Adventures in American Filmmaking #112


Today's Adventure: On the set of Sunset Blvd., Cecil B. DeMille tries not to listen as Billy Wilder gives him direction (1950)

3 comments:

.k said...

Ooh man, this is brilliant!

Billy is one of my faves and this picture in particular is one of the best.

Congrats on the blog, i obsess over it

Hans Gruber said...

Nazi Cecil meets jewish Billy.

r.j. said...

Well to be fair, C.B. had been a major-player since the beginning of the industry. (Hell, he and Lasky and Goldwyn STARTED the whole bloody industry, didn't they?) and Billy was for him, I'm sure, a Johnny-Come-REAL-Lately. Billy had been an active director on the Paramount lot for all of about seven-years at that point. I always felt that DeMille was actually a far better actor than he ever was a director, and his scenes with Swanson are about the most genuinely moving and effective in the picture. There's a great story, that took place in the Paramount screening room several-years later. DeMille was proudly screening his latest for invited Paramount biggies. Afterward, he approached Billy. "Well, what do you think" he asked excitedly about his latest epic. Completely at a loss as to how to respond to what he had just viewed, Billy said, "Mr. DeMille, you have made "The Greatest Show On Earth". "Thank you!", DeMille happily-responded.