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The Ten Commandments (1956)

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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.

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 »
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Popularity
2,768 ( 135)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Greatest Event in Motion Picture History See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prince of Egypt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,282,712 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$93,740,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$196,344,381
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was composer Elmer Bernstein's first major project. Bernstein had just had some success with his jazz score for The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). However, he was not Cecil B. DeMille's first choice to score the film. DeMille had a long relationship with Paramount contract composer Victor Young, who had been working with DeMille since North West Mounted Police (1940). Unfortunately, Young had become very ill and could not accept the assignment. See more »

Goofs

After Moses tells Nefretiri a shepherd girl is his wife, Nefretiri's position relative to Moses changes when she asks him whether his wife has hair with an "odor like sheep." See more »

Quotes

Sethi: The man best able to rule Egypt will follow me. I owe that to my fathers, not to my sons.
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 »

Alternate Versions

In all of the film's theatrical releases, Cecil B. DeMille appears in a short prologue in which he prepares the audience for what they will see, including the fact that the picture will concentrate heavily on the early years of Moses before he led the Hebrews out of Egypt; he also indicates the length of the film and the fact that it will be shown with an intermission. This prologue has always been cut in the film's network television showings. See more »


Soundtracks

Lilia's Song
(uncredited)
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Lyrics by Henry Wilcoxon
Performed by Debra Paget
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
An epic, very theatrical but visually great.
1 March 2017 | by filipemanuelnetoSee all my reviews

We are facing one of the most consecrated biblical epics ever made and the magnum opus of Cecil B. DeMille. The story is well known, most people know the Bible even without having read it. Concerning the work of the cast, it's great even if we consider that they're overly theatrical and lack here some veracity and naturalness, essential to play in cinema. Charlton Heston is the great actor of the film, in the role of Moses. Yul Brynner was also excellent as Pharaoh Ramses, as Anne Baxter in the role of Nefretiri. Edward G. Robinson surprises in the role of the hypocrite Dathan. But what makes this film particularly intense is the beauty it has. The setting is one of the biggest that Hollywood has ever made, with thousands of extras with carefully detailed period costumes. Everything was thought to the detail and we love all this visual show. Of course, historical accuracy has been left in the background. DeMille had his school on Broadway and might not attach much importance to the historical details but knew how to make a great show. The visual and special effects are quite realistic, the state of the art of cinema of this time, and still can seem credible today, more than fifty years after it's premiere. The soundtrack of Elmer Bernstein is strident, betting heavily on metals and percussion, in a clearly symphonic style that was thought to make everything even more grandiose. In short: it's a consecrated epic that many people still watch, almost religiously, at Easter (in Portugal it's normal to be broadcast on TV in this period, year after year). The big problem of this film is the very theatrical dialogue and acting. It looks like theater. But we can forgive this fault because it's more or less overshadowed by the visual and sound show.


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