When “Exodus: Gods and Kings” premieres in theaters Friday, Dec. 12, there will be inevitable comparisons between Christian Bale and Charlton Heston’s portrayals of Moses and between the work of directors Ridley Scott and Hollywood legend Cecil B. DeMille.
James D’Arc will watch with particular interest. The longtime curator of the motion picture archive in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at Brigham Young University's Harold B. Lee Library is an expert on DeMille’s life and was interviewed for a documentary on the making of DeMille’s 1956 epic, “The Ten Commandments.”
Much of D'Arc’s career has involved the acquisition, processing and publicizing of the Cecil B. DeMille papers, a massive collection of memorabilia that has filled more than 1,260 boxes with thousands of photographs, correspondence files, research files, artwork and other historical treasures in Special Collections.
One of the less publicized facts revealed in the collection is DeMille’s unique friendship with David O. McKay, the ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.