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Towards A Pure Fiction: Cecil B. DeMille

  • MUBI
Like Night of the Hunter, Tod Browning’s Freaks or Leonard Kastle’s The Honeymoon Killers, The Road to Yesterday can be ranked among the UFOs of cinema. It’s place in the heart of Cecil B. DeMille’s work proves to be in itself very distinctive. We know that, during his entire life, DeMille had virtually only one producer—Paramount (the former Famous Players Lasky)—just like Minnelli was MGM’s man and Corman American International’s. Sixty-three of his films (out of seventy) were produced at Paramount. And, oddly enough, it is among the seven outsiders, situated within a brief period from 1925 to 1931, that his best activity is to be found (I’m thinking of Madam Satan, The Godless Girl, and The Road to Yesterday)–his most audacious undertakings. To top it off, for this uncontested king of the box office, his best films were his biggest commercial failures.
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