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The Ten Commandments (1956)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  5 October 1956 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 42,343 users  
Reviews: 216 user | 83 critic

The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director:

(as Cecil B. de Mille)

Writers:

(this work contains material from the book "Prince of Egypt"), (this work contains material from the book "Pillar of Fire") (as Rev. J. H. Ingraham) , 5 more credits »
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Title: The Ten Commandments (1956)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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Director: Cecil B. DeMille
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Cast

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Storyline

To escape the edict of Egypt's Pharoah, Rameses I, condemning all newborn Hebrew males, the infant Moses is set adrift on the Nile in a reed basket. Saved by the pharaoh's daughter Bithiah, he is adopted by her and brought up in the court of her brother, Pharaoh Seti. Moses gains Seti's favor and the love of the throne princess Nefertiri, as well as the hatred of Seti's son, Rameses. When his Hebrew heritage is revealed, Moses is cast out of Egypt, and makes his way across the desert where he marries, has a son and is commanded by God to return to Egypt to free the Hebrews from slavery. In Egypt, Moses' fiercest enemy proves to be not Rameses, but someone near to him who can 'harden his heart'. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

egypt | hebrew | pharaoh | desert | well | See All (126) »

Taglines:

It would take more than a man to lead the slaves from bondage. It would take a God. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los diez mandamientos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,282,712 (estimated)

Gross:

$80,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(1998 re-release)| (1989 re-release)| (35 mm prints)| (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite being credited as costume designers, John L. Jensen and Arnold Friberg did not work primarily in designing any costumes. Jensen was the lead sketch artist, and only worked in sketching out designs for certain costumes. Friberg was primarily hired to design the film's titles, which were hand lettered and photographed over a colored leather background. Friberg also contributed sketches regarding the costuming. The costume for Moses as a shepherd was patterned after one Friberg had already painted, a portrayal of an ancient prophet for "The Childrens Friend", a magazine published by the Primary Association, the children's organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Friberg is a member. See more »

Goofs

When the Pharaoh's chariots leave the city gates to go after the slaves, some shots of the chariots have long shadows, as if shot in late afternoon. But in other shots of the chariots, their shadows are short, as if shot in mid-day. See more »

Quotes

Nefretiri: You will be king of Egypt, and I will be your footstool!
Moses: The man stupid enough to use you as a footstool would not be wise enough to rule Egypt.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film does not end with the credit "The End", but with the written line "So it was written, so it shall be done". See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The eyes of the audience are filled with spectacle!

Cecil B. DeMille was a motion-picture producer-director whose use of spectacle attracted vast audiences and made him a dominant figure in Hollywood... He was successful in a genre - the epic - that he made definitely his own, until William Wyler came along three years later with "Ben Hur."

In his first epic role, Charlton Heston is cast as Lord Moses, prince of Egypt, son of the pharaoh's sister...

As a true prince, he saves a slave's life; as a great prince, he gives the priest's grain to the slaves and one day in seven to rest; as a man of justice, he confronts Nefretiri with a piece of Hebrew cloth, the key to his origin; as a warrior and in excellent physical condition, he kills a tough and cruel master builder; as a courageous Hebrew, son of slaves, he tells the pharaoh: "It would take more than a man to lead the slaves from bondage, but if I could free them, I would!" As a man of prowess, he shows his latest methods of combat when he takes on the shepherds and routed them; as God's torch, he proves to be the Deliverer of the Hebrews, their prophet and leader; as the Lawgiver of the Covenant, he is the founder of the community; and as interpreter of "The Ten Commandments," he is an organizer and legislator...

Yul Brynner is superb as Rameses, the rival of Moses... His arrogance and swaggering snobbery are well represented... Brynner delivers an intelligent cynical role... Regarding himself as divine, he rejects the demand of this unknown God and responds by increasing the oppression of the Hebrews...

Anne Baxter is Nefretiri, the sensual princess who leaves her scar upon Moses' heart... Nefretiri is beautiful as a jewel, and her eyes green as the Cedars of Lebanon... For Moses, she is always ready to lie, to kill and betray... She is selfish in her life as certainly in her love...

Edward G. Robinson plays Dathan, the chief Hebrew overseer who confessed to Rameses: "Give me my freedom and I'll give you the scepter. Give me the water girl Lilia and I'll give you the princess your heart's desire." As a treacherous overlord, he charges to the people yelling: "Go where? To drown in the sea?"

Yvonne De Carlo plays Sephora, the midnight shepherdess to whom Moses is wed... Sephora couldn't fill the emptiness of Moses' heart, but promised not to be jealous of the memory...

John Derek is Joshua, the stone cutter, who is totally convinced that Moses is God's Messenger...

Debra Paget plays the delicate flower who quench the thirst of the working slaves... For her the hour of deliverance will never come...

Sir Cedric Hardwicke plays Sethi, the mighty Pharaoh, whose words to his son mark great significance: "Who would take a throne by force that he has earned by deeds?"

Nina Foch plays Bithiah, pharaoh's sister, who discovers the basket in which Moses has just floated down the Nile...

Vincent Price plays Baka the sadistic, covetous, murderous whip-wielding slave-driver...

"The Ten Commandments" is filled with tremendous special effects: Moses's staff turns to a snake; Moses turning the Nile to blood; the Passover of the Angel of Death striking all the Egyptian first-born; the tremendous pillar of fire which halts Rameses' men; the Exodus from Egypt; the parting of the Red Sea; and the delivery of the "Laws of life, and right, and good, and evil."

The relationship between God and man is the powerful drama in our world... Moses is 'every man,' in his pride and humility, in his courage and prowess, in his love and hatred, in his weakness and confusion,in his conduct and ability...

DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" is a moving story of the spirit of freedom rising in a man under the divine inspiration of his Maker... It is a remarkable spectacle with great music, filled with exceptional setting and decor...


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