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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.

Comments () | Archives (8)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Overblown DeMille biblical cheesiness with big names playing even bigger names.

Oh Moses, Moses, Moses!

No matter how much they improve the picture, there's no saving the dialogue.

This is not hyperbole but rather a sincere effort to enhance a great film to a contemporary standard. What's strange about this update is that we even question the motive and validity of the effort. We should embrace it and even applaud it.

Brad G.

Where's your Moses now?

Mr. mark

So let it be written. So let it be done.

I just ordered this. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I'm hoping the new pressing will give more definition to Anne Baxters see through blue outfit :)

The sad thing about this film, and others like it, the people shown should have been Black. Kemet (Egypt) is in Afrika, and before there were any invasions by outside people, it was a land of Black people who designed and built the pyramids, created civilization, science, mathematics, law, medicine, engineering, education, spiritual thought, music, dance, and a host of other gifts for the human race.

Well Bob, I don't remember Anne Baxter's see-thru blue outfit. However I do think she looks pretty good in her chiffon nightgown walking across the hospital grounds 20 years later in an episode of "Banacek".

That's a great job done. In fact, all the epic movies of 1940s/50s/60s should be digitized so that we could relish the moments in a new avatar. The epic movies like - The Ten Commandments, Cleopatra, The Magnificent Seven, Benhur, Mackenna's Gold, etc. should be digitized and kept in archives for our future generation. These films are not just a film but its an iconic cinematic brilliance and wonderful literary works of great film makers.

Kathmandu, Nepal


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