Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

CREATIVITY – A One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Contributed from Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations


A rather grandfatherly man led his entourage of writers and producers to a large table that was permanently reserved for him at the commissary. “That’s Cecil B. de Mille!” my friend explained.

I had seen and been deeply moved by de Mille’s monumental motion picture, King of Kings. And so, when Mr. de Mille walked into the Paramount dining room, I watched him with a kind of schoolboy awe.

“Isn’t that a Bible he’s reading?” I asked Paul, as we watched America’s leading film director and producer at the table surrounded by his close friends in the industry.

“He reads the Bible every day,” Paul explained. “He’s a devout Christian believer. In fact, de Mille was so determined that his depiction of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in King of Kings be true to God’s Word that he asked your friend, Louis Evans, the pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church, to be his theological advisor on the picture.”

Suddenly, Cecil B. de Mille stood and walked directly to my table. We talked for almost an hour. He told me that, as a young boy, he had felt a call to Christian ministry, and that he had tried to be true to that call through special motion pictures like King of Kings.

“An estimated eight hundred million people have seen and heard the story of Jesus through that film alone,” de Mille told me humbly. “Now, I’m working on The Ten Commandments, hoping to give another eight hundred million people a lesson in Old Testament history.”

—W.A. Criswell

[Reproduced with permission from Encylopedia of 15,000 Illustrations, by Paul Lee Tan,
Communications, Inc., Dallas, TX, 1998, #1882]

[Editor’s note: Cecil B. De Mille, 1881–1959, American movie director, producer, writer and actor, has been called by many “the founder of Hollywood,” “the world’s greatest director” and “the showman of showmen.” He was a born showman and had an innate sense of what the public would clamor for. He has been described as a mixture of self-confidence, ambition, passion, artistry and gutsiness. He also had a knack for identifying and developing young potential. In 1913, together with Samuel Goldwyn, he made the first feature-length film in Hollywood, The Squaw Man. In 1915 he came into prominence with his first “spectacle” film, Carmen. His films were marked by their epic style and their theatricality, by their mass crowd scenes, and often by their biblical themes. He insisted on realism. In 1953 he won an Academy Award for The Greatest Show on Earth. His biggest and most popular production was The Ten Commandments (1956).]


This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.