The Ten Commandments

( 7 )

Overview

Based on the Holy Scriptures, with additional dialogue by several other hands, The Ten Commandments was the last film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The story relates the life of Moses, from the time he was discovered in the bullrushes as an infant by the pharoah's daughter, to his long, hard struggle to free the Hebrews from their slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Moses Charlton Heston starts out "in solid" as Pharoah's adopted son and a whiz at designing pyramids, dispensing such construction-site advice as...
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Overview

Based on the Holy Scriptures, with additional dialogue by several other hands, The Ten Commandments was the last film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The story relates the life of Moses, from the time he was discovered in the bullrushes as an infant by the pharoah's daughter, to his long, hard struggle to free the Hebrews from their slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Moses Charlton Heston starts out "in solid" as Pharoah's adopted son and a whiz at designing pyramids, dispensing such construction-site advice as "Blood makes poor mortar", but when he discovers his true Hebrew heritage, he attempts to make life easier for his people. Banished by his jealous half-brother Rameses Yul Brynner, Moses returns fully bearded to Pharoah's court, warning that he's had a message from God and that the Egyptians had better free the Hebrews post-haste if they know what's good for them. Only after the Deadly Plagues have decimated Egypt does Rameses give in. As the Hebrews reach the Red Sea, they discover that Rameses has gone back on his word and plans to have them all killed. But Moses rescues his people with a little Divine legerdemain by parting the Seas. Later, Moses is again confronted by God on Mt. Sinai, who delivers unto him the Ten Commandments. Meanwhile, the Hebrews, led by the duplicitous Dathan Edward G. Robinson, are forgetting their religion and behaving like libertines. "Where's your Moses now?" brays Dathan in the manner of a Lower East Side gangster. He soon finds out. A remake of his 1923 silent film, DeMille's The Ten Commandments may not be the most subtle and sophisticated entertainment ever concocted, but it tells its story with a clarity and vitality that few Biblical scholars have ever been able to duplicate. It is very likely the most eventful 219 minutes ever recorded to film -- and who's to say that Nefertiri Anne Baxter didn't make speeches like, "Oh, Moses, Moses, you splendid, stubborn, adorable fool"?
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Special Features

Commentary by Katherine Orrison, Author of "Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille's Epic, The Ten Commandments; ; Newsreel: The Ten Commandments Premiere in New York; ; Theatrical Trailers: 1956 "Making of" Trailer/1966 Trailer/1989 Trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Ten Commandments was the final film in the five-decade career of legendary producer/director Cecil B. DeMille and, despite its flaws, it remains a primary example of combining high production values and epic scope for a box-office blockbuster. Expanded from one of the segments in DeMille's 1923 silent film of the same name (though not exactly a remake of that film as is often claimed - the earlier version took place mostly in modern times), it benefits greatly from Charlton Heston's star-making performance as Moses, and from a veteran supporting cast that includes Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, and Vincent Price. The acting, though, is secondary to DeMille's visually expansive storytelling. The production design has an appropriate sense of grandeur, and the parting of the Red Sea is among the most famous scenes in any film from the 1950s. DeMille's directing style is straightforward, maintaining a clean, brisk pace throughout the film's 220 minutes. The Ten Commandments was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, winning for John Fulton's special effects.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/29/2011
  • UPC: 097361435046
  • Original Release: 1956
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Time: 3:51:00
  • Format: Blu-ray

