IMDb > The Ten Commandments (1923)
The Ten Commandments
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The Ten Commandments (1923) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
23 November 1923 (USA) See more »
The Mightiest Dramatic Spectacle of All the Ages.
The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Break The Ten Commandments And They'll Break You See more (30 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Theodore Roberts ... Moses - The Lawgiver

Charles de Rochefort ... Rameses - the Magnificent: Prologue (as Charles De Roche)

Estelle Taylor ... Miriam - The Sister of Moses

Julia Faye ... The Wife of Pharaoh - Prologue
Pat Moore ... The Son of Pharaoh - Prologue (as Terrence Moore)

James Neill ... Aaron - Brother of Moses

Lawson Butt ... Dathan - The Discontented
Clarence Burton ... The Taskmaster - Prologue

Noble Johnson ... The Bronze Man - Prologue

Edythe Chapman ... Mrs. Martha McTavish

Richard Dix ... John McTavish - Her Son

Rod La Rocque ... Dan McTavish - Her Son

Leatrice Joy ... Mary Leigh

Nita Naldi ... Sally Lung - a Eurasian

Robert Edeson ... Redding - an Inspector

Charles Ogle ... The Doctor

Agnes Ayres ... The Outcast
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Leon Beaumon ... Egyptian Calvaryman (uncredited)
Genevieve Belasco ... Extra (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... Butler (uncredited)

Virginia Bradford ... Extra (uncredited)
Arthur Edmund Carewe ... Israelite Slave (uncredited)
Camille Carlson ... Dancer (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Israelite Slave (uncredited)
Dorothy Dale ... Egyptian Girl (uncredited)
Cecilia de Mille ... Extra (uncredited)
Attilio Degasparis ... Child Extra (uncredited)

Louise Emmons ... Elderly Israelite (uncredited)

Charles Farrell ... Israelite Slave (uncredited)
Viscount Glerawly ... Extra (uncredited)

Rex Ingram ... Israelite Slave (uncredited)

Roscoe Karns ... The Boy in the Rain (uncredited)

Jack Montgomery ... Egyptian Cavalryman (uncredited)
Kathleen O'Shee ... Israelite Maiden (uncredited)
Jack Padjan ... Pharoah's Horseman (uncredited)

Eugene Pallette ... Israelite Slave (uncredited)
John J. Richardson ... Israelite Slave (uncredited)
Mabel Richardson ... Israelite Woman (uncredited)

Robert St. Angelo ... Extra (uncredited)
Abe Steinberg ... Young boy (uncredited)
Betty Steinberg ... Young girl (uncredited)

Rose Steinberg ... Young girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Cecil B. DeMille  (as Cecil B. De Mille)
Writing credits
Jeanie Macpherson (story)

Produced by
Cecil B. DeMille .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Hugo Riesenfeld (uncredited)
Milan Roder (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Bert Glennon (photographer)
J. Peverell Marley (photographer) (as Peverell Marley)
Archie Stout (photographer) (as Archibald Stout)
Fred Westerberg (photographer) (as J.E. Westerberg)
Ray Rennahan (color) (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Anne Bauchens (cutter)
Art Direction by
Paul Iribe 
Costume Design by
Julia Faye (uncredited)
Howard Greer (uncredited)
Clare West (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Cullen Tate .... assistant director
Special Effects by
Roy Pomeroy .... special effects (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Padjan .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Edward S. Curtis .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Donald Biddle Keyes .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Eugene Richee .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Gaylord Carter .... score performer
Other crew
Jesse L. Lasky .... presenter (as Jesse L. Lasky)
Roy Pomeroy .... technical director
Adolph Zukor .... presenter
Henry Hathaway .... assistant: Mr. De Mille (uncredited)
A.F. Stutzman .... trainer: horse stunts (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
136 min
Black and White | Color (2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Canada:G | Finland:K-3 (2006) (DVD) | Finland:S (1925) (first part) | Finland:K-16 (1925) (second part) | South Korea:All | UK:U | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

In 2014, archaeologists discovered one of the film's prop sphinx statues beneath the desert dunes of Guadalupe, California. Although found in a fragmentary state, it has been slated for restoration with hopes of an exhibit by late 2015.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When the Red Sea is parted, it's clear that the water is running over a solid, downward-curved surface.See more »
John McTavish - Her Son:Danny, you've got to make this cement right! You can't break the law of God and Man and expect to get away with it!See more »
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Break The Ten Commandments And They'll Break You, 16 July 2010
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Going on 90 years since it was first released, the original The Ten Commandments can still overawe you with the spectacle of both the biblical prologue and the modern story. Modern in the sense that it was set during the Jazz Age Roaring Twenties, the 1923 when Paramount released what would become that studio's biggest moneymaker up to that time.

You'll recognize the biblical prologue if you've seen the 1956 remake, it is almost a 45 minute scene for scene remake of the time that Charlton Heston and John Carradine arrive at the Egyptian court until the destruction of the Golden calf. They weren't giving Oscars back in 1923, but the parting of the Red Sea was incredible for its time and would have given Cecil B. DeMille yet another Oscar for the same event.

You won't recognize a lot of the biblical prologue cast, but they were part and parcel of a DeMille stock company that he developed during silent era and continued to a lesser degree after the coming of sound. Best known probably was Estelle Taylor who was married to Jack Dempsey at the time as Miriam, the sister of Moses.

The bulk of the film is the modern story which has the theme break the Ten Commandments and they'll break you. The stars are Richard Dix and Rod LaRocque a pair of brothers, one good and one bad, sons of a most pious mother Edythe Chapman. Dix is a good, honest, and steady carpenter by trade and LaRocque through his ruthlessness and who winds up breaking all the Commandments becomes the richest contractor in the state.

LaRocque is pretty ruthless in his private affairs, he breaks the Commandments regarding those as well. He marries Leatrice Joy who Dix likes as well, but then gets a fetching Eurasian mistress in Nita Naldi. Nita is in the slinky and sexy tradition of all DeMille's bad girls.

It all ends really bad for LaRocque as his sins catch up with him.

During the modern story DeMille hand with spectacle is a good one in the scene of the church collapse and later on during the climatic escape LaRocque is attempting to make with a speedboat on a stormy night at sea.

The influence of DeMille's educator father Henry and his friend David Belasco are strong here as they are in all DeMille work. The modern story is the kind of morality play that Belasco would produce and write for the stage for years. It's from the Victorian era, but the Roaring Twenties audience wanted something that reflected traditional values occasionally as if nervously waiting for its excesses to catch up. It's partly the reason why they could find comfort in a Congregationalist president of the USA in Calvin Coolidge.

Though the story is unbelievably dated, DeMille's cinematic techniques are hardly that. The original Ten Commandments in many ways will tell you about its creator warts and all.

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