Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: The Ten Commandments

I remember watching this as a kid. I would sit with my mom and my sister and we would watch this classic movie. This is especially perfect for around Easter time, since at the Last Supper, Jesus was celebrating Passover with his disciples. You can usually find this movie playing on TV around Easter time. This is the perfect time to review this movie since it is getting so close to Easter.
Box Art of Newly Released Blu-Ray version

The Ten Commandments follows the story of Moses that was told in the Old Testament of the Bible. In Egypt, the pharaoh decrees a law that says that the male children of the Isrealite slaves must be killed. Yochabel, a slave, puts her new born son in a basket and sends him afloat on the Nile so that he may have a chance at life. The baby is found by Bithiah, the daughter of the pharaoh. Bithiah, a childless widow takes the baby out of the basket, names him Moses, and raises him as her son. Moses grows up in the palace of the pharaoh and becomes a prince of Egypt. When Moses finds out about his heritage and after he kills the master builder to save a slave named Joshua (John Derek), Moses leaves Egypt...
There are many well known actors and actresses in this movie. This is one of Charlton Heston's well known roles and he is remembered very well as being Moses. You might also recognize Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo (The Munsters), John Derek, and Yul Brynner (The King and I).
Moses (Charlton Heston) with the stone tablets that have
the Ten Commandments written on them. Joshua (John Derek)
stands behind him.

All the actors and actresses acted very well. Charlton Heston was absolutely wonderful as Moses! Could there have been a more suited actor for Moses? I hope that this movie is never remade (which seems to be the Hollywood trend at the moment), because no one could beat Charlton Heston as Moses. I don't think that anyone could (or should) reproduce this movie: all the actors and actresses were so well suited for their roles.

In today's movies, there might be a few extras that are replicated a bunch of times to give the appearance of a large crowd. Not with The Ten Commandments. Every person you see in a crowd is real. According to IMDB, "At least 14,000 extras and 15,000 animals were used, during the production and acting, as the movie was being filmed." It's breathtaking all the people that were in this movie!

The Parting of the Red Sea
Shot partly on location in Egypt, the scenery is wonderful. Most of the movies during this time were shot on sound stages and sets. While there were probably some sets for indoor scenes, the outdoor scenes were obviously not shot on a sound stage. The graphics are also amazing for it's time. Between the pillar of fire, the burning bush, and not to mention the parting of the Red Sea (which looked so real, by the way), the special effects were ahead of its time.

Pharaoh's palace. Next to Pharaoh on his right is Rameses
(Yul Brynner), and on his left sitting is Nefretiri (Anne Baxter).
The costumes varied greatly as far as finery goes. The Israelites obviously would have old clothes that were worn from the work that they did. The Egyptians had new, fancy, very fine clothing. It is hard to compare the two since they are both vastly different. The Egyptian costumes did look nice, though.

The music is very powerful! If you would like to hear samples, I think this is a link to the CD page at Amazon where you can listen to samples.

Bithiah and baby Moses
Overall: 5/5
I highly recommend this movie! It's a definite classic and well worth watching. If you have a chance to watch it on Blu-Ray, watch it! It was remastered very well, indeed! The colors really pop out and are very striking.

The Ten Commandments is available on DVD and Blu-Ray. It runs for 220 minutes.


  1. I watched this a while back...and enjoyed it. In fact, just this morning I mentioned to Mom that we should see it again. :) Thanks for the review! The one scene that really sticks out to me is the one where Moses' mother is nearly pushed over with that rock...what a scene.

  2. I love this movie. Though I have to say that special effects now days have REALLY improved compared to 1956!
    I rather like the way it gives you the creeps really unexpectedly, when your not expecting them!


Thank you for visiting Elegance of Fashion. If you wish to leave a comment, please do. I ask that you refrain from bad language and are polite and constructive. If you are posing under "Anonymous", if you could leave a name, that would be great! I reserve the right to delete any comments that I deem family unfriendly.

Thank you very much and please come again.