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlton Heston Moses, Voice Only
Yul Brynner Rameses
Anne Baxter Nefertiri
Edward G. Robinson Dathan
Yvonne de Carlo Sephora
James Coburn
Debra Paget Lilia
John Derek Joshua
Nina Foch Bithiah
Cedric Hardwicke Sethi
Martha Scott Yochabel
Judith Anderson Memnet
Vincent Price Baka
John Carradine Aaron
Olive Deering Miriam
Douglas Dumbrille Jannes
Frank de Kova Abiram
Henry Wilcoxon Pentaur
Eduard Franz Jethro
Donald Curtis Mered
Lawrence Dobkin Hur Ben Caleb
H.B. Warner Amminadab
Julia Faye Elisheba
John Miljan The Blind One
Francis McDonald Simon
Ian Keith Rameses I
Paul de Rolf Eleazar
Tommy Duran Gershom
Eugene Mazzola Rameses' Son
Joan Woodbury Korah's Wife
Woody Strode King of Ethiopia
Ramsay Hill Korah
Esther Brown Princess Tharbis
Dorothy Adams Slave Woman
Luis Alberni Old Hebrew
Lillian Albertson
Eric Alden
Herb Alpert Drum Player
E.J. Andre
Michael Ansara Taskmaster
Joel Ashley
Baynes Barron
George Baxter
Mary Benoit
Robert Bice
Abbas El Bougbdadly Rameses' Charioteer
Henry Brandon Commander of the Hosts
Olive Carey Miriam
Robert Carson
Robert Clarke
Fred Coby Hebrew at Golden Calf/Taskmaster
Peter Coe
Michael Connors Amalekite Herder
Edna Mae Cooper
Henry Corden Sheik of Ezion
Tony Dante Libyan Captain
Steven Darrell
Frankie Darro Slave
Cecil B. DeMille Voice Only
Ken Dibbs Corporal
Moe DiSesso
Edward Earle Slave
Matty Fain
Franklin Farnum High Offical
Maude Fealy
Kathy Garver Young Slave
Anthony George
Mimi Gibson
Gavin Gordon
Nancy Hale
Kay Hammond
Peter Hansen
John Hart Cretan Ambassador
Fraser C. Heston The Infant Moses
Ed Hinton Taskmaster/Flagman
Richard Kean
Walter Woolf King Herald
Gail Kobe Pretty Slave Girl
Fred Kohler Jr. Foreman
Frank Lackteen Old Man in Granary
Emmett Lynn Old Slave Man/Hebrew at Golden Calf
Kenneth MacDonald Slave
Barry Macollum
Peter Mamakos
Irene Martin
George Melford
Joanna Merlin Jethro's Daughter
John Merton
Paula Morgan
John Parrish
Stanley Price Slave Carrying Load
Rodd Redwing
Adeline Reynolds
Addison Richards Fan Bearer
Keith Richards
Onslow Stevens Lugal
Eugenia Strauss
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer Slave
Irene Tedrow
Joyce Vanderveen Jethro's Daughter
Robert Vaughn Spearman
Clint Walker Sardinian Captain
Frank Wilcox Wazir
Noelle Williams Jethro's Daughter
Jeane Wood
Technical Credits
Cecil B. DeMille Director, Producer
Anne Bauchens Editor
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Fredric M. Frank Screenwriter
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Jack Gariss Screenwriter
Loyal Griggs Cinematographer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Dorothy Jeakins Costumes/Costume Designer
John Jensen Costumes/Costume Designer
Ralph Jester Costumes/Costume Designer
W. Wallace Kelley Cinematographer
Jesse Lasky Jr. Screenwriter
Aeneas MacKenzie Screenwriter
J. Peverell Marley Cinematographer
Frank McCoy Makeup
Ray Moyer Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Albert Nozaki Production Designer
Hal Pereira Production Designer
LeRoy J. Prinz Choreography
Walter Tyler Art Director
John F. Warren Cinematographer
Frank Westmore Makeup
Wally Westmore Makeup
Henry Wilcoxon Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Masterpiece

    Cecil DeMille's Ten Commandements presents to the modern viewer a magnificent story of faith and the guidance of Divine Providence. The film was made with reverence to the Scriptures and the period of history which it covers. Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner portray their characters in such a way as to only deserve praise. It's a wonderful classic to add to your collection, and I give it five stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Masterpiece!!!!!!!!!

    The movie has touched my heart,mind and soul...Every actor has done justice to his/her respective role.A must see flick for young and old! Awesome!!!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hush, Pass the Popcorn, and Enjoy the Show

