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The Ten Commandments (1923)

The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy ... See full summary »

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(as Cecil B. De Mille)

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(story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Moses - The Lawgiver
...
Rameses - the Magnificent: Prologue (as Charles De Roche)
...
Miriam - The Sister of Moses
...
Pat Moore ...
The Son of Pharaoh - Prologue (as Terrence Moore)
...
Aaron - Brother of Moses
...
Clarence Burton ...
The Taskmaster - Prologue
...
The Bronze Man - Prologue
...
Mrs. Martha McTavish
...
John McTavish - Her Son
...
Dan McTavish - Her Son
...
Mary Leigh
...
Sally Lung - a Eurasian
...
Redding - an Inspector
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Storyline

The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy of the commandments in modern life through a story set in San Francisco. Two brothers, rivals for the love of Mary, also come into conflict when John discovers Dan used shoddy materials to construct a cathedral. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Mightiest Dramatic Spectacle of All the Ages.


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 November 1923 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die zehn Gebote  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The effect of the parting of the Red Sea was created by placing two blocks of blue gelatin side-by-side, heating them until they melted...then running the footage in reverse. See more »

Goofs

The McTavish carpenter shop is always portrayed to be on the ground floor, but at the very end, when John reads the bible to Mary, the view from the window behind them clearly shows an overhead view of the city. See more »

Quotes

Mary Leigh: [catching John with another woman] There's still one commandment he hasn't broken, he hasn't killed anybody yet.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sands of Oblivion (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting, & Occasionally Impressive
21 September 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

It's interesting just to watch DeMille's first, silent film version of "The Ten Commandments", and the picture itself is pretty interesting too. It is also occasionally impressive, sometimes with the kind of DeMille flourishes that one expects, sometimes with a satisfying dramatic turn. It's quite different in its conception from the more familiar 1950's version, and so direct comparisons are not always possible, yet it holds up well by itself anyway.

Rather than concentrating on the biblical story, as in the remake, here DeMille first tells an abbreviated version of the Moses/Exodus narrative, and then uses it as the thematic basis for a modern morality tale. There are many parallels between the two stories, and while the parallels are occasionally forced, they often work surprisingly well. The modern-day story is similar to many other films of the 1910's and 1920's, but it is interesting and it is told well.

Although DeMille is known for his lavish spectacles, he also knew how to create some more subtle effects when he wanted to. In the modern story, some of the developments are a bit contrived, but the characters generally ring true, and the story itself is worthwhile as well. While the lavish remake with color and sound is probably going to remain more well-known, this earlier version is well worth seeing, too.


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