AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
The Ten Commandments
Alternate Title: Prince of Egypt
Director: Cecil B. DeMille (Dir)
Release Date:   1956
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 8 Nov 1956; Los Angeles premiere: 14 Nov 1956; Chicago opening: 20 Nov 1956
Production Date:   13 Oct--3 Dec 1954 in Egypt; 28 Mar--13 Aug 1955 in Hollywood
Duration (in mins):   219
Duration (in feet):   19,778
Duration (in reels):   24
Print this page
Display Movie Summary


Cast:   Charlton Heston (Moses)  
    Yul Brynner (Rameses [II])  
    Anne Baxter (Nefretiri)  
    Edward G. Robinson (Dathan)  
    Yvonne De Carlo (Sephora)  
    Debra Paget (Lilia)  
    John Derek (Joshua)  
    Sir Cedric Hardwicke (Sethi)  
    Nina Foch (Bithiah)  
    Martha Scott (Yochabel)  
    Judith Anderson (Memnet)  
    Vincent Price (Baka)  
    John Carradine (Aaron)  
    Olive Deering (Miriam)  
    Douglass Dumbrille (Jannes)  
    Frank deKova (Abiram)  
    Henry Wilcoxon (Pentaur)  
    Eduard Franz (Jethro)  
    Donald Curtis (Mered)  
    Lawrence Dobkin (Hur Ben Caleb)  
    H. B. Warner (Amminadab)  
    Julia Faye (Elisheba)  
    Lisa Mitchell (Jethro's daughter)  
    Noelle Williams (Jethro's daughter)  
    Joanna Merlin (Jethro's daughter)  
    Pat Richard (Jethro's daughter)  
    Joyce Vanderveen (Jethro's daughter)  
    Diane Hall (Jethro's daughter)  
    Abbas El Boughdadly (Rameses' charioteer)  
    Cavalry Corps, Egyptian Armed Forces (Pharaoh's chariot host)  
    Fraser Heston (The infant Moses)  
    John Miljan (The blind one)  
    Francis J. McDonald (Simon)  
    Ian Keith (Rameses I)  
    Paul DeRolf (Eleazar)  
    Woodrow Strode (King of Ethiopia)  
    Tommy Duran (Gershom)  
    Eugene Mazzola (Rameses' son)  
    Ramsay Hill (Korah)  
    Joan Woodbury (Korah's wife)  
    Esther Brown (Princess Tharbis)  
    Rushti Abaza (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Dorothy Adams (Hebrew woman at Rameses' gate/Slave woman)  
    Eric Alden (High-ranking officer/Taskmaster/Slave/Officer)  
    E. J. Andre (Sheik of Hazerath)  
    Babette Bain (Little Miriam)  
    Baynes Barron (Taskmaster)  
    Kay Bell (Taskmaster/Red-bearded slave)  
    Mary Benoit (Guardian of the Prince/Court woman/Hebrew at Dathan's tent/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Mother)  
    Henry Brandon (Commander of the hosts)  
    Robert Carson (Adult Eleazar)  
    Robert Clark (Little boy in exodus)  
    Rus Conklin (Whip-scarred brick carrier/Hebrew at Dathan's tent)  
    Touch Connors (Amalekite herder)  
    Henry Corden (Sheik of Ezion)  
    Edna Mae Cooper (Court lady)  
    Kem Dibbs (Corporal)  
    Maude Fealy (Slave woman/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor)  
    Mimi Gibson (Slave girl/Little girl)  
    Diane Gump (Slave)  
    Nancy Hale (Court lady in pool)  
    June Jocelyn (Court lady/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Hebrew at Dathan's tent/Wife of Overseer)  
    Richard Kean (Old Hebrew at Moses's house/Hebrew toward Corridor)  
    Gail Kobe (Pretty slave girl)  
    Fred Kohler Jr. (Foreman)  
    Kenneth MacDonald (Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Slave)  
    Peter Mamakos (Chief driver)  
    Irene Martin (Tuya)  
    George Melford (Hebrew at Golden Calf/Nobleman)  
    John Merton (Architect's assistant)  
    Amena Mohamed (Architect's assistant)  
    Paula Morgan (Hebrew woman/Slave)  
    Dorothy Neumann (Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Slave/Hebrew at Dathan's tent)  
    John Parrish (Sheik of Rephidim)  
    Rodd Redwing (Taskmaster/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Addison Richards (Fan bearer)  
    Keith Richards (Hebrew at Golden Calf/Courtier/Slave/Hebrew at Dathan's tent/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Overseer)  
    Marcoreta Starr (Slave/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Onslow Stevens (Lugal)  
    Clint Walker (Sardinian captain)  
    Amanda Webb (Hebrew at Golden Calf/Young woman/Hebrew in exodus)  
    Frank Wilcox (Wazir)  
    Jeane Wood (Slave/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Cecil B. DeMille (Narrator)  
    Cliff Gould (Nobleman)  
    Max Keith (Nobleman)  
    Bob Stratton (Nobleman)  
    Steve Wyman (Nobleman)  
    Maria Elena Aza (Dancing girl)  
    Jeanne Gerson (Slave/Slave with donkey/Hebrew in exodus)  
    Antony Eustrel (High Priest)  
    Robert Griffin (High Priest)  
    John E. Mather (High Priest)  
    Allan Douglas (Hebrew in exodus/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    George Baxter (Wazir)  
    Harriet Brest (Hebrew in exodus)  
    Dorothy Crider (Hebrew in exodus)  
    Ida Ratliff (Hebrew in exodus)  
    Florine Caplan (Hebrew woman)  
    Mary Elizabeth Forbes (Hebrew woman/Hebrew at Rameses' gate)  
    Dehl Berti (Architect's assistant)  
    Arthur Robert Kendall (Architect's assistant)  
    Linda Sue Brown (Girl with doll)  
    Richard Bender (Granary child/Child slave)  
    Butch Bernard (Granary child)  
    Patricia Iannone (Granary child)  
    Marilyn Winston (Granary child)  
    Marc Bender (Child slave)  
    Kathy Garver (Child slave)  
    Marlee Sue Regen (Child slave)  
    Don Bender (Young boy)  
    Rickey McGough (Boy)  
    Lillian Buyeff (Mother)  
    Jaclynne Greene (Mother)  
    Babs Christie (Jethro's daughter)  
    Ed Hinton (Taskmaster/Flagman)  
    Roger Creed (Taskmaster/Slave/Baka guard)  
    Larry Chance (Taskmaster in brick pits)  
    Henry Escalante (Taskmaster/Palace guard)  
    Fred Coby (Taskmaster/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Fred Zendar (Taskmaster/Slave)  
    Abdullah Abbas (Taskmaster)  
    Michael Ansara (Taskmaster)  
    Joel Ashley (Taskmaster)  
    Bob Lavarre (Taskmaster)  
    Emily Getchell (Old Hebrew woman at Moses' house)  
    Elizabeth Cloud Miller (Old Hebrew woman at Moses' house)  
    Luis Alberni (Old Hebrew at Moses' house)  
    Barbara Aler (Lady from Edon/Priestess/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Kiyo Cuddy (Priestess)  
    Ted Allan (Hebrew at Rameses' gate)  
    Frank Fayad (Hebrew at Rameses' gate)  
    Terence de Marney (Hebrew at Rameses' gate)  
    Frank Leyva (Hebrew at Rameses' gate)  
    Ric Roman (Hebrew at Rameses' gate)  
    Patricia Turner (Hebrew at Rameses' gate)  
    Arthur Batanides (Hebrew at Rameses' gate/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Patti Ballon (Hebrew girl at Rameses' gate)  
    Andy Glick (Hebrew boy at Rameses' gate)  
    Gorgen Raymond Aghayan (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    James Davies (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Tony Louis (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Joan Warner (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Carol LeVeque (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Mary Ann Griggs (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Lorna Jordan (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    George Alexander Khoury (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Frank S. Hagney (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Jacqueline Park (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Mary Ellen Popel (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Elizabeth Prudhomme (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Alan Aric (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Judy Barrett (Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Prudence Beers (Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Paul G. Wexler (Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Eddie Kane (Hebrew at Crag and Corridor)  
    Tido Fedderson (Court lady)  
    Patricia Hitchcock (Court lady)  
    Adele Cook Johnson (Court lady)  
    Joyce Miller (Court lady)  
    Lorraine Moscati (Court lady)  
    Betty Bassett (Court lady)  
    Helene Heigh (Court lady)  
    Vicki Bakkan (Court lady/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Charmienne Harker (Court lady/Lady from Crete)  
    Jan Bradley (Court lady/Slave/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor)  
    Fairy Cunningham (Court lady/Slave)  
    Madelyn Darrow (Court lady in pool)  
    Mary Ellen Kay (Court lady in pool)  
    Dawn Richard (Court lady in pool)  
    Chuck Hamilton (Slave/Hebrew at Crag)  
    Yvonne Peattie (Slave/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor)  
    Shari Clark (Slave/Hebrew toward Corridor)  
    Jefferson Searles (Hebrew toward Corridor)  
    Mona Fouad (Slave)  
    Matty Fain (Slave)  
    Lyn Guild (Slave)  
    Maia Gregory (Slave)  
    Ken Christy (Slave)  
    Polly Burson (Slave)  
    Wanda Brown (Slave)  
    Cindy Brown (Slave)  
    Sophie Dimitry (Slave)  
    Marjie Duncan (Slave)  
    Edward Earle (Slave)  
    Edward Foster (Slave)  
    Paul Gary (Slave)  
    Leonard George (Slave)  
    Tony George (Slave)  
    Jo Gilbert (Slave)  
    Jerry Groves (Slave)  
    Maurice B. Hart (Slave)  
    Jean Harvey (Slave)  
    Madeleine Holmes (Slave)  
    Steve Mitchell (Slave)  
    Frank Nechero (Slave)  
    Inez Palange (Slave)  
    Harry Lewis (Slave)  
    Ronald Liss (Slave)  
    Casey MacGregor (Slave)  
    Gloria Rhoads (Slave)  
    Carlos Rivero (Slave)  
    Naomi Shaw (Slave)  
    Hal Sherman (Slave)  
    Marc Snow (Slave)  
    Charles Stevens (Slave)  
    Carl Switzer (Slave)  
    Hy Terman (Slave)  
    Than Wyenn (Slave)  
    Guy Zanette (Slave)  
    Mitchell Lawrence (Slave)  
    Norman Leavitt (Slave)  
    Madge Meredith (Slave)  
    Ahmed Salah Sayed Ahmed (Slave)  
    Rita Bennett (Slave)  
    Lillian Albertson (Slave)  
    Bill Bagdad (Slave)  
    Edward Colebrook (Slave)  
    John Compton (Slave)  
    Frankie Darro (Slave)  
    Saul Martell (Slave)  
    Rexford Burnett (Slave)  
    Claire Andre (Slave)  
    Dorothy Andre (Slave)  
    Charlott Knight (Slave)  
    Miliza Milo (Slave)  
    Bart Antinora (Slave)  
    Frank McMahon (Slave)  
    Preston Peterson (Slave)  
    Lila Finn (Slave)  
    Mary Ann Hawkins (Slave)  
    Julie Mitchum (Slave)  
    George Kilburn (Slave)  
    John Mixon (Slave)  
    Pat Moran (Slave)  
    Ister Shattah (Slave)  
    Connie Van (Slave)  
    Louise Volding (Slave)  
    Dan White (Slave)  
    Robin Morse (Pit slave)  
    Hal Gerard (Slave/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Richard Gilden (Hebrew at Dathan's tent/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor)  
