As only an accomplished author, consummate collector, and savvy insider can, John Kobal tells the story of the man who invented Hollywood, Cecil Blount DeMille. Kobal narrates the story of DeMille's life and follows the director's career from his first film, The Squaw Man, in 1914, through the seventy films he directed culminating with The Ten Commandments in 1956 before his death in 1959. Even that first film received an enthusiastic response from the public, and that popular enthusiasm would follow DeMille throughout his career. DeMille got his start by observing a film being shot-once standing for hours on a box looking through a window, watching every move made by the director, players, and cameraman. From that humble beginning, he soon mastered the craft of directing and created one of show business's greatest careers. Autocrat and artist, DeMille immersed himself totally in each picture he directed and demanded complete fealty from his casts and crews. DeMille was said to know more about what the American public wanted than anyone else in Hollywood. He pushed the boundaries of censorship, and Audiences responded by forming long lines at the box office. From the American West to ancient Egypt, he created such magical films as The Crusades and The Greatest Show on Earth that brought vividly to life fantasies perfectly suited to post-World War I and mid-century America. Kobal describes DeMille's impact on Hollywood as a director and showman. He argues that this master filmmaker stands for something largely lost in American filmmaking, a sort of naive, generous, big-thinking self-confidence-a belief that all things are possible. John Kobal wrote over thirty books on film and photography. His final manuscript, The Lost World of DeMille, was completed shortly before his death in 1991. It is published at last by University Press of Mississippi.