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The Ten Commandments (1956)

Approved | | Adventure, Biography, Drama | 5 October 1956 (USA)
1:07 | Trailer

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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 »
2,093 ( 66)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sethi (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Olive Deering ...


To escape the edict of Egypt's Pharaoh, 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


Paramount Pictures is proud to announce the return of the greatest motion picture of all time! (1966 re-release) 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:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gloria Swanson was originally cast as Memnet, but she was then having difficulties getting a backer for a musical stage version of Sunset Boulevard (1950) so she had to depart from the project (the musical was abandoned in the early 1960s, even after a cast album was recorded during out-of-town tryouts). See more »


When Sephora's six unnamed sisters danced in the tent in front of Moses and the Sheiks, the background music could be heard just before the musicians actually began their "playing". See more »


Baka: Will you lose a throne because Moses builds a city?
Rameses: The city that he builds shall bear my name. The woman that he loves shall bear my child. So it shall be written. So it shall be done.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Paramount mountain was replaced with Mount Sinai and the sky is red, also. See more »


Spoofed in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) See more »


Song of Joseph
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Lyrics by Henry Noerdlinger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

So big it's in danger of falling over, but it doesn't
28 August 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

I'm always willing to watch this, and I always enjoy it. Rather than admit that there is something wrong with my taste, then, I've come to the conclusion that it's actually rather good. It clearly has class, and spectacle. Perhaps it has other virtues as well.

Say what you will about De Mille's stagy style: it fits the Old Testament. Whereas "The Prince of Egypt" went soft and new-agey when it came to the crunch, De Mille never lets us forget the harsh world events are taking place in. With a powerful and capricious god glaring at everyone all the time, it's not surprising that people - even pagans - take to talking in speeches. (The speeches are in an attractive, flowery style that isn't biblical but has the same aesthetic standards as some biblical writing.) And the god really has some Old Testament flavour. Everyone is terrified of him, and for perfectly rational reasons would rather pretend that he doesn't exist. This gets tiresome after a while. You'd think that after watching the Red Sea part everyone would have been willing to admit that Moses courted SOME kind of supernatural influence. On the other hand, you'd be a mug to trust this influence too far.

Possibly the best thing about the movie is the way it manages to divide our sympathies without weakening them. Yes, we're on the side of the Israelites. But it's also hard not to be on the side of the Egyptians. The old Pharaoh is probably the most likeable character on display and the young Pharaoh, while he has his flaws, is a nice enough fellow done in by unfortunate circumstances. Moses gains our empathy early and keeps it even when his beard has turned to marble. Only the minor characters are villains

  • and they're fun, too.

Of course, I say all this knowing full well that the entire film is, at the same time, completely ridiculous. Well, what can I say. It's yet another instance of a general law. Simple sincerity can sometimes spin straw into gold.

38 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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