So how much did you know about our Monday Quiz man, Cecil B. DeMille (seen above smooching Gloria Swanson)?
We suspect you knew mostly about his Fifties spectaculars with casts of thousands all with an eye on the movie box office.
But did you know that DeMille, a former actor, also directed a ton of silent films that are worth seeing? And that although married to the same woman for nearly six decades, DeMille carried on with not one but two mistresses, sometimes simultaneously.
Quite a guy. Ok, let’s get to our answers. To review the questions, just scroll down one blog below.
1) Answer: b) False. DeMille came from an artistic, devoutly Christian family, and regarded the Bible as the Holy Writ. Besides, it provided great story material.
2) Answer: b) The Squaw Man, the saga of a chivalrous British officer putting down roots in the American West. The 1913 version was DeMille’s first film. He loved the material so much that he came up with remakes in 1918 and 1931, the latter in sound costarring Charles Bickford and Warner Baxter.
3) Answer: d) Edward G. Robinson, who wrote that there was no fairer one, no man with a greater sense of decency than Demille, who politically was definitely right of center (the opposite of Robinson). He returned me to films. He restored my self respect.
4) Answer: All except d). Hedy Lamarr did know and remember her lines when she made Samson and Delilah. But Demille faulted her for all other choices.
5) Answer: b) No. By DeMille biographer Charles Higham’s count, he made 52 silent titles and 18 “talkies.”
6) Answer: As mentioned, d) The Squaw Man was DeMille’s debut feature as director and scripter while b) 1929’s Dynamite, a surprisingly racy romantic drama, was his first outing in sound. Conrad Nagel was the star.
7) Answer: c) Mature, it seems, had a pocketful of phobias, fears of one thing or another. DeMille had little patience for his Samson and Delilah costar, and blasted him as “100 per cent yellow.”
8) Answer: b) Anthony Quinn, who at the time was married to DeMille’s adopted daughter Katherine. Quinn’s directoral career was thankfully short lived.
9) Answer: c) Betty Hutton. The Greatest Show On Earth costar learned her part in the picture through assiduous practice, and performed trapeze stunts what DeMille considered grace and courage. She was his favorite cast performer.
10) Answer: During the shooting of The Ten Commandments, DeMille suffered c) an apparent heart attack, but survived. Born in 1881, the veteran producer-director died in 1959 at age 77.