    Vera Denham (Slave/Hebrew at Dathan's tent/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor)  
    Vera M. Francis (Nubian slave)  
    Loray White (Nubian slave)  
    Edmund Hashim (Captain of the guards/Officer/Captain of trumpeters)  
    Peter Coe (Soldier)  
    Tony Marcos (Treasury guard)  
    Hanaf Abou Esma (Treasury guard)  
    Mah Sala Eldin (Treasury guard)  
    Robert Bice (Sergeant)  
    Salah Higazy (Sergeant)  
    Gamel Faris (Sergeant)  
    Peter Baldwin (Courtier)  
    John F. Cretan (Courtier/Slave/Hebrew toward Corridor)  
    Norman Bartold (Signalman)  
    Jack Baston (Fan bearer)  
    Arthur A. Tookoyan (Fan bearer)  
    Naaman Brown (Ethiopian)  
    Archie Savage (Ethiopian)  
    Herbert Butterfield (Royal physician)  
    Paul Harvey (Royal physician)  
    Cliff Carnell (Edomite ambassador)  
    John Diggs Jr. (Babylonian ambassador)  
    Gavin Gordon (Trojan ambassador)  
    John Hart (Cretan ambassador)  
    Guy Manford (Assyrian ambassador)  
    Dean Cromer (Court man)  
    Michael Harris (Court man)  
    Robert Forrest (Court man)  
    John Drexel (Court man)  
    Walter Kray (Court man)  
    Nico Minardos (Court man)  
    Harry Rand (Court man/Slave)  
    Michael Legend (Court man/Spearman)  
    Jack Cunningham (Spearman)  
    Ralph Major (Spearman)  
    Julian Upton (Spearman)  
    Greigh Phillips (Spearman/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Robert Vaughn (Spearman/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Tony Dante (Libyan captain)  
    J. Stevan Darrell (Man with bedding)  
    Jann Darlyn (Swimmer)  
    Robert A. Dumas (Palace guard)  
    Charles Evans (Councillor)  
    Stephen Roberts (Councillor)  
    Herbert Heyes (Old councillor)  
    Franklin Farnum (High official)  
    Jack Fleming (Servant)  
    Judy Goren (Girl with donkey)  
    Kay Hammond (Grease woman)  
    Peter Hansen (Young aide)  
    Robert D. Herron (Courier)  
    Robert Hunter (Courier)  
    Hallene Hill (Old woman)  
    Robert Kendall (Slave boy with pigeons)  
    Don Kent (Captain of Tintyru)  
    Len Hendry (Hebrew at Dathan's tent)  
    Glen Kilburn (Hebrew at Dathan's tent)  
    Alfred P. Meissner (Hebrew at Dathan's tent)  
    Robert Roy St. Clair (Hebrew at Dathan's tent)  
    Emilie C. Stevens (Hebrew at Dathan's tent)  
    Walter Woolf King (Herald)  
    Mel Koontz (Ethiopian witch doctor)  
    Frank Lackteen (Old man in granary/Hebrew at Dathan's tent/Old man/Old man praying)  
    Ethan Laidlaw (Elder of Joseph)  
    Stuart Randall (Elder of Joseph)  
    Mohamed el Deeb (Elder)  
    Harry Landers (Architect's assistant/Hebrew at Rameses' gate)  
    David Leonard (Elderly treader)  
    Jerry Lucas (Hebrew at Rameses' gate/Jailer)  
    Don Lynch (Officer/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Emmett Lynn (Old slave man/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Barry Macollum (Slave/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Anthony Marsh (Slave/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Beverly Mathews (Slave/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Herbert Lytton (Sethi's attendant/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor)  
    Terry Macrae (Courtier/Slave)  
    Larue Malouf (Hebrew girl at Sphinx)  
    Eugenia Paul (Hebrew girl at Sphinx)  
    Serena Sande (Hebrew girl at Sphinx)  
    Sharon Manns (Girl with water bag/Hebrew girl at Crag and Corridor)  
    Michael Mark (Hebrew at Dathan's tent/Old man who blesses Moses)  
    John Merrick (Officer/Egyptian captain)  
    John Milford (Attendant to Trojan ambassador/Young father)  
    Michael Moore (Father)  
    Neyle Morrow (Slave/Hebrew at Dathan's tent/Standard bearer/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Zeev Bufman (Slave/Hebrew in exodus/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Alix Nagy (Water carrier/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Stanley Price (Slave carrying load)  
    Adeline de Walt Reynolds (Frail old lady)  
    Kent Lewis Richland (Slave boy/Hebrew boy at Rameses' gate)  
    Mel Roberts (Little boy in exodus)  
    George Robotham (Attendant)  
    Vic Romito (Officer/Hebrew in exodus/Hebrew at Golden Calf)  
    Mickey Roth (Officer)  
    Harry Woods (Officer)  
    Linda Sue Rowen (Little girl at Crag and Corridor)  
    Paul T. Salata (Amalekite)  
    Ken Terrell (Amalekite)  
    Carl Saxe (Amalekite/High priest)  
    Kathryn Sheldon (Old Hebrew woman kneading bread at Moses' house/Small woman/Hebrew in exodus)  
    Mickey Simpson (Overseer watching from door)  
    Bunny Warner (Little girl)  
    Paul Weber (Architect/Hebrew at Dathan's tent/Hebrew at Crag and Corridor)  
    Alan Wells (Hebrew at Crag and Corridor/Standard bearer)  
    Anna Cheselka    
    Bernard K. Gozier    
    Irene Tedrow    
    Patricia Tribble    

Summary: During the rule of Rameses I in Ancient Egypt, the pharaoh is informed that the Hebrew slaves believe that a recently seen star portends the arrival of a deliverer who will free them. Wanting to subvert the deliverer, yet unwilling to kill all the Hebrew slaves, Rameses I theorizes that the deliverer must be newly born and so orders the death of every male, Hebrew infant. Jewish slave Yochabel, along with her young daughter Miriam, prepares an ark of bulrushes and places her infant son in it. Pushing the ark into the Nile, Yochabel instructs Miriam to follow it, and the girl watches as it is found by Bithiah, the pharaoh’s daughter. The recently widowed Bithiah believes that the baby was sent by her deceased husband and, naming him Moses, dismisses the concern of her servant Memnet, who warns her that the child’s swaddling cloth was made by Levite Hebrews. Declaring that her son will be a prince of Egypt, Bithiah makes Memnet vow never to reveal his origins, although the servant secretly keeps the cloth. Thirty years later, Bithiah’s brother Sethi is pharaoh, and Moses is much loved by the Egyptians, even more than Sethi’s own son, Rameses II. Rameses is deeply jealous of Moses, who has returned from Ethiopia after conquering it in Sethi’s name. Sethi chides Rameses for not completing the treasure city for his upcoming jubilee, and Rameses blames his failure on the stubbornness of the Hebrew slaves. At Rameses’ urging, Sethi sends Moses to oversee the new city’s construction, much to the chagrin of Nefretiri, the princess who must marry Sethi’s heir. Nefretiri is in love with Moses, who shares her passion, even though Sethi has not announced whether Moses or Rameses will succeed him. In Goshen, where the new city is being built, Moses supervises Baka, the cold-hearted master builder. Also driving the slaves is Dathan, a ruthless Hebrew who has become an overseer. Dathan and Baka both desire Lilia, a Hebrew slave who is in love with the stone cutter Joshua. One day, Yochabel, now an old woman, is almost crushed by the enormous stones being used to build the city. Joshua is condemned to death for attempting to save her, and Lilia then races through the crowd to find Moses and plead for his mercy. Upon examining the scene, Moses frees Yochabel and Joshua, then decrees that not only should the exhausted, starving slaves have a day of rest, they should be fed from the temple granaries. Soon the city is almost completed, and although Rameses and the greedy priests attempt to prejudice Sethi against Moses, Sethi is pleased by Moses’ progress. Sethi announces his intention to name Moses his successor, but Memnet, determined not to let a Hebrew sit on Egypt’s throne, reveals the truth of his birth to Nefretiri. Desperate to protect her beloved, Nefretiri kills Memnet, then tries to cover her actions. She confesses all to Moses, however, when he finds the swaddling cloth. Astonished by the news, Moses seeks out Yochabel, whom Nefretiri reveals is his mother. Moses finds Yochabel just as Bithiah is pleading with her to leave Egypt before Moses learns the truth, but when Yochabel cannot deny that he is her son, Moses accepts his heritage. After being welcomed by Miriam and his brother Aaron, Moses begins working in the mud pits making bricks alongside the slaves he once commanded. Although Yochabel is convinced that Moses is the deliverer, he remains doubtful about the god of the Hebrews. Later, Nefretiri pleads with Moses to return to the palace before Sethi learns of his situation. Nefretiri’s argument that he can better help his people after he is pharaoh seems to sway Moses, but he states that first he must see Baka, who has taken Lilia to be his house slave. Moses arrives as Baka is about to whip Joshua, who had come to rescue Lilia. Infuriated by Baka’s callousness, Moses kills him, then reveals his heritage to Joshua. The amazed stone cutter declares that Moses is the deliverer, and his words are overheard by Dathan, who informs Rameses. On the day of Sethi’s jubilee, Rameses announces that he has captured the Hebrew deliverer, and the courtiers are stunned when Moses, bound in chains, is led in. Shaken, Sethi asks Moses if he would lead the slaves in revolt against him, and Moses confesses that he would free them if he could. The heartbroken Sethi then announces that Rameses will succeed him and marry Nefretiri, and leaves Moses’ fate for Rameses to determine. Rameses then escorts Moses to the edge of the vast desert and, giving him the pole to which he was bound as a staff, tells him to go forth into his kingdom. Despite his lack of water and food, Moses crosses the desert to reach Midian, where he collapses at a well tended by the daughters of Bedouin shepherd Jethro. As time passes, Moses is accepted by the Bedouins and marries Jethro’s oldest daughter, Sephora, although he confesses that he is still tormented by the thought of Nefretiri. Several years later, Moses and Sephora have a son, Gershom, and happily tend their flocks, while in Egypt, Rameses, made pharaoh after the Sethi’s death, has a son with Nefretiri. One day, Moses sees a burning bush on Mt. Sinai, the holy mountain of God. Climbing up the mountain, upon which no mortal man has set foot before, Moses finds the burning bush and hears the voice of God, who orders him to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites to Sinai, where they will receive God’s laws. Although he still doubts his ability to serve God, Moses is touched by the “light of the eternal mind,” and Joshua, who escaped from Egypt, swears to accompany him, as does Sephora. [An Intermission divides the story at this point.]
