7.8/10
59,380
272 user 68 critic

The Ten Commandments (1956)

Trailer
1:08 | Trailer
Moses (Charlton Heston), an Egyptian Prince, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille (as Cecil B. de Mille)

Writers:

Dorothy Clarke Wilson (this work contains material from the book "Prince of Egypt"), J.H. Ingraham (this work contains material from the book "Pillar of Fire") (as Rev. J. H. Ingraham) | 5 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,500 ( 81)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ben-Hur (1959)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
Cleopatra (1963)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After hearing the story of Moses, the sons of a devout Christian mother go their own ways, while the atheist brother's breaking of the Ten Commandments leads to tragedy.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Theodore Roberts, Charles de Rochefort, Estelle Taylor
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter
El Cid (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone
Spartacus (1960)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons
Quo Vadis (1951)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fierce Roman commander Marcus Vinicius (Robert Taylor) becomes infatuated with beautiful Christian hostage Lygia (Deborah Kerr) and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero (Sir Peter Ustinov).

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann
Stars: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn
The Robe (1953)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature
King of Kings (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The temporary physical life of the Biblical Savior, Jesus Christ.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

British POWs build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, oblivious of the Allies' plans to destroy it.

Director: David Lean
Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, Rita Moreno
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Moses
Yul Brynner ... Rameses
Anne Baxter ... Nefretiri
Edward G. Robinson ... Dathan
Yvonne De Carlo ... Sephora
Debra Paget ... Lilia
John Derek ... Joshua
Cedric Hardwicke ... Sethi (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Nina Foch ... Bithiah
Martha Scott ... Yochabel
Judith Anderson ... Memnet
Vincent Price ... Baka
John Carradine ... Aaron
Olive Deering ... Miriam
Douglass Dumbrille ... Jannes
Edit

Storyline

To escape the edict of Egypt's Pharaoh Rameses I (Ian Keith), condemning all newborn Hebrew males, the infant Moses (Fraser C. Heston) is set adrift on the Nile in a reed basket. Saved by the pharaoh's daughter Bithiah (Nina Foch), he is adopted by her and brought up in the court of her brother, Pharaoh Sethi (Sir Cedric Hardwicke). Moses (Charlton Heston) gains Sethi's favor and the love of the throne Princess Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), as well as the hatred of Sethi's son, Rameses II (Yul Brynner). 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 II, but someone near to him who can "harden his heart". Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prince of Egypt See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$13,282,712 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$65,500,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$65,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Roadshow Version)

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Western Electric Recording)| Mono (optical prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (1989 re-release)| Dolby Stereo (1989 re-release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The orgy sequence was so difficult to film, partly because Cecil B. DeMille wanted it to look like an orgy without showing anything on-screen that was inappropriate for children. This led to seemingly contradictory direction for the actors and actresses, who were trying to be tame, but were then told that they didn't look like they were having an orgy. See more »

Goofs

Rameses stands in front of the Saqarra pyramids, with the Nile in the background, and deports Moses into the desert. That would send Moses west into the Sahara, instead of east across the Sinai. See more »

Quotes

Moses: [to Nefretiri] Yes. You may be the lovely dust through which God will work His purpose.
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 »

Alternate Versions

The print that was shown at the film's Salt Lake City preview in October 1956 ran 3 hours and 45 minutes. The reception was so successful DeMille only cut 6 minutes for the premiere print. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.5 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Chant of Priest and Priestesses
(uncredited)
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Lyrics by Henry Noerdlinger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The eyes of the audience are filled with spectacle!
20 April 2000 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

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...


89 of 111 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 272 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed