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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
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Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/tr.2009.1.04

Anton Karl Kozlovic


Producer-director Cecil B. DeMille was a cofounder of Hollywood and a progenitor of Paramount studio who became a movie legend and master of the American biblical epic via deft aesthetic skillfulness. Although frequently dismissed, denied or derided by critics throughout his career, he was so successful in profit-obsessed Hollywood that rivals attempted to emulate his box-office receipts by appropriating him, but they usually failed. Deploying humanist film criticism as the guiding analytical lens, the critical literature was selectively scanned and five subtle categories of industry homage to DeMille were identified, namely: (a) the film clip as homage, (b) the man as homage, (c) imitation as homage, (d) association as homage, and (e) remodeling as homage. Each interdisciplinary heuristic category was briefly explicated and illustrated employing copious inter-genre exemplars to demonstrate their diversity. Further researches into DeMille studies, homage typologies and their histories are warranted, recommended and are already long overdue.


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Admiral Ushakov (1953, dir. Mikhail Romm)

The Affairs of Anatol (1921, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

A Man Called Horse (1970, dir. Elliot Silverstein)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935, dir. William Dieterle & Max Reinhardt)

And Sudden Death (1936, dir. Charles Barton)

Anne Boleyn (a.k.a. Anna Boleyn) (1920, dir. Ernst Lubitsch)

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (a.k.a. Ben-Hur) (1925, dir. Fred Niblo)

Ben-Hur (a.k.a. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ) (1959, dir. William Wyler)

The Big Circus (1959, dir. Joseph M. Newman)

Blazing Saddles (1974, dir. Mel Brooks)

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, dir. David Lean)

The Box of Pandora (a.k.a. Die Buchse der Pandora) (1928, dir. Georg Wilhelm Pabst)

Caesar and Cleopatra (1945, dir. Gabriel Pascal)

Carmen (1915, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Cecil B. DeMented (a.k.a. Cecil B. Demented) (2000, dir. John Waters)
Charlie Chaplin’s Burlesque on Carmen (1916, dir. Charlie Chaplin)

Cleopatra (1934, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, dir. Steven Spielberg)

Coming to America (1988, dir. John Landis)

Conquering the Woman (1922, dir. King Vidor)

The Crusades (1935, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Damned (a.k.a. Les Maudits) (1947, dir. Rene Clement)

Doctor Zhivago (1965, dir. David Lean)

Don’t Tell Everything (1921, dir. Sam Wood)

Dynamite (1929, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Fool’s Paradise (1921, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Fountainhead (1949, dir. King Vidor)

The Funniest Show on Earth (a.k.a. Il Piu Comico Spettacolo del Mondo) (1953, dir. Mario Mattoli)
The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964, dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini)
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)
History of the World - Part I (1981, dir. Mel Brooks)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984, dir. Steven Spielberg)

Joan the Woman (1917, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Joseph and His Brethren (1962, dir. Irving Rapper)

Kanya Ya Ma Kan, Beyrouth (a.k.a. Once Upon a Time in Beirut) (1995, dir. Jocelyn Saab)

King David (1985, dir. Bruce Beresford)

The King of Kings (1927, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Land of the Pharaohs (1955, dir. Howard Hawks)

The Last Journey to Jerusalem (unknown date or director)

Live and Let Die (1973, dir. Guy Hamilton)

Madame Satan (1930, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Male and Female (1919, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Manslaughter (1922, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Manslaughter (1930, dir. George Abbott)

The Marriage Circle (1924, dir. Lubitsch)

Modern Commandments (1927, dir. Dorothy Arzner)

The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991, dir. David Zucker)

Old Wives for New (1918, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Plainsman (1937, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Plainsman (1966, dir. David Lowell Rich)

Pony Express (1953, dir. Jerry Hopper)

The Private Live of Henry VIII (1933, dir. Alexander Korda)

The Prodigal (1955, dir. Richard Thorpe)

Psycho (1960, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Quo Vadis (1951, dir. Mervyn LeRoy)

Reap the Wild Wind (1942, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Roman Scandals (1933, dir. Frank Tuttle)

Rose Marie (1954, dir. Mervyn LeRoy)

Samson and Delilah (1949, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954, dir. Hiroshi Inagaki)
Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955, dir. Hiroshi Inagaki)
Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956, dir. Hiroshi Inagaki)

Scipione l’Africano (a.k.a. Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal) (1937, dir. Carmine Gallone)

Scorpio Rising (1964, dir. Kenneth Anger)

The Sign of the Cross (1932, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Slave Queen (a.k.a. Moon of Israel) (1924, dir. Michael Curtiz)

Solomon and Sheba (1959, dir. King Vidor)

Special Effects: Anything Can Happen (1996, dir. Ben Burtt)

The Squaw Man (1914, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Squaw Man (1918, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Squaw Man (1931, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Sunset Blvd. (1950, dir. Billy Wilder)

The Ten Commandments (1923, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Ten Commandments (1956, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995, dir. Beeban Kidron)

Unconquered (1947, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Volga Boatman (1926, dir. Cecil B. DeMille

Wag the Dog (1997, dir. Barry Levinson)

The Wanderer (1925, dir. Raoul Walsh)

The Warrens of Virginia (1915, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

The Way of All Flesh (1927, dir. Victor Fleming)

The Way of All Flesh (1940, dir. Louis King)

The Whispering Chorus (1918, dir. Cecil B. DeMille)

Widows’ Peak (1994, dir. John Irvin)

The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926, dir. Henry King)

With Love and Hisses (1927, dir. Fred Guiol)

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