       Upon reaching Egypt, Moses confronts Rameses, demanding that his people be freed. Rameses laughs at Moses’ proclamation that he brings the word of God, although Nefretiri is thrilled to see that Moses is alive. When Moses turns his staff into a serpent that swallows up the serpents produced by the Egyptian priests, Rameses dismisses his actions as a magician’s tricks, then continues to ignore Moses’ pleas to free his people, even though God sets loose nine plagues upon Egypt. Finally, after Moses turns the Nile into blood for seven days, Rameses’ advisors urge him to acquiesce, but the pharaoh insists that there must be a natural explanation for the phenomenon. When Rameses again denies Moses, Moses asserts that one final, terrible plague will be brought upon the Egyptians by Rameses’ own words. Scornful, Rameses declares that the next day, his soldiers will kill all the firstborn Hebrew children. Rameses’ words are turned back upon him, however, when the Hebrews protect their children by painting their doors with lambs’ blood, and a spreading pestilence kills every other firstborn child, including Rameses’ own son. Grief-stricken, Rameses grants the slaves their freedom, but after the exodus has begun, the vengeful Nefretiri taunts Rameses until he orders his charioteers to chase the freed slaves. Soon the Egyptian forces find the Hebrews by the Red Sea, and Dathan foments a call for Moses’ death for leading them to certain doom. To demonstrate the power of the Lord, Moses uses his staff to part the Red Sea and clear a path for the Hebrews, while God’s pillar of fire holds back the chariots. When the fire dissipates, Rameses orders his soldiers to cross the Red Sea, but before they can reach the Hebrews, Moses restores the sea and the Egyptians are drowned. Defeated, Rameses returns to the palace and there declares to Nefretiri that the god of Moses cannot be defied. Soon after, Moses leads his people to the base of Mt. Sinai and ascends the mountain to receive God’s laws. As forty days pass, the people grow anxious, with Dathan proclaiming that because Moses must be dead, the people should return to Egypt, where at least they can find food. Dathan assures the people that if they follow an Egyptian idol, they will be safe from the pharaoh’s wrath, and Aaron is ordered to craft a large, golden calf. Meanwhile, on the mountain, Moses witnesses God’s finger carve His ten commandments on two stone tablets. When Moses comes down from the mountain to share the laws, he is horrified to see the people worshipping the calf. Dathan attempts to defy Moses, but Moses throws the tablets on the ground, causing an immense earthquake that swallows the nonbelievers. Although they are forced by God’s anger to wander the wilderness for forty years, Moses and his people remain strong in their faith, until one day, they come to the River Jordan, across which lays their promised land. Moses informs his family that God has told him that he shall not pass the river, however, and gives his staff and robe to Joshua, thereby anointing him the new leader. With the restored tablets in the ark of the covenant, Moses urges his people to proclaim liberty throughout the land, then waves farewell as he ascends Mt. Nebo.
 

Production Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Production Text: A Cecil B. DeMille Production
A Cecil B.DeMille Production
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Director: Cecil B. DeMille (Dir)
  Arthur Rosson (Unit dir)
  Francisco Day (Asst dir)
  Michael Moore (Asst dir)
  Edward Salven (Asst dir)
  Daniel McCauley (Asst dir)
  Al Mann (Asst dir)
  Jeff Selznick (Asst dir)
  Farid el Guiendy (Asst dir)
  Gamel Fares (Asst dir)
  Sherif M. Hammouda (Asst dir)
  Abdel Salem Moussa (Asst dir)
  Hussein el Din Moustafa (Asst dir)
  Loutfy Nour el Din (Asst dir)
  Fikry Ramzy (Asst dir)
  Mahmoud el Sabbaa (Asst dir)
  Mahmoud Serry (Asst dir)
  Raouf el Shafic (Asst dir)
  Ahmed el Toukly (Asst dir)
  Fouad Aref (Asst dir, Egypt)
  Clem Jones (Asst dir, Egypt)
  Henry Brill (2d asst dir)
  Fawzy Aly (2d asst dir)
  Saleh Fawzy (2d asst dir)
  Ibrahim el Gamal (2d asst dir)
  Miss Amina Mohamed (2d asst dir)
  Fouad el Din Saleh (2d asst dir)
  Simon Saleh (2d asst dir)
Producer: Cecil B. DeMille (Prod)
  Henry Wilcoxon (Assoc prod)
Writer: Aeneas MacKenzie (Wrt for the scr by)
  Jesse L. Lasky Jr. (Wrt for the scr by)
  Jack Gariss (Wrt for the scr by)
  Fredric M. Frank (Wrt for the scr by)
Photography: Loyal Griggs (Dir of photog)
  J. Peverell Marley (Addl photog)
  John Warren (Addl photog)
  Wallace Kelley (Addl photog)
  Paul Weddell (Asst cam)
  John Leeds (Asst cam)
  George Gall (Asst cam)
  Max Wolk (Asst cam)
  Paul Hill (Asst cam)
  Al Cline (Asst cam)
  Albert T. Scheving (Asst cam)
  Phil Eastman (Asst cam, Egypt)
  Al Baalas (Asst cam, Egypt)
  Al Scheving (Asst cam, Egypt)
  Ed Wahrman (Asst cam, Egypt)
  Mohamed Ezz el Arab (Asst cam, Egypt)
  Otto Pierce (Cam op)
  Robert Tobey (Cam op)
  Thomas C. Morris (Cam op)
  James V. King (Cam op)
  Dominic Seminerio (Head grip)
  Murray Young (Grip)
  Bernard P. Keever (Grip)
  Gordon Palmer (Grip)
  Cliff Hartley (Grip)
  Norbert Haring (Grip)
  Sayed Hindawy (Grip)
  Abdel Fattah Khattab (Grip)
  Farag Tewfik Khattab (Grip)
  Mohamed Nagy Khattab (Grip)
  Mohamed Sayed Khattab (Grip)
  Awad Abdel Rahman (Grip)
  Khomis Abdel Rahman (Grip)
  Farag Riad Sayed (Grip)
  Kamel Shaker (Grip)
  Abdel Salem Yehia (Grip)
  Sayed Mahmoud Gindy (Grip, Egypt)
  Adolph Bricker (Grip, Egypt)
  Hubert Graham (Gaffer, Egypt)
  Rudolph Frank (Cam mechanic)
  Fritz Brosch (Cam mechanic, Egypt)
  Erick Balzer (Cam loader, Egypt)
  Alfred Alexander (Cam loader, Egypt)
  M. A. Boyce (Cam turnover)
  Elvin E. Christie (Cam turnover)
  Awad Mohamed Abou el Naza (Head elec)
  Bob Rogers (Elec)
  Ismail Ismail El Kholy (Elec)
  Mahmoud Eracky (Elec)
  Abou Abdel Khalek (Elec)
  Aly Mahmoud Soliman (Elec)
  Mohamed Soliman (Elec)
  Sayed Ahmed (Asst elec)
  Robert H. Rogers (Best boy)
  Gamal el Ashry (Generator op)
  Kamel El Araby (Generator op)
  Manoli Eskender (Generator op)
  Sayed Abd el Rahman (Generator op)
  Fares Ahmed Abdel Wahad (Generator op)
  Mohamed Abdel Razek (Battery man)
  Malcolm Bulloch (Stills)
  Bill Thomas (Stills)
  Glenn E. Richardson (Stills)
  Jack Harris (Stills)
  Ara O. Avedissian (Stills)
  Ken Whitmore (Pub stills)
Art Direction: Hal Pereira (Art dir)
  Walter Tyler (Art dir)
  Albert Nozaki (Art dir)
  James J. McGuire (Asst art dir)
  Arnold Friberg (Sketch artist)
  Dorothea Redmond (Sketch artist)
  Roy Rulin (Sketch artist)
  Saad Helbawy (Sketch artist)
  John L. Jensen (Sketch artist, Egypt)
  Mohamed Zakaria Korseim (Artist)
  Esmat Mohamed (Artist)
  Khalifa Mohamed (Artist)
  Ahmed Fouad Nesseim (Artist)
  Abass el Sheikh (Artist)
Film Editor: Anne Bauchens (Ed)
Set Decoration: Sam Comer (Set dec)
  Ray Moyer (Set dec)
  Martin Pendleton (Set dec, Egypt)
  William Major (Sets)
  Eddie Dengyan (Asst set dresser)
  Jerry Cook (Set constr)
  Gordon Cole (Props)
  Robert Goodstein (Props)
  William Sapp Jr. (Props)
  Richard Parker (Props)
  J. Lester Hallett (Props)
  Dwight Thompson (Props)
  Earl Olin (Props)
  George Swartz (Props)
  Moustafa Abdallah (Props)
  Abdel Badie Ahmed (Props)
  Abdel Hameed Ahmed (Props)
  Hosny Hamza Aman (Props)
  Mohamed Mahmoud Asel (Props)
  Said Ahmed Atta (Props)
  Ibrahim Abdel Aziz (Props)
  Mohamed Abdel Aziz (Props)
  Nicholas Damaskos (Props)
  Sayed Abdel El Adl (Props)
  Salama Gouda El Shaerb (Props)
  George Georgakis (Props)
  Reggie Hockman (Props)
  Ibrahim Mohamed Khalil (Props)
  Abdel Ghaia Khattab (Props)
  Hameed Raslan Khattab (Props)
  Hassan Mabruk Khattab (Props)
  Imam Egab Khattab (Props)
  Mahmoud Aly Khattab (Props)
  Mahmoud Hassan Khattab (Props)
  Naguib Khoury (Props)
  Sayed Abdel Latif (Props)
  Sayed Mabrouk (Props)
  Mahmoud Mohamed Mady (Props)
