From its annual television broadcasts to its regular repackaging on home video, The Ten Commandments is not only one of the biggest hit movies of all time, it is also one of the most enduring. But what many people don't know is that the famous Charlton Heston-starring movie, like a number of other 1950s Bible epics, was actually a remake of a 1920s silent film.
A new DVD, releasing today, aims to fill that gap. Marking the remake's 50th anniversary, both films have been combined in a three-disc package. The first two discs are identical to the "special edition" of the 1956 version that was released two years ago; but the third disc marks the first time that the 1923 version—half of which tells the story of the Exodus, the other half of which is a morality play set in the "modern" era—has ever been released on DVD.
Katherine Orrison, the author of Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille's Epic, The Ten Commandments, provides audio commentaries on both films. She spoke to Christianity Today Movies about the two films from her home in Los Angeles.
How did you get into this line of work, writing about Cecil B. DeMille and his films?
Katherine Orrison: When I was nine years old, I went to see The Ten Commandments in my small hometown, and I was absolutely blown away. We all talked about it at school, and I went to see it twice that week. It started me on a love of Cecil B. DeMille movies, and when I came out to California and I was studying acting, I had a friend who was taking personal voice lessons from Henry Wilcoxon, the producer of The Ten Commandments. I said, "Oh, I want to meet him; I'm the biggest fan." I went to dinner with him and my friend, and during dinner, he said, "I'm looking for someone to write my ...1
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Swept Away by DeMille
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