×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Ten Commandments

Cecil B. DeMille's super-spectacular about the Children of Israel held in brutal bondage until Moses, prodded by the God of Abraham, delivers them from Egyptian tyranny is a statistically intimidating production: the negative cost was $13.5 million and 25,000 extras were employed.

With:
Charlton Heston Yul Brynner Anne Baxter Edward G. Robinson Yvonne De Carlo Debra Paget

Cecil B. DeMille’s super-spectacular about the Children of Israel held in brutal bondage until Moses, prodded by the God of Abraham, delivers them from Egyptian tyranny is a statistically intimidating production: the negative cost was $13.5 million and 25,000 extras were employed.

DeMille remains conventional with the motion picture as an art form. The eyes of the onlooker are filled with spectacle. Emotional tug is sometimes lacking.

Commandments is too long. More than two hours pass before the intermission and the break is desperately welcome. Scenes of the greatness that was Egypt, and Hebrews by the thousands under the whip of the taskmasters, are striking. But bigness wearies. There’s simply too much.

Commandments hits the peak of beauty with a sequence that is unelaborate, this being the Passover supper wherein Moses is shown with his family while the shadow of death falls on Egyptian first-borns.

The creeping shadow of darkness that destroyed the Egyptian first-borns, the trans-composition of Moses’ staff into a serpent, the changeover of the life-giving water into blood, flames to engulf the land and the parting of the Red Sea – these are shown. The effect of all these special camera devices is varying, however, and does not escape a certain theatricality.

Performances meet requirements all the way but exception must be made of Anne Baxter as the Egyptian princess Nefretiri. Baxter leans close to old-school siren histrionics and this is out of sync with the spiritual nature of Commandments.

Charlton Heston is an adaptable performer as Moses, revealing inner glow as he is called by God to remove the chains of slavery that hold his people. Yvonne De Carlo is Sephora, the warm and understanding wife of Moses. Yul Brynner is expert as Rameses, who inherits the Egyptian throne and seeks to battle Moses and his God until he’s forced to acknowledge that ‘Moses’ God is the real God’.

1956: Best Special Effects.

Nominations: Best Picture, Color Cinematography, Color Costume Design, Color Art Direction, Editing, Sound

The Ten Commandments

Production: Paramount. Director Cecil B. DeMille; Producer Cecil B. DeMille; Screenplay Aeneas MacKenzie, Jesse L. Lasky Jr, Fredric M. Frank, Jack Gariss; Camera Loyal Griggs; Editor Anne Bauchens; Music Elmer Bernstein; Art Director Hal Pereira, Walter Tyler, Albert Nozaki

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1956. Running time: 219 MIN.

With: Charlton Heston Yul Brynner Anne Baxter Edward G. Robinson Yvonne De Carlo Debra Paget

More Film

  • Aaron Paul attends the 2019 Sun

    Aaron Paul, Chelsea Handler and Meg Ryan Topline Sun Valley Film Fest

    Aaron Paul is an Idaho boy at heart. The three-time Emmy winning star of “Breaking Bad” and producer and actor on Nickelodeon’s bawdy, subversive animated series “Bojack Horseman” currently makes his home in Los Angeles, but Paul was born in Emmett, a sleepy city about 30 miles outside of Boise, and escapes to the spud [...]

  • Writers Guild Blasts CAA, WME for

    Writers Guild Blasts Talent Agencies CAA, WME for 'Soaring' Profits

    The Writers Guild of America has singled out Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency, for allegedly soaring profits. The WGA, in an acrimonious negotiation over proposed new rules on how agencies represent writers, issued a report called “agencies for sale” on Monday morning — a few hours before a fifth [...]

  • MGM logo

    MGM Hires Robert Marick to Expand Consumer Products

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer has hired industry veteran Robert Marick as executive VP of global consumer products and experiences. In his new role, Marick is responsible for overseeing the expansion of MGM’s traditional merchandise, interactive and consumer products business. He’s also developing a global strategy with a focus on core consumer products licensing, digital and gaming, [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Personal Tales From Hong Kong, China

    Personal Tales From Hong Kong and China Among the Asia Film Financing Forum Projects

    A brace of personal tales from China and Hong Kong are among the 23 projects vying for attention at the 17th Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. Liu Miaomiao is a rare female ethnic Hui Muslim filmmaker. She came to international prominence with 1993’s “Chatterbox” that won the President of the Italian Senate’s Gold Medal [...]

  • Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year

    Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year She Takes Risks in Her Film Choices

    Josie Ho vows to master the art of calculated risk in the year 2019. As an actress and film producer, she is conscious of the choices of projects she makes: appearing in the new film by Japanese hotshot director Shinichiro Ueda, producing a new documentary feature while developing some 10 titles in the pipeline of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content