  Abdel Hamid Aly Mahfaz (Props)
  Ramadan Mahmoud (Props)
  Naguib Malak (Props)
  Tousson Moetamad (Props)
  Abdel Hameed Mohamed (Props)
  Sayed Younes Moursy (Props)
  Constanteau Pitsis (Props)
  Metaweh Oweas (Props)
  Abdel Moneim Abdel Rahman (Props)
  Henri Salvi (Props)
  Moustafa Aly Sherif (Props)
  Hamid el Sissy (Props)
  Mohamed Hamed Abou Steat (Props)
  Fadlallah Toulba (Props)
  Abdel Gawad Yehia (Props)
  Moise Yenni (Props)
  Ibrahim Aly El Gamal (Asst props)
  John Hohl (Asst props)
  Abdel Aty Atwa (Prop shop laborer)
  Aly Nour Khattab (Prop shop laborer)
  Abdo Mohamed Abdel Mawgoud (Prop shop laborer)
  Sobhi Awad (Prop shop mechanic)
  Abd el Moneim Hassan (Prop shop mechanic)
  Abd el Mabrouk (Prop shop mechanic)
  Moustafa Mahmoud (Prop shop mechanic)
  Abd el Meguid Metwally (Prop shop mechanic)
  Hassan Nour (Prop shop mechanic)
  Nassif Soliman (Prop shop mechanic)
  Ahmed Gad (Prop shop elec)
  Hassan Hussein (Prop shop elec)
  Mohamed Ismail (Prop shop elec)
  Abdel Aal Mohamed (Prop shop elec)
  Abdel Azim Ghareeb (Chariot man)
  Julio Ielo (Chariot coord)
  Ashour Lamloum (Chariot supv)
  Kamel Lamloum (Chariot worker)
  Ahmed el Guiengy (Carpenter)
  Dwight Turner (Painter)
  Mahmoud Aly (Painter)
  Abdou el Haroun (Painter)
  Ramadan Hussein (Painter)
  Ahmed Abdou Radwan (Painter)
  Ramadan Abdel Rahman (Painter)
  Wayne Buttress (Standby painter)
  Harry Arnold (Standby painter, Egypt)
  Mohamed Hassan (Gang boss)
Costumes: Edith Head (Cost)
  Ralph Jester (Cost)
  John [L.] Jensen (Cost)
  Dorothy Jeakins (Cost)
  Arnold Friberg (Cost)
  Frank Budz (Ward des)
  Dario Piazza (Ward des)
  Patrick Williams (Ward supv)
  Frank Delmar (Head ward)
  Marilyn Soto (Ward)
  O. Arassky (Ward)
  Eleanor Szabo (Ward)
  R. Shepherd (Ward)
  Adele Balkan (Ward)
  John A. Anderson (Ward)
  Kalifa Soliman (Ward)
  Eric Seelig (Ward, Egypt)
  Abdel Wahab Aly (Head men's ward)
  Moustafa Abdel Aziz (Head men's ward)
  Michel Moran (Head men's ward)
  Steve Brandt (Men's ward)
  Pat Williams (Men's ward)
  John Mohamed Ahmed (Men's ward)
  Kamel Mohamed Aly (Men's ward)
  Sayed Abdel Bashaudy (Men's ward)
  Mohamed Abdel Aziz (Men's ward)
  Ismail Chinnawy (Men's ward)
  Staveo Christofidis (Men's ward)
  Gigi Gargiulio (Men's ward)
  Abdel Moneim Gilbrill (Men's ward)
  Fouad Michael (Men's ward)
  Hussein Mohamed (Men's ward)
  Michael F. Moussa (Men's ward)
  Ezzat Sayed Moustafa (Men's ward)
  Mounir Salama (Men's ward)
  Mohamed Mohamed Sayed Jr. (Men's ward)
  Abdel Wahhab Shalaby (Men's ward)
  Bondak Hassan Shetatu (Men's ward)
  John Thomas (Men's ward)
  George Tsontzos (Men's ward)
  Yanni Zafiro (Men's ward)
  Mahmoud Ezzat (Men's ward asst)
  Mohamed Ezzat (Men's ward asst)
  Makram Fahmy (Men's ward asst)
  Fred Kroiter (Men's ward asst)
  Marcella Bertini (Head women's ward)
  Mary Avierino (Head women's ward)
  Stella Spiro (Head women's ward)
  Lopy Zakika (Head women's ward)
  Ruth Stella (Women's ward)
  Ethel Shaw (Women's ward)
  Beba Benvenista (Women's ward)
  Kitty Manassi (Women's ward)
  Labiba Zaki (Women's ward)
  Vou Lee Giokaris (Women's ward asst)
  Lee Forman (Women's ward asst)
  Yvonne Madi (Ward manufacturing mgr)
  Imam Abdel Wahed el Sharaby (Head dyer)
  Ahmed Helmi (Chief cutter)
  Youssef Hassan (Asst cutter)
  Winifred Martin (Ward shopper)
  Walter Hoffman (Ward finished shopper)
  Albert Mizrahi (Ward storekeeper)
  Abdel Malik Attalah (Ward stock clerk)
  Gomad Omran Badowy (Ward guard)
  Abdu Mabrak Garby (Ward guard)
Music: Elmer Bernstein (Mus)
  Charlie Kisco (Mus adv)
  James Ende (Musician)
  Henry Sigismonti (Musician)
Sound: Louis H. Mesenkop (Sd rec supv)
  Harry Lindgren (Sd rec)
  Gene Garvin (Sd rec)
  A. H. Barnett (Sd rec)
  Ossama Wally (Sd eng)
  George Swarthout (Sd cableman)
  Rocky Nelson (Sd cableman)
  Clarence Self (Sd boom man)
  Cecil Gardiner (Boom grip)
  Al Meinlschmid (Boom op)
  Galal Amin (Sd asst)
  Thomas B. Middleton (Sd ed)
  Howard Beals (Sd ed)
Special Effects: John P. Fulton (Spec photog eff)
  Paul Lerpac (Optical photog)
  Farciot Edouart (Process photog)
  Ray Binger (Spec eff cam)
  Helen Lampson (Traveling matte artist)
  Carol Beers (Traveling matte artist)
  Al Simpson (Matte artist)
  T. Hardy (Matte artist)
Dance: LeRoy Prinz (Choreog)
  Ruth Godfrey (Choreog)
Make Up: Wally Westmore (Makeup supv)
  Frank Delmar (Makeup supv)
  Frank Westmore (Makeup)
  Frank McCoy (Makeup)
  John A. Anderson (Makeup)
  Charles Gemora (Makeup)
  Erland "Bud" Bashaw Jr. (Makeup)
  Norman Pringle (Makeup)
  Robert Dawn (Makeup)
  Lawrence Butterworth (Makeup)
  John Holden (Makeup)
  Paul Malcolm (Makeup)
  Raymond Lopez (Makeup)
  Dick Narr (Makeup)
  Terry Miles (Makeup)
  Willard Colee (Makeup)
  Dick Johnson (Makeup)
  Armand Delmar (Makeup)
  Anthony Karnagel (Makeup)
  Sam Kaufman (Makeup)
  Jack Stone (Makeup)
  Harry Thomas (Makeup)
  Eugene Klum (Makeup)
  Sidney Perell (Makeup)
  Louis Phillippi (Makeup)
  Hamdy Ahmed (Makeup)
  Sayed Awad (Makeup)
  Hussein el Sayed Hussein (Makeup)
  Aly Imam (Makeup)
  Issa Ahmed Issa (Makeup)
  Mohamed Magdy (Makeup)
  Youssef Mahmoud (Makeup)
  Mahmoud Metwally (Makeup)
  Fouad Ramadan Mohamed (Makeup)
  Sayed Mohamed (Makeup)
  Abdel Moneim Moussa (Makeup)
  Hamdi Raafat (Makeup)
  Sobhy Rasta (Makeup)
  Abdel Hameed Soliman (Makeup)
  Eric Seelig (Extras makeup)
  Hamdi Al Abdel (Asst makeup)
  Mohamed Adly (Asst makeup)
  Abdel Hakeem Ahmed (Asst makeup)
  Erfan Aly (Asst makeup)
  Mohamed Fouad (Asst makeup)
  Ibrahim Abdel Fattah (Asst makeup)
  Ahmed Higazy (Asst makeup)
  Mohamed Mamdouh (Asst makeup)
  Sayed Ahmed Moustafa (Asst makeup)
  Mahmoud el Sayed (Asst makeup)
  Hassan Taha (Asst makeup)
  Nellie Manley (Hairstylist)
  Vera Tomei (Hairdresser)
  Lenore Weaver (Hairdresser)
  Jane Gorton (Hairdresser)
  Hazel Thompson (Hairdresser)
  Olga Collings (Hairdresser)
  Alma Johnson (Hairdresser)
  La Vaughn Speer (Hairdresser)
  Lillian Lashin (Hairdresser)
  Helene Parrish (Hairdresser)
  Fae Smith (Hairdresser)
  Beth Langston (Hairdresser)
  Helene Lierly (Hairdresser)
  Florence Guernsey (Hairdresser)
  Faye Hanlin (Hairdresser)
  Bertha French (Hairdresser)
  Wenda McKee (Hairdresser)
  Peggy Adams (Hairdresser)
  Leonora Sabine (Hairdresser)
  Doris M. Durkus (Hairdresser)
  Doris Harris (Hairdresser, Egypt)
  Shousha Ahmed (Asst hairdresser)
  Zakaria Ahmed (Asst hairdresser)
Production Misc: Frances Dawson (Dial supv)
  Donald MacLean (Dial supv)
  Dr. William C. Hayes ([Tech adv])
  Dr. Labib Habachi ([Tech adv])
  Dr. Keith C. Seele ([Tech adv])
  Dr. Ralph Marcus ([Tech adv])
  Dr. George R. Hughes ([Tech adv])
  Rabbi Rudolph Lupo ([Tech adv])
  William Lasky (Tech adv)
  Henry Noerdlinger (Research)
  Gladys Percey (Research)
  Rena Clark (Research)
  Elizabeth Higgason (Research)
  Frank Caffey (Prod management)
  Kenneth DeLand (Prod management)
  Donald Robb (Prod management)
  Andrew Durkus (Prod mgr)
  William C. Davidson (Asst prod mgr)
  Hugh Brown (Asst prod mgr, Egypt )
  Anis Serag El Dine (Contractor, Egypt)
  Bert McKay (Casting dir)
  Johan Cope (Casting dir for "Voice of God" chorus)
  Mohamed Hassan (Asst casting dir)
  Mohamed Hassan Vladimer (Asst casting dir)
  Sayed Aly (Casting asst)
  Ibrahim Moustafa (Casting asst)
  Hassan Taher (Casting asst)
  Mohamed Zayed (Casting asst)
  Olive Long (Casting secy)
  Claire Behnke (Scr supv)
  Souraya Farid (Asst scr clerk)
  Leila Gilbertson (Asst scr clerk)
  Art Arthur (Pub chief)
  Maxwell Hamilton (Pub chief)
  Albert Deane (Pub)
  Ann Del Valle (Pub)
  Al Finestone (Pub)
  Frank Friedrichsen (Pub)
  Paul Simqu (Pub)
  Rufus Blair (Pub, Egypt)
  George Fraser (Pub, Europe)
  Mary Moon (Pub secy)
  Barbar Hicks (Pub secy)
  Patricia DiLorenzo (Pub secy)
  Marianna Buehrlen (Henry Wilcoxon's secy)
  Florence Cole (Cecil B. DeMille's secy)
  Doris Turner (Cecil B. DeMille's secy)
  Bernice Mosk (Cecil B. DeMille's field secy)
