Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

The Ten Commandments Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Based on the Holy Scriptures, with additional dialogue by several other hands, was the last film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The story relates the life of Moses, from the time he was discovered in the bullrushes as an infant by the pharoah's daughter, to his long, hard struggle to free the Hebrews from their slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Moses (Charlton Heston) starts out "in solid" as Pharoah's adopted son (and a whiz at designing pyramids, dispensing such construction-site advice as "Blood makes poor mortar"), but when he discovers his true Hebrew heritage, he attempts to make life easier for his people. Banished by his jealous half-brother Rameses (Yul Brynner), Moses returns fully bearded to Pharoah's court, warning that he's had a message from God and that the Egyptians had better free the Hebrews post-haste if they know what's good for them. Only after the Deadly Plagues have decimated Egypt does Rameses give in. As the Hebrews reach the Red Sea, they discover that Rameses has gone back on his word and plans to have them all killed. But Moses rescues his people with a little Divine legerdemain by parting the Seas. Later, Moses is again confronted by God on Mt. Sinai, who delivers unto him the Ten Commandments. Meanwhile, the Hebrews, led by the duplicitous Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), are forgetting their religion and behaving like libertines. "Where's your Moses now?" brays Dathan in the manner of a Lower East Side gangster. He soon finds out. DeMille's may not be the most subtle and sophisticated entertainment ever concocted, but it tells its story with a clarity and vitality that few Biblical scholars have ever been able to duplicate. It is very likely the most eventful 219 minutes ever recorded to film--and who's to say that Nefertiri (Anne Baxter) didn't make speeches like, "Oh, Moses, Moses, you splendid, stubborn, adorable fool"? ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:October 5, 1956

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Anne Bauchens Best Editing 1956 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ray Moyer Best Color Art Direction 1956 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sam Comer Best Color Art Direction 1956 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Tyler Best Color Art Direction 1956 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Charlton Heston Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1956 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Loyal Griggs Best Color Cinematography 1956 Nominee
National Board of Review Yul Brynner Best Actor 1956 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Hal Pereira Best Color Art Direction 1956 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cecil B. DeMille Best Picture 1956 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John P. Fulton Best Special Effects 1956 Nominee

Cast

Charlton Heston
as Moses
Yul Brynner
as Rameses
Anne Baxter
as Nefertiri
Edward G. Robinson
as Dathan
Yvonne De Carlo
as Sephora
Debra Paget
as Lilia
John Derek
as Joshua
Nina Foch
as Bithiah
Cedric Hardwicke
as Sethi
Martha Scott
as Yochabel
Judith Anderson
as Memnet
Vincent Price
as Baka
John Carradine
as Aaron
Olive Deering
as Miriam
Douglas Dumbrille
as Jannes
Frank de Kova
as Abiram
Henry Wilcoxon
as Pentaur
Eduard Franz
as Jethro
Donald Curtis
as Mered
Lawrence Dobkin
as Hur Ben Caleb
H.B. Warner
as Amminadab
Julia Faye
as Elisheba
John Miljan
as The Blind One
Francis McDonald
as Simon
Ian Keith
as Rameses I
Tommy Duran
as Gershom
Eugene Mazzola
as Rameses' Son
Joan Woodbury
as Korah's Wife
Woody Strode
as King of Ethiopia
Ramsay Hill
as Korah
Esther Brown
as Princess Tharbis
Charlton Heston
as God (Uncredited)
Lillian Albertson
Joel Ashley
Robert Bice
Fred Coby
as Hebrew at Golden Calf/Taskmaster
Steven Darrell
Edward Earle
as Slave
Matty Fain
Anthony George
Gavin Gordon
Ed Hinton
as Taskmaster/Flagman
Frank Lackteen
as Old Man in Granary
Emmett Lynn
as Old Slave Man/Hebrew at Golden Calf
Barry Macollum
George Melford
John Merton
Stanley Price
as Slave Carrying Load
Irene Tedrow
Jeane Wood
Olive Carey
as Miriam
Noelle Williams
as Jethro's Daughter
Joanna Merlin
as Jethro's Daughter
Joyce Vanderveen
as Jethro's Daughter
Henry Brandon
as Commander of the Hosts
Dorothy Adams
as Slave Woman
Eric Alden
Robert Clarke
Mary Benoit
Mimi Gibson
Nancy Hale
Richard Kean
Gail Kobe
as Pretty Slave Girl
Fred Kohler, Jr.
as Foreman
Kenneth MacDonald
as Slave
Peter Mamakos
Rodd Redwing
Addison Richards
as Fan Bearer
Onslow Stevens
as Lugal
Clint Walker
as Sardinian Captain
Frank Wilcox
as Wazir
Luis Alberni
as Old Hebrew
Michael Ansara
as Taskmaster
Robert Vaughn
as Spearman
Baynes Barron
Ken Dibbs
as Corporal
Frankie Darro
as Slave
Kathy Garver
as Young Slave
John Hart
as Cretan Ambassador
Walter Woolf King
as Herald
Cecil B. DeMille
as Narrator
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
as Slave
Herb Alpert
as Drum Player
Moe DiSesso
Franklin Farnum
as High Offical
James Coburn
Michael Connors
as Amalekite Herder
Joanna Merlin
as Jethro's Daughter
Fred Kohler, Jr.
as Foreman
Joyce Vanderveen
as Jethro's Daughter
Frank Wilcox
as Wazir
Stanley Price
as Slave Carrying Load
Emmett Lynn
as Old Slave Man/Hebrew at Golden Calf
Gail Kobe
as Pretty Slave Girl
Robert Vaughn
as Spearman
Addison Richards
as Fan Bearer
Kenneth MacDonald
as Slave
Fred Coby
as Hebrew at Golden Calf/Taskmaster
Kathy Garver
as Young Slave
Frankie Darro
as Slave
Edward Earle
as Slave
Clint Walker
as Sardinian Captain
Onslow Stevens
as Lugal
Noelle Williams
as Jethro's Daughter
Dorothy Adams
as Slave Woman
Henry Brandon
as Commander of the Hosts
Frank Lackteen
as Old Man in Granary
Ken Dibbs
as Corporal
Franklin Farnum
as High Offical
Michael Ansara
as Taskmaster
Luis Alberni
as Old Hebrew
John Hart
as Cretan Ambassador
Herb Alpert
as Drum Player
Olive Carey
as Miriam
Ed Hinton
as Taskmaster/Flagman
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
as Slave
Walter Woolf King
as Herald
Cecil B. DeMille
as Narrator

Crew

Cecil B. DeMille
Director
Cecil B. DeMille
Producer
Henry Wilcoxon
Producer
Jesse Lasky, Jr.
Screenwriter
Jack Gariss
Screenwriter
Aeneas MacKenzie
Screenwriter
Loyal Griggs
Cinematographer
J. Peverell Marley
Cinematographer
Elmer Bernstein
Composer (Music Score)
Anne Bauchens
Editor
Hal Pereira
Production Designer
Ray Moyer
Production Designer
Walter Tyler
Art Director
Ray Moyer
Set Designer
Sam Comer
Set Designer
John Jensen
Costume Designer
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Ralph Jester
Costume Designer
John P. Fulton
Special Effects
LeRoy J. Prinz
Choreography
Frank McCoy
Makeup
Frank Westmore
Makeup
Wally Westmore
Makeup
Harold Michelson
Storyboard
Advertisement