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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 44,603 users  
Reviews: 225 user | 85 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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Title: The Ten Commandments (1956)

The Ten Commandments (1956) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 7 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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


The Greatest Event in Motion Picture History See more »


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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?


Considerable controversy exists over who supplied the voice of God for the film, for which no on-screen credit is given. The voice used was heavily modified and mixed with other sound effects, making identification extremely difficult. Various people have either claimed or been rumored to have supplied the voice: Cecil B. DeMille himself (he narrated the film), Charlton Heston and Delos Jewkes, to name a few. DeMille's publicist and biographer Donald Hayne maintains that Heston provided the voice of God at the burning bush, but Hayne himself provided the voice of God giving the commandments. In the 2004 DVD release, Heston in an interview admitted that he was the voice of God. See more »


When Moses encounters Joshua in his sheep fields ("Moses, there is a man among the sheep!"), Moses casts three shadows as he approaches Joshua, clearly revealing the positioning of studio lights. See more »


Nefretiri: But I have saved your son, Moses.
Moses: It is not my son who will die. It is... it is the firstborn of Egypt. It is your son, Nefretiri!
Nefretiri: No. You would not dare strike Pharaoh's son!
Moses: In the hardness of his heart, Pharaoh has mocked God and brings death to his own son!
Nefretiri: But he is my son, Moses. You would not harm my son.
Moses: By myself, I am nothing. It is the power of God which uses me to work His will.
Nefretiri: You would not let Him do this to me. I saved your son!
Moses: I cannot save yours.
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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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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