  Joan Brooskin (Cecil B. DeMille's loc secy)
  Donald Hayne (Cecil B. DeMille's asst, Egypt)
  Donald MacLean (Cecil B. DeMille's asst)
  Beatrice Dashiell (Secy)
  Edith W. Lynn (Secy)
  Mrs. Ahmed Mawhid Aly (Secy)
  Giselle Benaroyo (Secy)
  Claire Cochran (Secy)
  Yolande Fahmy (Secy)
  Margaret B. Kunde (Secy)
  Geri Zerbonne (Secy)
  Faiza Abdel Maksoud (Receptionist)
  Ted Masters (Loc auditor)
  M. Jane Clifford (Asst auditor)
  Bob Sheldon (Laborer)
  Hussein Khalil (Laborer, Weld shop)
  Abdallah Awad (Welder)
  Said Mohamed Moustafa (Welder)
  Abdel Hakeem Hassan Nasr (Welder)
  Sayed Mohamed Nassar (Welder)
  Osman Nour (Welder)
  Taha el Haggan (Mechanic)
  Youssef A. Elramby (Asst mechanic)
  Aganeau Hassan Hussein (Garage mechanic)
  Ezzat Hashem Mohamed (Garage mechanic)
  Abdel Kader Salem (Garage mechanic)
  Mohamed Mahmoud Ahmed (Blacksmith)
  Kamel Ahmed El Sayed (Blacksmith)
  Mounir Aly Abdel Hamid (Blacksmith)
  Genghis Khalil Ibrahim (Blacksmith)
  Mahmoud Mohamed Moustafa (Blacksmith)
  Bill Hurley (Livestock supv, Egypt)
  James Davies (Charlton Heston's trainer)
  Abdel Samad Mahmoud (Interpreter)
  Mohamed Abdel Alein (Interpreter)
  Capt. Ahmed Salah Ahmed (Interpreter)
  Rafik Shawky Farag (Interpreter)
  Nicola D. Papadapaulo (Interpreter)
  Gen. Abdel M. M. Ahmed (Liaison officer)
  Shater el Basset (Cook)
  Georges Sideratos (Driver foreman)
  Abdel Salem Aly (Driver)
  Mohamed Moussa Chazly (Driver)
  Hamid Abdul Fayed (Driver)
  Ahmed Abdel Hadi (Driver)
  Osman el Kashef (Driver)
  Mohamed el Khatib (Driver)
  Ahmed Aly Mabred (Driver)
  Abdel Aziz Metwally (Driver)
  Zaghloul Moawad (Driver)
  Abdul el Hamid Morgan (Driver)
  George Pangalos (Driver)
  Mohamed Saawan (Driver)
  Mahmoud Hassan Saleh (Driver)
  Saleh Hassan Saleh (Driver)
  Ahmed Fouad (Dispatcher-driver)
  M. J. McGee (Dispatcher)
  Stelio Nicolaides (Dispatcher)
  George Strouthos (Dispatcher)
  Joe Herron (Transportation mgr)
  Sayed Ahmed Saleh (Asst transportation mgr)
  Ibrahim Mohamed Zatoney (Asst transportation mgr)
  George Attallah (Transportation clerk)
  Hussein Makram (Transportation accounting)
  Aly Naggy (Car washer)
  Dr. Tewfik Helmy (Company doctor)
  Dr. Koussa Tadros Koussa (Company doctor)
  Elaine Matta (Company nurse)
  André Castel (Cashier)
  Richard Sam Williams (Cashier)
  Raafat Mahmoud (Timekeeper)
  Nahed Kholousy (Telephone op)
  Berdj. Khoubesserian (Nurseryman)
  Michael Marinos (Night op)
  Jack Haddad (Stock clerk)
  Hassan Helmy (Asst prod dept)
  Ahmed Mahmoud Aly (Office boy)
  Said Kamel Said (Service boy)
Stand In: Roudy Safram (Double for Charlton Heston)
  Rawhia Badawi (Loc double for Olive Deering)
  Rita Coudisi (Loc double for Debra Paget)
  Claude Colvin (Loc double for Edward G. Robinson)
  Moh Sabe (Loc double for Frank deKova)
  J. Collins (Loc double for Ramsay Hill)
  Catherine Mikhail (Loc double for Nina Foch)
  Claude Moyal (Loc double for John Derek)
  Moh Abd El Salam (Loc double for John Carradine)
  Sayed El Badawi (Loc double for Yul Brynner)
  Abdel Kader Hussein (Loc double)
  Hanafy Mohamed Moustafa (Loc double)
  Haguib Asfar (Loc double)
  Joyce Cochtie (Loc double)
  Monica Dameani (Loc double)
  Adele Essa (Loc double)
  Ken Cooper (Stunts)
  Bob Garvey (Stunts)
  Frank Cordell (Stunts)
  Roger Creed (Stunts)
  Red Morgan (Stunts)
  Kay Bell (Stunts)
Animation: Ann Lord (Anim supv)
  Gladys Hallberg (Anim supv)
  George Rowley (Anim)
  Ed Parks (Anim)
  Marlene Kempffer (Anim)
  Roberta Johnson (Anim)
  Pauline Rosenthal (Anim)
  Bill Mahood (Asst anim)
  Angel Jimenez (Asst anim)
  Ed Faigin (Asst anim)
  Marion Green (Asst anim)
Color Personnel: Richard Mueller (Technicolor col consultant)
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs:
Source Text: Based on the books Prince of Egypt by Dorothy Clarke Wilson (Philadelphia, 1949), The Pillar of Fire; or, Israel in Bondage by Rev. Joseph Holt Ingraham (New York, 1859) and On Eagle's Wings by Rev. Arthur E. Southon (London, 1937).
Authors: Rev. Arthur E. Southon
  Dorothy Clarke Wilson
  Rev. Joseph Holt Ingraham

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Paramount Pictures Corp. 8/11/1956 dd/mm/yyyy LP7276

PCA NO: 18021
Physical Properties: Sd: Western Electric Recording
  col: Technicolor
  Widescreen/ratio: VistaVision

 
Genre: Epic
Sub-Genre: Biblical
 
Subjects (Major): Biblical characters
  Egypt--History
  Faith
  God
  Jews--History
  Moses
  Ramses II, 1292-1225 B.C.
  Slavery
  Ten Commandments
 
Subjects (Minor): Bedouins
  Blasphemy
  Chases
  Clothes
  Curses
  Death and dying
  Earthquakes
  Foster parents
  Egyptians
  Family relationships
  Gold
  Idolatry
  Inheritance
  Jealousy
  Marriage
  Miracles
  Mistresses
  Mount Sinai (Egypt)
  Murder
  Passover
  Pharaohs
  Plague
  Red Sea
  Romance
  Romantic rivalry
  Royalty
  Sheepherders
  Tests of character
  Whips and whippings

Note: The working title of this film was Prince of Egypt . Before the film’s onscreen credits, producer-director Cecil B. DeMille steps out from behind a curtain onto a stage. Directly addressing the audience for two minutes, DeMille states that the Bible omits approximately thirty years in its description of the life of Moses, and that the filmmakers drew upon historical works such as those by Philo and Josephus and the Hebrew Midrash for the picture. DeMille then asserts that the subject of Moses’ life is particularly timely, as it deals with themes such as whether man is to be ruled by God’s law or the whims of a dictator like Rameses. DeMille announces that the filmmakers’ intent was “not to create a story but to be worthy of the story divinely created 3,000 years ago, the five books of Moses.” After DeMille states that the film is three hours and thirty-nine minutes long and will contain one intermission, he thanks the audience for its attention, then goes back behind the curtain. Although the prologue was included in the print viewed, the DV review noted that it would be “used in all initial playdates, but may be dropped later.”
       After DeMille’s introduction, a special version of the traditional Paramount logo, in which the Paramount mountain is shaped like Mount Sinai and is colored mostly in red, appears and is followed by the onscreen credits. The intermission occurred following the picture’s fourteenth reel, after the burning bush has spoken to "Moses" and instructed him to return to Egypt. According to the DV review, Paramount recommended a ten-minute break. The film ends with a written card stating: “So it was written, so it shall be done,” and a special title card announcing the “Exit Music.”
       As noted in the onscreen credits, The Ten Commandments was “compiled from many sources and contains material from” three contemporary novels and was written “in accordance with the ancient texts of Philo, Josephus, Eusebius, The Midrash and The Holy Scriptures.” DeMille’s onscreen credit reads: “Those who see this motion picture—Produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille—will make a pilgrimage over the very ground that Moses trod more than 3,000 years ago.” The opening credits contain a written acknowledgment for the “valuable cooperation” of Dr. William C. Hayes, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Dr. Labib Habachi, Department of Antiquities, Luxor, Egypt; Dr. Keith C. Seele, Dr. Ralph Marcus and Dr. George R. Hughes, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago; and Rabbi Rudolph Lupo, Jewish Community Library, Los Angeles. Studio records indicate that the scholars acknowledged were frequently consulted throughout pre-production and production on a wide variety of historical topics. Frequent voice-over narration heard throughout the film, spoken by DeMille and explaining the action, is taken primarily from the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. Other books from the Old Testament are also quoted in the narration.
