What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there are potentially nightmare-inducing elements for small children, such as the Ten Plagues (which do not spare children and innocents). While essential parts are faithful to the biblical narrative, much of the late parts of Exodus and Deuteronomy are excised, and much is Hollywood scriptwriters filling in the blanks with romantic-triangle melodrama. Part of the appeal of "biblical epics" was that they could get away with depicting some pretty intense (for the time) violence and sensuality, as long as it was in the context of sin and inevitably punished by heaven. This wasn't the worst offender by far -- in fact scenes of debauchery come off as more silly than sexy -- but that's something to keep in mind.
- Families can talk about the film's religious message, and its portrayal of Moses as a liberator of slaves and a champion of freedom and justice for the downtrodden. While not contrary to the Old Testament, do you think this is a mainstream "Americanization" of the Bible's themes, especially in Cold War-era Hollywood? You can use the movie as a way to get kids to read the Bible or the Torah to see if and how The Ten Commandments deviates.