The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille Trailer (2017)
Trailer for the documentary The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille.
The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille follows the decades long quest of Peter Brosnan, who first heard rumors of the burial of DeMille’s City of the Pharaoh, a huge set encompassing 20 sphinxes and four 35-ton statues of Ramses, in 1982. Too daunting to be constructed inside a 1920’s-era studio soundstage, DeMille and his production staff found their “faux-Egypt” on the beaches of Santa Barbara County. When they finished shooting, rather than leave the sets to be repurposed by second-rate hacks hoping to steal a little of his thunder, DeMille had the sets buried in the sand, counting on time and coastal elements to eventually destroy them.
Fascinated by this bit of movie lore about “the last of the great sets” and optimistic that much of the set may have survived, Brosnan and film-school friends Bruce Cardozo and Richard Eberhardt set out to arrange for an excavation and make a documentary. What followed was decades of on-again, off-again excavation efforts, as the project faced seemingly insurmountable funding stumbles and bureaucratic obstacles.
The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille documentary is the story behind the excavation, highlighting Brosnan’s multiple agonizing years of starts and stops, as funding, red tape and weather halted the well-publicized story that wouldn’t die, even when Brosnan was ready to walk away, over and over again. It concurrently interweaves the history of famed director DeMille with fascinating firsthand accounts from dozens of people who were involved in the groundbreaking 1923 production, including studio executives, extras, spectators and the filmmaker’s granddaughter Cecilia DeMille Presley.
1 min 58 sec
September 20, 2017
October 3, 2017
Agnes de Mille
Cecil B. DeMille
M. Colleen Hamilton
No Music Available