       DeMille announced his intention to remake his 1923 Paramount film The Ten Commandments in spring 1952. The earlier film, which starred Theodore Roberts as Moses, focused only partially on the biblical story and included a modern-day parable about two brothers (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ). Cinematographer J. Peverell Marley and editor Anne Bauchens worked on both the 1923 and 1956 versions of The Ten Commandments . In announcing his intention to remake the film, DeMille noted that the new picture would depict only the life of Moses. In Aug 1952, DV reported that DeMille intended the film to be “the biggest picture of his career,” an ambition that many modern sources agree that he fulfilled. In an undated, circa mid-1954, letter written by DeMille to the editor of the British journal The Jewish Chronicle , the producer stated that at that time, he had been working on the picture for five years, with “the script alone requiring three years to write.” DeMille estimated that the movie would “require two years to film” and would not be ready for release until the middle of 1956. Although information in the Paramount Produced Scripts Collection at the AMPAS Library indicates that Edmund Penney worked on the film’s screenplay, he is not listed by any other contemporary sources, and the extent of his contribution to the completed picture, if any, has not been determined.
       Henry Noerdlinger, DeMille’s chief researcher on many of his films, published a book entitled Moses and Egypt (Los Angeles, 1956) detailing the enormous amount of research undertaken to achieve historical accuracy in The Ten Commandments . According to Noerdlinger’s book, “950 books, 984 periodicals, 1,286 clippings and 2,964 photographs were studied,” and the “facilities of 30 libraries and museums in North America, Europe and Africa” were employed in the film’s preparation. An Oct 1956 HCN article noted that Noerdlinger began his research for the film in Jun 1952, and an Aug 1956 NYT report asserted that the historical preparation cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” As Noerdlinger explained in his book, the Bible does not give a specific date for the exodus, nor state which pharaoh was confronted by Moses, and so the filmmakers decided upon the 13th century B.C., which was generally favored by scholars as the time of the exodus. They then chose Rameses II, who reigned from 1301—1234 B.C., as Moses’ nemesis. [Scholars alternately spell Rameses as Ramses, and Sethi as Seti.] DeMille’s depiction of Moses’ early life, about which little is told in the Bible, relied upon other sources, as noted in an article written by screenplay author Aeneas MacKenzie for the 31 Jul 1955 issue of NYT . MacKenzie stated that “certain ancient Hebrew, Moslem and other non-Biblical texts,” as well as sources found in Noerdlinger’s extensive research, were used to supply the “missing” details of Moses’ life. Noerdlinger’s book was used to help publicize the film, especially in Europe, and was given to film, religious and historical reviewers.
       According to an unsourced, circa 1952 news item, contained in the film’s production file at the AMPAS Library, DeMille offered the role of Moses to William Boyd, best known for his work as “Hopalong Cassidy.” In DeMille’s autobiography, however, he stated: “I was never in any doubt who should play the part of Moses,” in reference to Charlton Heston. In Sep 1954, HR announced that DeMille was screening the 1954 religious film Day of Triumph (see above) “in order to appraise actor James Griffith for a possible lead.” Griffith does not appear in the completed picture, however. Studio records and a Sep 1954 NYT article indicate that Cornel Wilde was originally set for the role of “Joshua.” According to a May 1955 HR news item, Robert Lowery was considered for the role of “Mered.”
       In several contemporary sources, it was noted that Heston was cast partially due to his resemblance to Michelangelo’s renowned statue of Moses. After location filming was completed in Egypt, Heston stopped in Rome so that publicity photographs of him with the statue could be taken, and in the trailer for the film, DeMille uses the photos to point out the resemblance. [Heston went on to play Michelangelo in the 1965 Twentieth Century-Fox picture The Agony and the Ecstasy . See AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 .] According to a 30 Jan 1955 speech Heston gave to the Bureau of Jewish Education, a transcript of which is contained in the Charlton Heston Collection, located at the AMPAS Library, Fraser Heston, the son of Charlton and Lydia Heston, was cast as “The infant Moses,” several months before his birth, while his mother was still pregnant. Fraser Heston, who went on to become a screenwriter, director and producer, was three months old when the sequences featuring him were shot.
       In his autobiography, DeMille related that he offered the part of “Rameses II” to Yul Brynner between acts one night while watching Brynner’s famed performance as the King of Siam in The King and I on Broadway. According to Yvonne de Carlo’s autobiography, she was cast when DeMille was screening footage of a film featuring Nina Foch, who was cast as “Bithiah,” and DeMille was so captivated by de Carlo that he gave her the role of “Sephora.” In Edward G. Robinson’s autobiography, he related his disappointment over his career in the early and mid-1950s, when scrutiny by the House Committee on Un-American Activities caused him to make a string of "B" movies. Asserting that DeMille resurrected his career by casting him as "Dathan," Robinson wrote: "Cecil B. DeMille returned me to films. Cecil B. DeMille restored my self-respect."
       Although HR news items include the following actors and dancers in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: Wesley Gale, Dennis Nelson, Harry Schwartz, Jody Parker, Patricia Richards, Dorothea Hulse (who wove the fabric used for the robe in the 1953 Twentieth Century-Fox production The Robe , see above), Cy Phelps, Norman Walker, Capri Candela, Shirley Hart, Marie Roe, Vera Lee, Virginia Lee, Edith Udane, Joan Samuels, Shirley deBrugh, Marjorie Packa, Jerry Forrey, Lee Irwin, George Bruggerman, Ron Nyman, Edward Fury, Dan Towler, Harry Thompson, Dick Lane, Gadge Johnson, Bess Flowers, Paul Busch, Michael Carr, Buddy Baer, Donald Curtis, Francis MacDonald, Cesar Ugarte, Jr., Paul Haakon, Gregor Mondjian, Aaron Gerard, Lela Zali and Moshe Lazrah. In an interview for the 2004 special collector's edition DVD of the film, music composer Elmer Bernstein noted that Victor Young was originally assigned to score the film but fell ill during production, after which Bernstein replaced him.
       According to studio records, portions of the picture were shot on location in Egypt at a number of locations, including Beni Youseff, near Cairo, where the city of Per-Rameses was partially recreated; Aswan near the Nile River; the grounds of the ancient St. Catherine’s Monastery, where many of the cast and crew stayed during filming of the scenes of the burning bush on Mount Sinai, which is also known as Gebel Musa; Abu Ruwash, where later parts of the exodus and the chariot chase were shot; Luxor and Kharga. As noted by a 16 Sep 1954 HR news item, a second unit headed by cinematographer Loyal Griggs had been "shooting second unit sequences in Egypt for some time" before the main unit, led by DeMille, left for location and began shooting on 13 Oct 1954. A 13 Oct 1954 HR news item noted that DeMille had four of Paramount's newly developed VistaVision cameras shipped to Egypt for the location shoot. As noted by an Oct 1952 DV news item, the extensive location shoot represented the first time that DeMille personally directed footage outside of the United States. According to modern sources, DeMille suffered a heart attack during filming at Beni Youssef, but returned to the set shortly after.
       On 24 Oct 1955, Life reported that the immense reproduction of Per-Rameses included gates that were 107 feet tall, with two 35-foot statues, made to resemble Brynner, flanking the gates. A Jun 1955 The Picture News Magazine article estimated that the gates, which were part of one of the largest location sets ever built, were 650 feet wide, 620 feet deep and 108 feet high. An Apr 1956 Good Housekeeping article reported that the set was a quarter of a mile long and took six months to construct. Production manager Don Robb had arrived in Egypt in Feb 1954 to coordinate the construction and hire the extensive numbers of people and animals needed, according to studio records, and stayed on long after the shoot was completed to finalize any remaining business.
       Heston, Brynner and Henry Wilcoxon were the only major players to shoot on location, and Brynner was in Egypt for only a brief time to film the sequences in which Rameses leads the chariots chasing the Hebrews during the exodus. The rest of the cast had doubles, shown in long shot, for the location filming. In several papers in the Heston Collection, Heston noted that DeMille always insisted that he stay in character as Moses during filming, even during rest periods on the set, in order “to stay within the context of the part.” Heston credited the then-unusual direction with stimulating the authentic reactions he received from the thousands of Jewish, Christian and Moslem extras used during the exodus sequences. In numerous contemporary and modern interviews, Heston related how profoundly moved he was by the experience of being followed by the many extras calling out, “Moussa, Moussa, Moussa” to him.
       In his autobiography, DeMille noted that due to the desert heat, the film negative had to be packed in ice to protect it and completed footage was flown to Hollywood at the end of every day’s shooting. After being developed, prints were flown back to Egypt for DeMille to view at Cairo’s Misr Studio. According to a 19 Nov 1954 HR news item, DeMille employed eighty-eight assistant directors—six from Hollywood and eighty-two hired in Egypt—to help him control the crowds needed for the exodus scenes. Contemporary sources estimated that between 7,000 and 10,000 people were used as extras, with approximately 5,000 head of livestock. According to an AmCin article on the film, it “mobilized the greatest number of extra people ever used in a motion picture,” a statement challenged by some film historians when discussing other contemporary "spectacles," such as Quo Vadis and Around the World in Eighty Days (see above). In a 1990 LAT interview, Heston stated that upon their return from location shooting, “DeMille shut down the production for several weeks while he edited the footage together and blocked out specifically what he needed to do at the studio.” Heston made the 1955 Universal film The Private War of Major Benson during the interval (see above).
       As noted by contemporary news items and information in the Paramount records, in exchange for the extensive cooperation provided by the Egyptian government, which supplied approximately 200 cavalry soldiers and horses, plus equipment, to be used as background extras, Paramount agreed to produce a travelogue about Egypt. Directed mostly by Arthur Rosson, who served as the second unit director on The Ten Commandments , the documentary was shot in color and VistaVision and was entitled Ancient Egypt and Modern Egypt .
       Although information in the film’s file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library gives the lyrics for several songs to be included in the picture, they are heard only in the background as chants by priests or others. The songs were written variously by Bernstein, Noerdlinger and Wilcoxon. Cinematographer Marley was borrowed from Warner Bros. for the production. Noted artist Arnold Friberg designed the costumes of the principal male characters—Moses, Rameses II, Sethi and Baka—and also painted the special version of the Paramount logo that appears at the beginning of the film, according to contemporary sources. Modern sources report that Friberg was largely responsible for the “look” of Moses, including the different makeups that Heston wore as the character aged. Friberg’s portraits of Heston as Moses were used widely in the film’s publicity, and a number of his paintings were used in the commemorative booklet sold at movie theaters during the picture’s exhibition. According to studio records, artist Roy Rulin designed many of the film’s décor and props, including the Golden Calf, but because he did not have a contractual obligation to receive an onscreen credit, his name is not listed among the other art and set directors.
