Featuring Peter Brosnan, Agnes de Mille. Directed by Peter Brosnan. (2016, 88 min).
For film fans, Cecil B. DeMille needs no introduction. The man was producing & directing grand scale epics when James Cameron's grandparents were still in diapers. He's probably most-renowned for 1956's The Ten Commandments, which was actually his second go-round of the story of Moses. The first time was in 1923, and when he was finished, DeMille apparently ordered his massive sets buried in the California desert where it was filmed. Over the years, that story became sort-of an urban legend.
Decades later, filmmaker Peter Brosnan learned of this and commenced searching for these lost treasures with the help of various archaeologists. Repeated funding problems and run-ins with local officials stretched his search and excavation efforts over 30 years. When he finally does begin to uncover traces of the "Egyptian" artifacts, it made me wish all directors buried their sets when done with them. Wouldn't it be amusing if, centuries from now, archaeologists found evidence that Hobbits once lived in the lush hills of New Zealand?
|"Hey guys...is that a finger?"|
The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille is an entertaining chronicle of Brosnan's strange journey. It's also a pretty fascinating documentary about DeMille's career and the making of the first Ten Commandments (which was a budget-busting, tumultuous shoot). In fact, until Brosnan begins his actual dig, the backstory is a lot more interesting than his search and funding efforts.
Frankly, I never knew about this slice of Hollywood history until now. The fact it isn't mere folklore makes The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille a a must-see for classic movie buffs. The film is currently available on iTunes. Check it out.
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS