The Ten Commandments [1956]

What can you say in a few words about a four hour movie that depicts the life of Moses, the Egyptian prince who learned of his true heritage as a Hebrew and who became the deliverer of his people? Let’s try “perfection”, which is what director Cecil B. DeMille achieved in this epic film. Apply “magnificient” to the tour de force Charlton Heston delivers as Moses, and who was picked for the role because of his striking resemblance to Michelangelo’s sculpture, in particular his facial expression. But it was not only Heston who made this movie a huge success, but all the elements that came together: the special effects (they look dazzling even after all these years), the costumes, the sets, and best of all the amazing parting of the Red Sea. Today, this would probably be a piece of cake for the effects department, but in pre-CGI days, it was something special (the special effects deservedly won an oscar that year).

A lot of people critisized this movie for being campy, and there a loads of foul-ups, both technical and scriptural (why kill the first born pharaoh?), but the visuals are superb, the acting unforgettable, and the film itself is a treat to watch. And you don’t have to be a religious fanatic in order to enjoy this truly outsdanding movie. It definitely stood the test of time. Thou Shalt not want to miss it.

Rating: 3.5/4

Categories: MUST-SEES, The 50's

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