       In DeMille's autobiography, the director called recreating the voice of God “the greatest single problem” in the film. In a Sep 1953 NewsLife interview, DeMille stated that the sequence in which Moses was to receive the ten commandments would be filmed “with special symphonic sound being used to represent the universal language of the Lord’s voice.” A Sep 1954 HR news item stated that Guy Prescott had recorded the “voice of God” for the film that week, although in Feb 1980, an item in HR ’s “Rambling Reporter” column claimed that Alan Jeffory was the offscreen voice of God. In his autobiographical collection of his 1956—1976 journals, Heston wrote that he supplied the voice of God. In 1996, Parade magazine reported that DeMille himself had claimed to supply the voice of God, as did singer-actor J. D. Jewkes. The article concluded that “only DeMille and his sound editor, Loren L. Ryder, who died in 1985, knew the truth—because the voice used in the film was run through mixers, changers and echo chambers.” According to DeMille’s autobiography, Heston’s voice was used during the burning bush sequence, but an unnamed friend, who was not a professional actor, was used for the sequence in which God gives the ten commandments to Moses.
       Among the film’s noted special effects was the parting of the Red Sea, which was supervised by John P. Fulton, who also did the special effects for DeMille’s 1923 version of The Ten Commandments . For the 1956 film, the huge Red Sea set included two giant water tanks, according to an Apr 1955 NYT report, which covered not only a 300 by 300-foot square area of the Paramount backlot, but also part of the RKO backlot. According to the Time review, the special effects team “built a 200,000 cubic-foot swimming pool, [and] installed hydraulic equipment that could deluge the area with 360,000 gallons of water in two minutes flat.” According to modern sources, Fulton simply projected the film of the water pouring out of the tanks in reverse to simulate the parting of the sea, with footage of the actors then superimposed over the shots of the water. A 20 May 1955 HR news item asserted that the Red Sea sequence would cost $500,000, both for filming and creating the special effects. The Time review, however, claimed that the scene “cost more than a million dollars and took 18 months to shoot.”
       As explained in a report submitted by the studio to AMPAS for consideration for an Academy Award nomination for Best Special Effects, part of the live-action footage for the Red Sea sequence was shot on location in Egypt, and part of it on studio sound stages in front of blue screen backings. The report goes on to state that the water “in the first scenes of the encampment is actually the Red Sea,” while miniatures and the water in the tanks were used for the rest of the sequence. Matte paintings of the bottom of the sea and of the sky were combined with the rest of the footage. The studio report concluded that “the opening and closing scenes of the sea are a combination of as many as 12 original negatives printed together with stationery split screen mattes, rotoscope hand-made mattes and Blue Screen Mattes.” For the sound effects in the sequence, thirty-five separate sound effects tracks were used, including an “actual Atom Bomb rumble that was recorded during one of the Atom Bomb tests” to simulate the thunder.
       According to a May 1954 version of the screenplay, the look of the pillar of divine fire was suggested by the décor paintings done by Pavel Tchelitchev for the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo version of the ballet “Firebird.” Studio records add that several of the animators who worked on the pillar of fire, the finger of God, the burning bush and other effects were borrowed from the Walt Disney Studios. The studio special effects report noted that the writing of the commandments on the tablets “was accomplished by animating three different drawings for each frame,” and that nine shades of color were used for the pillar of fire.
       In Dec 1953, DeMille announced in a LAT article that his picture would probably have a budget of at least six million dollars. By Sep 1954, LAT was reporting that the budget would be eight million dollars, and in Nov 1954, Paramount board chairman Adolph Zukor announced that DeMille was “working on an unlimited budget.” On 27 Jul 1955, DV announced that the film was the costliest motion picture made to that date and revealed that the profits would be split “50-50” between DeMille’s production company, Motion Picture Associates, and Paramount. According to studio records, the final budget was over thirteen million dollars, and in a speech DeMille made in New York just prior to the film’s premiere, he claimed that “only six motion pictures have ever grossed as much as The Ten Commandments cost to make.”
       An Oct 1956 HCN article reported that before DeMille completed the final edit of the picture, he “invited West Coast top figures in the religious world—laymen as well as clergy—to view the film at Paramount Studios so that he might have their reactions and advice.” The guests, ranging from James Francis Cardinal McIntyre to Jewish rabbis and Protestant ministers, were very favorable in their responses. The Ten Commandments , which did not have a formal general release date, played as a special roadshow engagement at “advanced” prices and generally on a reserved-seat, twice-daily basis, before going into a more general release at “neighborhood” theaters at regular prices in mid- to late 1958. Even when the film played at drive-in theaters, exhibitors were required to run it for a minimum of two weeks and pay Paramount a per person royalty, according to Jul 1958 HR news items.
       The film received mixed reviews, with many critics praising the spectacular nature of it but dubious about its historical accuracy. Time referred to the film as “in some respects the most vulgar movie ever made.” NYT , however, commented on the then-current conflict between Egypt and Israel and stated that the film “is a moving story of the spirit of freedom riding in a man, under the divine inspiration of his Maker. And, as such, it strikes a ringing note today.” The scope of DeMille’s overall achievement was highlighted by many reviews, including Cue , which stated: “DeMille has built himself a towering monument—the biggest, most spectacular, and by all means the most impressive of the 70 motion pictures that have constituted his life’s work.” HR declared that The Ten Commandments “is not just a great and powerful motion picture, although it is that; it is also a new human experience.” Heston’s portrayal of Moses, arguably the role with which he is most identified, received mostly positive notices, although the Time critic called him “ludicrously miscast.” The DV review, however, termed him “outstanding” and stated that the role was “splendidly performed.” In his autobiography, Heston judged his work in the film as “generally impressive, often very good, and sometimes not quite what it needs to be.”
       In a Nov 1956 editorial about the film, influential NYT critic Bosley Crowther wrote that because of its subject matter, The Ten Commandments was “weighed with responsibilities that are seldom borne in such manifest fashion by the product of the screen.” Although Crowther mildly criticized the invention of Moses’ relationship with Nefretiri, he concluded that the film was “unquestionably an interesting romance about a magnanimous individual who gives himself to a high cause.” A year later, Crowther wrote another editorial about the picture, noting that 1,300,000 people had seen it at the Criterion Theatre in New York alone. Crowther pointed out that in addition to the DeMille name, “which gives [ The Ten Commandments ] a trademark that is special in the motion picture field,” the film reaped the benefits of “excellent promotion” and “the incalculable asset of its support by church authorities.” The Ten Commandments played at the Criterion Theatre in New York for seventy weeks, according to a 25 Feb 1958 HR news item.
       In Aug 1958, in order to broaden the film’s appeal, Paramount began showing a version subtitled in Spanish at the Mayan Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, which catered primarily to Spanish-speaking customers. The move was so successful that it was repeated in other parts of Southern California, Arizona and Texas. According to Sep 1958 HR news items, The Ten Commandments had not to that time been exhibited in Mexico because the country “so sternly keeps a low ceiling of admissions that Paramount cannot set up any form of roadshowing.” In order to “siphon” off prospective Mexican theater-goers, the studio arranged for buses to take customers from Tijuana to see the film in San Diego, CA, and from Juarez and Laredo to see it in El Paso and Laredo, TX. Other subtitled versions were shown throughout the United States in areas heavily populated by foreign speakers.
       The film’s power at the box office was the subject of numerous contemporary articles, including a 19 Mar 1957 editorial by HR publisher W. R. Wilkerson, who commented on the fact that the film was then taking in one million dollars per week, an unprecedented feat. The picture had played in only eighty theaters by the time it grossed ten million dollars, according to a 5 Apr 1957 HR news item, with more than seven million people paying to see it. The item also stated that Paramount and DeMille “reportedly are getting 70 percent of the theatre gross,” and that the predictions by studio executives of a $100,000,000, worldwide gross seemed like “a distinct possibility.” In Dec 1960, HR noted that the film's worldwide gross had reached $60 million, and in Jul 1965, NYT reported that The Ten Commandments was one of only five films to have grossed more than thirty million dollars domestically, and put its domestic total to that time at $34.2 million.
       As noted by several contemporary sources, DeMille did not receive any personal profit from The Ten Commandments , which was the seventieth and last picture he directed before his death on 21 Jan 1959. [DeMille did supervise the 1958 Paramount release The Buccaneer , however, which was directed by his son-in-law, Anthony Quinn, and also starred Brynner and Heston. See entry above.] DeMille’s percentage of the profits went to the DeMille Trust, which had been established in the early 1950s by the director and his wife. According to a speech DeMille gave just prior to the film’s opening, the trust was established for “charitable, religious and educational purposes.” HR news items also related that in Jan 1956, DeMille assigned twenty-five percent of his profits to fifty key employees who worked on The Ten Commandments , both in front of and behind the camera. The fifty employees received an annual stipend from the film’s profits, and according to a 15 Dec 1960 DV news item, the financial arrangement would remain in effect for as long as the film continued to be exhibited theatrically. Contemporary sources noted that it was the first time in film history that such an arrangement had been made, and that some of the recipients had worked with DeMille from 10 to 25 years or even longer. Many of the cast and crew who worked on The Ten Commandments , such as editor Bauchens, associate producer Wilcoxon, photographer Marley, assistant director Francisco Day, actor H. B. Warner and researcher Noerdlinger, had collaborated with DeMille on numerous of the producer's earlier films.
       In Oct 1958, HR announced that Pakistan was “the first country in the Free world to bar exhibition” of The Ten Commandments . The article reported that the action was not “leveled against the picture because of its content, but because Pakistan ‘fears the exhibition of the film at this time may incite a small group of illiterate fanatics.’” The article went on to state that a movie theater in Pakistan had been burned by a Moslem group the previous year when it exhibited a film on Christianity, and that The Ten Commandments was still “barred in the Soviet Union, Red China and all countries held captive behind the Iron Curtain.” According to a Dec 1959 NYT article, “no one in the United Arab Republic” had ever seen the film, because “the censor has refused to give it his stamp of approval,” despite the location shooting done in Egypt. The article further reported that the film had been censored because “in the great clashes between the Egyptians and the Jews, the Egyptians were always the villains and the Jews the victims.”
