Im Moment buddeln sie in den Guadalupe-Nipomo Dünen bei Pismo Beach, Kalifornien, die 21 riesigen Sphinxen wieder aus, die Cecil B. DeMille damals 1923 nach den Dreharbeiten zu seinem Epos The Ten Commandments dort in der Wüste hat verrotten lassen.
DeMille spared no expense making the set for this Moses vs. Pharaoh epic. He wanted it to look big so he made the biggest set in movie history. The City of the Pharoah set was 720 feet wide, 110 feet tall flanked by four 40-ton statues of Rameses II. The total weight in statuary for the entire movie was 500 tons, which is a particularly astounding weight when you consider that each statue was made of plaster of Paris pieces that could be transported from Los Angeles 175 miles up the coast to the dunes and put together on site. Designed by Art Deco master Paul Iribe, the set took 1,600 craftsmen to build using 500,000 board-feet of lumber, 25,000 pounds of nails, 75 miles of reinforcing cable. There were 2,500 human extras and 3,000 animals. It cost $1.4 million and made $4 million, a record box office for Paramount that would stand for 22 years until DeMille’s remake of the movie shattered it.
History Blog: Remains of 1923 DeMille sphinx recovered from dunes