Guest / Limited Access /
The Ten Commandments
Our Rating
3½ Stars - Good
Average Rating
(5 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
Directed By
Cecil B. DeMille
Run Time
3 hours 40 minutes
Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson
Theatre Release
October 05, 1956 by Paramount

With industry analysts predicting a box-office take of over $300 million, The Passion of The Christ is easily the biggest religious blockbuster in decades. But for sheer popularity, staying power and cultural clout, it would be hard to top the biblical epics of the 1950s.

One film towers above them all. According to, Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments—which now releases for the first time as a "special collector's edition" DVD—grossed the equivalent of $790 million in its day, and thus remains one of the five most successful films of all time.

DeMille's film, still the definitive depiction of the Exodus in the popular imagination, and a staple of Easter television broadcasts, is widely mocked these days for its campy performances and its strange, eclectic cast. The unique lineup includes Anne Baxter as the lusty, manipulative Egyptian queen; Vincent Price as a smug Egyptian slavemaster; John Derek (future husband and director of Bo) as a very earnest Joshua; and, of course, Edward G. Robinson as the Hebrew traitor who ultimately convinces his fellow Israelites to worship a golden calf—who can see him, now, without hearing Billy Crystal's impression of him saying, "Where's your Moses now, see?"

But for those who can accept the film's Victorian theatricality, there is much to enjoy here, from the overpolished dialogue, which is full of quotable lines, to the domineering performances of Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as his nemesis, the Pharaoh Rameses. Perhaps most surprising, and affecting, is the genuinely tender, stern, humorous, and conflicted humanity Sir Cedric Hardwicke brings to the role of Seti, the father-figure Pharaoh who knows Moses would be a better king than Rameses, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueDoes Protestantism Need to Die?
Subscriber Access Only
Does Protestantism Need to Die?
Or to recover its riches? Two Protestant luminaries look at the legacy of the Reformation, 500 years later.
Current IssueThe Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
Subscriber Access Only The Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
How the New Testament offers a better, higher calling than the Declaration of Independence.
Recommended88 Minutes of Film That Could Save a Life
88 Minutes of Film That Could Save a Life
That's the power of 'The Station Agent.'
TrendingWhy Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
Why Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
In the face of a candidate’s antics, ‘America’s Pastor’ speaks out.
Editor's PickLet's Kiss Dating Hello
Let's Kiss Dating Hello
A sociologist reveals her research about “ring by spring” culture on a Christian college campus.
Christianity Today
The Ten Commandments
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

October 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.