       Modern sources state that Sam Cavanaugh served as a cameraman and Pat Moore as a sound editor on the picture and add to the cast Herb Alpert as a drum player, future film producer Jon Peters as a child extra, Michael Burden, Richard Farnsworth, Amadeo Nazzari, Tim Cagney and Vernon Rabar. DeMille’s autobiography and other modern sources note that DeMille’s daughter, Cecilia Harper, aided him not only on the set every day during the location shoot, but at night by attending official functions for him. DeMille’s granddaughter, also named Cecilia, married Egyptian major Abbas El Boughdadly, who portrayed “Rameses’ charioteer” in the picture, on 6 Jul 1955. The Ten Commandments was the last film of actor H. B. Warner, who died in 1958.
       The 14 Sep 1956 issue of Collier’s featured a number of Brynner’s snapshots taken during filming of The Ten Commandments . Brynner later became well-known for his portrait photography. Several claims were made throughout the years that the tablets carrying the ten commandments were auctioned off, but in a 17 Jul 1995 letter to People magazine, Heston stated that the tablets recently auctioned at Christie’s were fiberglass duplicates carried by his stand-in, not the original, fifty-pound, red granite tablets that he carried. Heston then surmised that the original tablets were still in the DeMille family collection. According to a 1963 memo in the studio records, various props and wardrobe from The Ten Commandments were used in the 1965 United Artists release The Greatest Story Ever Told (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ).
       Heston made several recordings of the Old Testament; the first being made for Vanguard Records in the late 1950s. Heston made several other recordings of the Bible, which have been widely sold and are still available. Bernstein’s score, which was praised in reviews of the film, was released on a soundtrack album by Dot Records. Another of the varied ways in which the film was promoted was the placing throughout the United States of between 2,000 and 4,000 granite monoliths, six feet in height and inscribed with the ten commandments, in a joint partnership between DeMille and the National Fraternal Order of the Eagles. Stars of the film were present at the unveilings of several of the monoliths during the 1950s. Since 2001, several cities have sued to have the monuments removed on the grounds that they violate the separation of church and state.
       The Ten Commandments received an Academy Award for Best Special Effects and was nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Art Direction (Color), Best Cinematography (Color), Best Costume Design (Color), Best Film Editing and Best Sound Recording. DeMille received the first Torah Award presented by the National Women’s League of the United Synagogues of America. Heston received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor and Brynner was named Best Actor of 1956 by the National Board of Review, which also encompassed his performances in Anastasia and The King and I (see above). In 1999, The Ten Commandments was added to the National Film Registry by the National Film Preservation Board.
       The Ten Commandments has been re-issued theatrically a number of times. The picture was initially withdrawn from distribution in late 1960, by which time DV estimated that over 51,00,000 people in the United States had seen it. In addition to being rereleased in 1966 (at which time it was again banned in Pakistan), the picture was revived in late 1975, at which time Paramount advertised that it would never be released theatrically again. In 1990, however, a restored print of the film was re-issued in 70mm Super VistaVision with a six-track soundtrack remixed in Dolby Stereo. According to a letter to the editor, published in HR on 11 Feb 1991, the restored print represented the first time that the DeMille’s introduction to the picture had been included in theatrical prints since the 1950s. The film has played yearly on the ABC television network since the late 1960s, and in Mar 1997, HR noted that the network had renewed their rights to broadcast the film through the year 2009. The news item also reported that the picture had consistently won its time slot during its Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday broadcasts. The picture was first issued on DVD in 1999, and in Mar 2004, Paramount released a special “collector’s edition” of the film, featuring several documentaries about its making.
       Among the films about the ten commandments are the ten 1987 short films entitled Dekalog , which were directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski for Polish television before they received a theatrical release, and the 1997 animated film The Ten Commandments , directed by Michael Sporn and featuring the voice of Joel Briel as Moses. Films depicting Moses include the 1975 television movie Moses the Lawgiver , which aired on CBS, was directed by Gianfranco De Bosio and starred William and Burt Lancaster as Moses at different ages; the 1980 Columbia parody Wholly Moses , directed by Gary Weis and starring Dudley Moore; the 1996 TNT television production Moses , directed by Roger Young and starring Ben Kingsley as the title character; and the 1998 animated DreamWorks feature The Prince of Egypt , directed by Brenda Chapman and Steve Hickner, and featuring the voice of Val Kilmer as Moses. In Apr 2006, ABC broadcast a four-hour, two-part miniseries entitled The Ten Commandments . Directed by Robert Dornhelm, the miniseries starred Dougray Scott as Moses and Paul Rhys as Rameses. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
American Cinematographer   Nov 1956   pp. 658-60, 680-83.
Awake   8 Nov 1956   pp. 9-12.
Box Office   6 Oct 1956.   
Box Office   13 Oct 1956.   
Collier's   14 Sep 1956.   
Cue   10 Nov 1956.   
Daily Variety   5 Aug 1952.   
Daily Variety   8 Aug 1952   p. 8.
Daily Variety   7 Oct 1952.   
Daily Variety   16 Oct 1953.   
Daily Variety   3 Nov 1954.   
Daily Variety   27 Jul 1955.   
Daily Variety   15 Aug 1955.   
Daily Variety   5 Oct 1956   p. 3.
Daily Variety   15 Dec 1960   p. 10.
Daily Variety   28 Dec 1960.   
Daily Variety   10 Nov 1965.   
Daily Variety   5 Dec 1975.   
Daily Variety   24 May 1990.   
Daily Variety   14 Mar 1997.   
Film Daily   5 Oct 1956   p. 7.
Films & Filming   Sep 1972.   
Good Housekeeping   Apr 1956.   
Hollywood Citizen-News   8 Aug 1952.   
Hollywood Citizen-News   22 Oct 1956.   
Hollywood Citizen-News   26 Oct 1956.   
Hollywood Reporter   24 Mar 1952   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   20 May 1953.   
Hollywood Reporter   30 Jul 1954   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Aug 1954   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Sep 1954   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Sep 1954   p. 1, 6.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Sep 1954   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Oct 1954   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Oct 1954   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Oct 1954   p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Nov 1954.   
Hollywood Reporter   22 Nov 1954   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   26 Nov 1954   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Mar 1955   p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Apr 1955   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Apr 1955   p. 4, 8.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Apr 1955   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Apr 1955   p. 4, 7.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Apr 1955   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Apr 1955   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Apr 1955   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   16 May 1955   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   20 May 1955   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   25 May 1955   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   31 May 1955   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Jun 1955   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Jun 1955   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Jun 1955   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Jun 1955   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Jun 1955   p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Jul 1955   p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Jul 1955   p. 2, 5.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Jul 1955   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Jul 1955   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   26 Jul 1955   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Aug 1955   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Jan 1956   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Jan 1956   p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Jan 1956   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Feb 1956   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Mar 1956   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Apr 1956   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Apr 1956   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Apr 1956   p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Apr 1956   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Oct 1956   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Nov 1956.   
Hollywood Reporter   9 Nov 1956   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Nov 1956   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Nov 1956   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Nov 1956   p. 3, 14-51.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Nov 1956   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Nov 1956   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Nov 1956   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Jan 1957   p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Jan 1957   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Mar 1957.   
Hollywood Reporter   5 Apr 1957   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Sep 1957   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Jan 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Jan 1958   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Jan 1958   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Jan 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Feb 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Feb 1958   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Feb 1958   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Feb 1958   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Mar 1958   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Mar 1958   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   28 Mar 1958   p. 1, 3-4.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Apr 1958   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Apr 1958   p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Jun 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Jun 1958   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Jul 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Jul 1958   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Jul 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Jul 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Aug 1958   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Aug 1958   p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Sep 1958   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Sep 1958   p. 1, 6.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Sep 1958   p. 1, 9.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Oct 1958   p. 1, 6.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Nov 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Dec 1958   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Jan 1959   p. 1, 3.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Jan 1959   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Apr 1959   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Apr 1959   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Jun 1959   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Jun 1959   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Apr 1960   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Apr 1960.   
Hollywood Reporter   14 Jun 1960   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Oct 1960   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   28 Dec 1960   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Apr 1966.   
Hollywood Reporter   20 Jul 1966.   
Hollywood Reporter   26 Feb 1980.   
Hollywood Reporter   11 Feb 1991.   
Hollywood Reporter   18 Apr 1995.   
Hollywood Reporter   3 Mar 1997.   
Hollywood Reporter   13 Mar 1997.   
Life   24 Oct 1955.   
Life   12 Nov 1956.   
Look   27 Nov 1956.   
Los Angeles Examiner   15 Nov 1956.   
LA Mirror-News   5 Oct 1956.   
LA Mirror-News   22 Oct 1956.   
LA Mirror-News   14 Nov 1956.   
LA Mirror-News   15 Nov 1956.   
Los Angeles Times   23 May 1952   Part III, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times   14 Jul 1952.   
Los Angeles Times   8 Aug 1952   Part III, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times   29 Dec 1953.   
Los Angeles Times   24 Sep 1954.   
Los Angeles Times   29 May 1955.   
Los Angeles Times   12 Feb 1956.   
Los Angeles Times   4 Oct 1960.   
Los Angeles Times   16 May 1990   p. F1, F5.
Los Angeles Times   5 Mar 1997.   
Los Angeles Times   30 Jun 1999.   
Los Angeles Times   27 Jul 2003.   
Motion Picture Daily   5 Oct 1956   p. 1, 5.
Motion Picture Herald   6 Oct 1956   pp. 18-20.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   13 Oct 1956   p. 107.
New York Herald Tribune   9 Nov 1956.   
New York Times   24 Aug 1952.   
New York Times   26 Sep 1954.   
New York Times   24 Apr 1955.   
New York Times   31 Jul 1955.   
New York Times   12 Aug 1956.   
New York Times   9 Nov 1956   p. 35.
New York Times   11 Nov 1956.   
New York Times   24 Dec 1956.   
New York Times   24 Feb 1957.   
New York Times   10 Nov 1957.   
New York Times   20 Dec 1959.   
New York Times   31 Dec 1961.   
New York Times   16 Jul 1965.   
New York Times   5 Nov 1972.   
New York Times   29 Jan 1978.   
New Yorker   17 Nov 1956.   
NewsLife   29 Sep 1953.   
Newsweek   5 Nov 1956.   
Parade   23 Jun 1996   p. 2.
People   17 Jul 1995.   
The Picture News Magazine   Jun 1955.   
Time   12 Nov 1956.   
Variety   10 Oct 1956   p. 6.
Variety   5 Oct 1966.   
Variety   26 Nov 1969.   
Wall St. Journal   18 Apr 2001   p. A1, A12.

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
Advanced Search
AFI Membership
AFI honoring the masters

© 2014 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.