DeMille-the-businessman and the mini-me mirroring of Samson in young Saul within Samson and Delilah

Kozlovic, Anton Karl 2021, DeMille-the-businessman and the mini-me mirroring of Samson in young Saul within Samson and Delilah, Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 183-203, doi: 10.3138/JRPC.2019-0011.

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Title DeMille-the-businessman and the mini-me mirroring of Samson in young Saul within Samson and Delilah
Author(s) Kozlovic, Anton Karl
Journal name Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
Volume number 32
Issue number 3
Start page 183
End page 203
Total pages 21
Publication date 2021-09-01
ISSN 1703-289X
Keyword(s) Arts & Humanities
biblical epic
Cecil B
religion and film
Russell Tamblyn
Samson and Delilah (1949)
Victor Mature
Summary Legendary producer-director Cecil B. DeMille was a master of the American biblical epic and a devout Hollywood businessman whose films inspired numerous extra-cinematic products plus screen characters designed to match market demographics whilst promoting public piety. For example, his main biblical protagonists within his family-friendly Samson and Delilah were crafted to appeal to adult audiences, but it is argued that DeMille also meticulously crafted young Saul (Russell Tamblyn) as a mini-me mirror of Samson (Victor Mature) to directly appeal to his youthful audiences, thereby assisting box office sales and helping shape US Christian culture. DeMille’s filmmaker status, businessman background, and ten Samson-Saul parallels are explicated here, guided methodologically by humanist film criticism plus a selective review of the critical literature. This original investigation reveals that DeMille was a far more insightful, creative, and business-savvy filmmaker than previously acknowledged. Further research into DeMille studies, biblical epics, and the emerging interdisciplinary field of religion and film is recommended.
Language eng
DOI 10.3138/JRPC.2019-0011
Field of Research 2002 Cultural Studies
2103 Historical Studies
2204 Religion and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Communication and Creative Arts
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