Scandals, Sandals & Biblical Epics
The Dramatic Life, Faith & Films of Cecil B. DeMille
In case you haven't noticed, Tinseltown is turning out biblical films on a scale not seen since the 1950s. With the showings of Noah, Heaven Is for Real, Son of God, God's Not Dead, Left Behind, Exodus, and Mary, Mother of Christ, 2014 has been called the "year of the biblical movie." It is a genre and trend traceable to the cinematic influence of Cecil B. DeMille.
Box office hits like Quo Vadis (1951), The Robe (1953), and Ben-Hur (1959) made the fifties a golden era for the biblical epic. But it was DeMille's Samson and Delilah, the number-one moneymaking movie of 1949, that launched the era, and his Ten Commandments (1956) influenced filmmaking well into the next decade, which saw the release of The Story of Ruth (1960), King of Kings (1961), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).
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Regis Nicoll is a retired nuclear engineer and physicist who is a Colson Center Fellow and Christian commentator. He currently writes for BreakPoint, Crosswalk, and Salvo magazine, and serves as the lay pastor of an Anglican church plant in Chattanooga (www.hamiltonaf.org).
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