Samuel Goldwyn, film producer, founder of several production companies, including MGM in 1925, allied with United Artists. Here he is shown in a business suit, standing with his hands in his pockets. Undated photograph. (Photo by �� John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
  • Cecil B. DeMille

Ready for My deMille: Profiles in Excellence – Samuel Goldwyn, 1973

"Arial",sans-serif;color:#550016″>  was presented to its namesake visionary director, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has awarded its most prestigious prize 66 times. From Walt Disney to Bette DavisElizabeth Taylor to Steven Spielberg and 62 others, the deMille has gone to luminaries – actors, directors, producers – who have left an indelible mark on Hollywood. Sometimes mistaken with a career achievement award, per HFPA statute, the deMille is more precisely bestowed for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”. In this series, HFPA cognoscente and former president Philip Berk profiles deMille laureates through the years.

Samuel Goldwyn was not just a studio, he actually produced his films, each and every one of them, and he did it successfully for sixty years. But unlike Walt Disney, he used his own money to build his reputation, and in fact, when he died at the ripe age of 94 he was worth over $50 million.

Wuthering Heightsfrom Danny Kaye to The Best Years of Our Livesand from Guys and Dolls to Porgy and Bess. And he did it all by himself.

William Wyler, cinematographer Gregg Toland, writers Ben Hecht, Sydney Howard, Dorothy Parker, and actors Gary Cooper, Ronald Colman, David Niven, Merle Oberon, and Danny Kaye.

John Ford, Stella Dallas directed by King Vidor, and These Three, Dodsworth, Dead End, The Little Foxes, and Wuthering Heights, the latter five all directed by William Wyler, his most frequent collaborator. From 1939, he had an unequaled run of great movies, starting with Wuthering Heights followed by The Westerner, The Little Foxes, Ball of Fire, Pride of the Yankees, three Danny Kaye classics, culminating in his greatest achievement, The Best Years of Our Lives, which won every award it was eligible for that year including the Golden Globe.

Marlon Brando in a singing role. Porgy and Bess, equally faithful to the original, had its share of problems even before Black Lives Matters forced Hollywood to clean up its act, and unfortunately, because the rights have reverted to the Gershwin estate, it now remains in limbo.