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'V AS IN BARNUM 311 DeMille paradox. Before the interview the writer searched the records, emerging more confused than ever. The records held DeMille to be "the worst slave driver of all the directors/' "the most considerate man in Hollywood/' "merciless," "a man who likes to be considered a king," "modest and conservative," "feared by his associates/ 7 "loved by his associates." The writer arrived on a day DeMille was inspecting a parade of exotic frocks worn by models. He waved them all out of the room, "moved a charming old Chinese bronze out of the way and sat silently, fixing me with very intense eyes." The writer spoke first: "What kind of man are you anyway, Mr. DeMille? Are you really Dr. Jekyll or are you Mr. Hyde? And if one of the characters people give you is false why do you make no attempt to correct it? Why have you allowed this two-edged legend to flourish all these years?" Showman DeMille smiled. "If I told you positively, people could only talk about me once instead of twice as they do now. That would be a real calamity, for they might stop going to see my pictures. I can't answer you. You'll have to guess for your- self." While the writer could draw nothing more out of him, De- Mille utilized the occasion to add to his own legend. "He showed me an amazing collection of curios and gorgeous unset jewels, and then amidst all this display of wealth and luxury, he would be interrupted by calls from his brokers, giving swift answers like 'Buy me so many shares at the market—*; 'Sell. I don't like their last statement'; 'Yes, 111 endorse her note. She once played for my father.'" Lewis Jacobs, a film analyst, contended DeMille had never made a fine film, "only pretentious ones." Robert Sherwood in a more contemplative mood tagged him "the Zeus of Holly- wood," pointing out that his training under Belasco accounted for "the form of hokum which was to make him famous and rich." To Jim Tully he was "the first man in such a position I have met who knows the mob without thinking on their level.