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Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 7, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Eyman makes a number of the same points that Simon Louvish did in his 2007 biography CECIL B. DEMILLE: A LIFE IN ART but is considerably easier on DeMille's politics and personality in general. The fact that Eyman was writing a bio authorized by the DeMille estate may have influenced the tone of the book somewhat, but the manuscript is certainly not sycophantic; rather, it is, as the slogan goes, "fair and balanced," which is all that one can ask when it comes to such a controversial figure.Read more ›
Not only does Eyman cover DeMille's career, he also sheds light on the man himself, his eccentricities (which are rather charming), his work ethic, the way he made films, the way he treated others (he was very kind, loyal, and quite often willing more often than not to help out old friend and colloberators), and his struggles with Paramount and the triumphs of his work. Despite being an authorised biography, it is no whitewash. Eyman goes over about DeMille's marriage and his mistresses, and DeMille's attempt to take down Joseph L. Mankewicz during the heated, legendary battle of the Director's Guild during the McCarthy era (as we know, DeMille lost, rather badly). It also shows that DeMille hired Edgar G. Robinson at a time he was blacklisted, so DeMille's politics were a little more complicated than the simple right vs. left garbage. Eyman interviews many actors and technicians who worked with DeMille, and many show deep respect for him, and admire his absolute belief in what he was doing.
DeMille started out in the silent days of cinema, and was always sorrowful that those days were gone. He excelled at silent filmmaking, and managed the transition to sound without losing his perspective or his career.Read more ›
So what a pleasant surprise it is to pick up Scott Eyman's 2010 book "Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille." Every few years Eyman puts out another Hollywood book - his previous works covered Louis B. Mayer (2005), John Ford (2001), Ernst Lubitsch (2000), and Mary Pickford (1991).
Eyman's book on DeMille has something for everyone. There's lots of detail about DeMille's childhood, plenty of material about his major films (and even some of the minor ones), and lots of source material, from comments by his collaborators to reviews to copies of his personal correspondence. As a plus, it's well written and easy to read, and Eyman seems more concerned with covering his life rather than painting it one color or the other.
Film buffs will find this one of the better biographies.
De Mille's sufferings on the set are like the trials God dealt to Job, and they make Francis Ford Coppola's wellknown problems during the filming of APOCALYPSE NOW seem like a walk in the park. De Mille killed himself little by little, not wanting to let Paramount down. Didn't Coppola work for Paramount too? It must be a studio that inspires intense loyalty among its directors.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Meticulously researched and well-written biography of DeMille. Excellent read for anyone interested in the beginnings of the motion picture industry and the Golden Age of... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Kelly Durham
Very nice and detailed bio of the famous producer/directorPublished 17 months ago by John Onachilla
An incredibly insightful portrait of a truly great man. An absolute must for anyone interested in the history and "soul" of Hollywood. Sincere kudos to Mr. Read morePublished on August 2, 2014 by DK
Got to be part picture-buff but an amazing man. Great if you're into movie history.Published on July 15, 2014 by Robert A