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The Ten Commandments (1923)

Passed  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  23 November 1923 (USA)
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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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Title: The Ten Commandments (1923)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Theodore Roberts ...
Moses - The Lawgiver
Charles de Rochefort ...
Rameses - the Magnificent: Prologue (as Charles De Roche)
...
Miriam - The Sister of Moses
...
Pat Moore ...
The Son of Pharaoh - Prologue (as Terrence Moore)
James Neill ...
Aaron - Brother of Moses
Lawson Butt ...
Clarence Burton ...
The Taskmaster - Prologue
Noble Johnson ...
The Bronze Man - Prologue
Edythe Chapman ...
Mrs. Martha McTavish
...
John McTavish - Her Son
...
Dan McTavish - Her Son
...
Mary Leigh
...
Sally Lung - a Eurasian
Robert Edeson ...
Redding - an Inspector
Edit

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

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The enormous sets of ancient Egypt have become a Hollywood legend in themselves. The "City of the Pharaohs" was constructed of wood and plaster in the Guadalupe Dunes, an 18-mile stretch of coastal sand 170 miles north of L.A. The sets featured four 35-foot-tall statues of the Pharaoh Ramses, 21 five-ton sphinxes, and city walls over 120 feet high. An army of 2,500 actors, extras, carpenters, plasterers, painters, cooks, staff, and film crew members inhabited the set for three months, housed in a virtual army camp that featured nearly 1,000 tents. (3,500 animals, used in recreating the scenes of ancient Egypt, were housed in a huge corral downwind of the camp.) When shooting wrapped, Cecil B. DeMille simply had the massive Egyptian city sets bulldozed, and buried in a huge pit beneath the sand, where they remain to this day. For years, the legendary "Lost City of DeMille" was spoken of by locals in Guadalupe who had worked on the film set. Artifacts from the Egyptian sets were found in the dunes, and can sometimes be found in local houses in the area. (DeMille even said in his autobiography, "If 1,000 years from now, archaeologists happen to dig beneath the sands of Guadalupe, I hope that they will not rush into print with the amazing news that Egyptian civilization extended all the way to the Pacific Coast of North America.") In 1983, documentary filmmaker Peter Brosnan located the remains of the DeMille sets, still buried beneath the dunes. The site is now recognized as an official archaeological site by the state of California, and it is against the law to remove artifacts from the site. Brosnan has been trying for many years to raise money from the Hollywood studios to excavate the site, but so far has been unable to do so. See more »

Goofs

The type of staff used by Moses and his followers has a Star of David on the end. The Star of David didn't become a symbol of Judaism until the Middle Ages. See more »

Quotes

John McTavish - Her Son: How much cement are you really putting into that mix?
[the worker brushes him off so he gets forceful with him and asks again]
Cement mixer: One part to twelve. I was told to double the sand and reduce the cement.
See more »

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Featured in Birth of Hollywood: Episode #1.2 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Church of the Poison Mind
8 February 2009 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Cecil B. DeMille's Paramount EPIC "The Ten Commandments" tells the Old Testament's "Moses" story during its first hour. The "special effects" highlights are: Theodore Roberts (as Moses) parting the Red Sea, and the Biblical patriarch's thunderous receiving of God's commandments. The production is first rate throughout. After about fifty minutes of spectacle, the film switches to a "Modern Story" - wherein Mr. DeMille seeks to tell a morality story involving "The Ten Commandments".

For the main story (the more memorable Moses segments were a mere "prologue"), DeMille introduces the McTavish brothers - saintly carpenter Richard Dix (as John), and partying atheist Rod La Rocque (as Dan). While Mr. Dix stays home to read The Bible, with dear mother Edythe Chapman (as Martha McTavish), Mr. La Rocque breaks Commandments, with lovely Leatrice Joy (as Mary Leigh). Of course, Dix falls in love with Ms. Joy, after she becomes his brother's wife…

DeMille's morality tale is extremely heavy-handed, but nevertheless enticing, and expertly directed.

The "Biblical" and "Modern" story format recalls D.W. Griffith's superior "Intolerance" (1916). The all-star cast (it's 1923, remember) performs exceptionally, with La Rocque being seen in one of his finest performances. As any actor will tell you, La Rocque was halfway there, upon receiving the "bad brother" role, over Dix - and, La Rocque runs away with the film. His is a "Best Actor"-worthy performance. Nefarious Nita Naldi (as Sally Lung) leads a strong supporting cast.

All things considered, this one's a lot more fun than the 1956 re-make.

********* The Ten Commandments (11/23/23) Cecil B. DeMille ~ Rod La Rocque, Richard Dix, Leatrice Joy, Theodore Roberts


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This movie needs to be on DVD! Barry-73
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so THIS is what they did before the talkies huh? digitalfortress0
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