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Kenneth Turan's film pick of the week: 'The Ten Commandments'

March 31, 2011 |  8:00 am

Ten Commandments Scene 1 original


Admit it, you have a fondness for Cecil B. DeMille's outlandishly epic "The Ten Commandments," with Charlton Heston and Yul Brenner going toe to toe and the 10 plagues waiting in the wings.

Starting this week, a high-definition version of the uber biblical epic is on sale in a presentation box  worthy of the master showman himself. It's an image of the Red Sea, which parts to reveal a replica of those celebrated Mt. Sinai stone tablets containing both DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Besides the 1956 original, you can see a fascinating making-of documentary (revealing DeMille to be such a perfectionist that he spent 14 months in post-production) as well as the director's 1923 silent version.

Also in the box are a hardback commemorative book, a replica of the 1956 souvenir book, costume sketches, copies of telegrams and more. It's enough to make a believer out of anybody, even a pharaoh.

— Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic

Photos: Anne Baxter as Nefretiri and Charlton Heston as Moses in the original "Ten Commandments" (top) and the restored version of the 1956 film (bottom). Credit: Paramount Pictures.