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The Ten Commandments (1956)

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1:08 | Trailer
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
2,687 ( 203)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 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:

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

$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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Disney animator Joshua Meador was loaned out to Paramount Pictures to animate the Pillar of Fire. In the sequence where God writes the Ten Commandments, the tornado-like Pillar of Fire was animated on top of footage of the Sinai mountain range. The foreground Sinai summit set had a blue screen background with red and orange light reflected on the rock; these shots were composited with the background Pillar of Fire animation. The flames that represent the Finger of God were animated on top of three layers of film (Sinai footage, Pillar of Fire, studio set) to enable the fire to write on the granite. See more »

Goofs

Jethro tells Moses his people, the Midianites, were descendants of Abraham through Ishmael, "his first born." According to Genesis, the Midianites were descended from Midian, one of six sons of Abraham's second wife, Keturah. See more »

Quotes

Moses: [to Sethi, after Sethi came to see Moses, as he was completing the city to be built] Pharoah is pleased?
Sethi: With the obelisk, yes. But not with certain accusations made against you.
Moses: By whom?
Sethi: You raided the temple granaries?
Moses: Yes.
[Rameses puts first weight on weight scale, while weight scale on opposite side, stays up]
Sethi: You gave the grain to the slaves?
Moses: Yes.
[Rameses puts second weight on weight scale, while weight scale on opposite side, still stays up]
Rameses: You gave them one day in seven to rest.
[...]
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

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 »

Connections

Referenced in It's My Party (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Underrated Classic
31 August 2005 | by jerkyshawSee all my reviews

The parting of the red sea! The confrontation at Mount Sinai! This movie is full of spectacular scenes and images! De Mille truly was a great filmmaker. His powerful imagination is evident in the Ten Commandments. This is his masterpiece. It carries you along on an epic adventure that is as big as the old testament. It captures the ancient, epic feel of the original Bible story. It has several stunning performances that could have easily been cheesy and fake, but are convincing and fascinating. Some say that the dialog is campy. I don't think so. I've seen this movie many times and have never thought so. It's nothing like the terrible dialog in Plan 9 From Outer Space from the same decade. The romance may be a cliché now, but it was quite original when it first came out and is still interesting. I personally don't like romance, so the fact that I wasn't bothered by this one is really saying something. This marvelous story is wonderfully told by De Mille and I would strongly recommend it.


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