Cecil B. DeMille
Having emerged as a potent force during the birth of Hollywood, director Cecil B. DeMille was a crucial figure in the early development of the classic Hollywood narrative filmmaking style. Although less critically revered than D.W. Griffith, DeMille actually played a more important role in shaping the structure of the Hollywood system with films like "The Squaw Man" (1914), "Brewster's Millions" (1914) and "The Cheat" (1915). The commercial success of "The Cheat" allowed DeMille to expand his creative scope to include the popular comedy "Don't Change Your Husband" (1919) and his first attempt at "The Ten Commandments" (1923). After leaving the silent era behind for the brave new world of talkies, DeMille embarked on a highly-profitable partnership with Paramount Pictures that enabled him to make his most memorable films. Among the best was "Cleopatra" (1934), which harkened the penchant for grandeur and large-scale epics that became synonymous with his name. Following a string of lesser works like his first Technicolor venture, "Northwest Mounted Police" (1940), "Reap the Wild Wind" (1942), starring John Wayne, and the flag-waving drama "The Story of Dr. Wassell" (1944), DeMille made three of what many considered to be his finest films: "Samson and Delilah" (1949), "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952) and his remake of "The Ten Commandments" (1956). It was the latter film, with its cast of thousands and groundbreaking visual effects, that cemented DeMille's legacy as a true innovator who helped pioneer modern day epic filmmaking.