    The smug, petulant, critical complaints that ¿The Ten Commandments¿ suffers from historical and Biblical inaccuracies, over-the-top scripting and the occasional scenery-chewing bout of overacting are looking the wrong direction. The Bible according to Cecil B. DeMille is not the NIV, it isn¿t the Septuagint, and it surely isn¿t the King James Bible. DeMille¿s vision of the Bible is derived from 19th Century steel engravings and early 20th Century color Sunday School quarterly illustrations¿DeMille worked in bright primary colors because those were the colors his audience understood as good and right for the subject he was embracing. He created spectacles because he and his audience understood spectacular themes¿-DeMille¿s world was not pessimistic about its own time and future in the way 21st Century America is. Mid-century Americans movies reflect the exuberant optimism we knew in those days and they are better for it. If a DeMille Bible epic perhaps got a more than healthy dose of Hollywood style romance, that had less to do with DeMille¿s agenda and a lot more to do with the expectations that an audience brought to the theatre with them. These movies were never about a simple, quiet faith¿DeMille¿s view of the Bible was heroic and triumphant. He saw the Bible¿s stories as grand tales, and filmed them as spectacular events no less bright than the colors and costumes he dressed the actors and scenes with. If it ¿The Ten Commandments¿ was occasionally gaudy, well, that was not viewed as a particular sin. ¿The Ten Commandments¿ is far bigger than its current lot of self-complacent critics. There are moments of high camp in this movies; it is also likely that virtually every other complaint someone might make about the movie is true. However, the people who feel they have to hold their noses to view it (for whatever reason) have no business watching in the first place, that part of the audience does not measure the movie; it measures them. In making this epic, DeMille created a lasting document that is already long-proven; as this review is being written, ¿The Ten Commandments¿ is close upon a half-century¿s vintage and still enjoys a huge popularity. To many people, it is a vastly religious document despite any flaws they see, and to those people for whom it is only a good movie, well, they¿re not wrong either. This is mid-century filmmaking at its best. So, stop complaining, pass me the popcorn, and enjoy the show.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One Of The Best Movies Ever Made

    The Ten Commandments is one of the best movies you will ever see. The special effects are as good as the modern techniques of today. Maybe even better. The story is full of adventure, love, and the persuit for freedom. This is a movie you can enjoy with your whole family.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ten Commandments a Masterpiece

    I would like to say that Cecil B. DeMil directed this movie in excellence, and that both of the main characters, Moses and Ramsese, were brilliantly potrayed by Charelton Heston, and Yul Bryyner! The special effects were of excellent quality too, still able to astound the audiences of today's high budget films! The Ten Commandments is a must for all Christian movie collectors!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Easter Fav' Gets Less Than Perfect Transfer

    'The Ten Commandments: Special Edition' is one of the 1950s big budget elephantine Biblical epics with more spectacle than heart. It¿s full of pomp and circumstance, filled to the tip of the pyramids with an all star roster that must have tipped the budgetary scales over at Paramount, and completely overdone beyond all legitimate theater. The story charts the spiritual growth of Moses (Charlton Heston) as he matures into the stark reality that he is not of noble Egyptian blood. This, of course, eventually leads Moses on the righteous path to God as he frees the slaves from bondage. Also featured in this all star cast are Yul Brynner as Ramses, the Pharaoh¿s ruthless first born, Edward G. Robinson, looking rather effeminate in his toga as Nathan, the overseer, Nina Foch as The Princess with a secret to keep and - (chuckle, chuckle) Vincent Price as Backa, the master builder - very effeminate in his Egyptian toga and gaudy head gear. Dame Judith Anderson is effective as Memnet and Sir Cedric Hardwick is particularly poignant as Ramses the first. The production is monumental but stale, thanks to some rather obvious matte process shots and really simplistic animation that is easily spotted and distracting from the otherwise dry performances. Honestly, does anyone think the pillar of fire or burning hale look real? This film is the perennial Easter fav' amongst secular Christians, but for my money the average DVD consumer will be much more emotionally satisfied with BEN-HUR. That goes double for the transfer quality of this DVD. This is the same transfer as the previously issued and reviewed disc. It is riddled with edge enhancement, shimmering of fine details and pixelization that thoroughly distract from the visual presentation. Although colors are bold, rich and vibrant and black and contrast levels are deep - with fine detail evident throughout - the digital anomalies on both discs totally undercuts its assets in picture quality. The audio is a 5.1 remix and generally engaging in its spread. EXTRAS: We get a 6 part documentary that - like those featured on Paramount's 'Once Upon The Time In The Old West' - would have been better edited into one documentary instead of 6 featurettes. There's also an audio commentary that's - well, flat and uninspiring - unlike the film's subject matter. BOTTOM LINE: After providing us with stunning digital transfers of 'Sunset Blvd.' and 'Roman Holiday' I sort of thought Paramount Home Video had turned over a new leaf. They haven't. This transfer is unworthy of the moniker 'Special Edition' and it just goes to show that classics continue to get shafted over at Paramount. For shame!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What a snoozer!!!!

    What is all the hype about?? I fail to see what the big deal is with this film. I know this was made before I was born but c'mon, I've seen Downy commercials with more believable acting than this garbage. Mr. Heston was so blah. I wouldn't wish this movie on my worst enemy.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews