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The Ten Commandments (1956)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  5 October 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 45,012 users  
Reviews: 225 user | 86 critic

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


(as Cecil B. de Mille)


(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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Olive Deering ...


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) »


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

5 October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prince of Egypt  »

Box Office


$13,282,712 (estimated)


$80,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The orgy sequence took 3 weeks to film. See more »


When Rameses was casting Moses out of Egypt, we see one of the Pyramids which looks just as brown and worn down as it does today. In Rameses' time, the Pyramids were covered with shiny white limestone. See more »


Jethro's daughter: [Sephora saw Moses, asleep and drew her six sisters, to see him as he slept. Jethro's seven daughters looked at Moses asleep and admired him] He's eaten a whole bunch of dates.
[then, they all quietly chuckled, in humor]
Sephora: We drew this water.
Amalekite herder: Out of the way, girl.
Sephora: This is the well of Jethro, our father. You have no right here.
Amalekite herder: Our goats don't know your father.
Sephora: Jethro's mark is on the well.
Amalekite: They can't read, either.
[while speaking, he also chuckles, at the same time]
Amalekite: Nor can we!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the opening credits, we see a credit which begins; "Those who see this film - PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY CECIL B. DEMILLE"... and continues in the same style and finishing with: "Based on the writings of (J.H. Ingraham) and THE HOLY SCRIPTURES" See more »


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Song of Joseph
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

No better Moses. No finer cast.Simply Outstanding.
7 April 2000 | by (lincoln, England) – See all my reviews

Nobody ever wants to see a movie more than once because the quality and charm of the movies of today are just not enough to coax you to. But every once in a while there comes a movie which, firstly never lets you take your eyes off the screen for the full length of its feature and secondly,makes you want to watch it over and over again without boring you. Not only that, the more times you watch it, you feel that you missed something the last time. Cecil B. DeMille's THE TEN COMMANDMENTS is that kind of a movie. There have been many movies made on the topic of this Hebrew born prince of Egypt, but none compare to the way in which it has been portrayed in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. There are a number of reasons for that:

1. When casting the role of Moses, Charlton Heston was chosen above all others including Bert Lancaster, not because of his knowledge of the Bible, but of his striking Physical resemblance to Michelangelo's sculpture of Moses especially the facial structure not to mention the stout build of a prince.

2. The sets for the film were specially designed and the splendour of ancient Egypt in all its glory was recreated especially for this movie.

3. The role of Rameses II was given to Yul Brynner after DeMille observed his magnificent performance as the King of Siam in Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE KING AND I, confirming that he is well suited for a stubburn and malificent heir to the Egyptian throne.

It was not only Heston as Moses who made this movie a success, but all the elements that came together, the cast of thousands, the special effects,the costumes, the sets and most of all the simply unbelievable "parting of the red sea".

It is a wonder why this movie only received one oscar; that of the Special effects, yet I think it deserved alot more. It did not even strike at the box office. Even then it never fails to enchant millions, no matter what religion they follow. Movies like THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and it success in the hearts of millions, shows quite clearly that a movie, in order to be loved by millions the world over, does not necessarily have to strike gold at the box office.

To watch this film, you don't have to believe in God, but if you believe in good triumphing over evil and freedom from slavery of foreign masters, then this is the movie for you.

91 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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