in-law, Anthony Quinn.

His special effects didn’t change. The painted canvases and schematic transparencies worked well in 1916. Why not do the same thing forty years later, even if the audience had become more demanding?