The Ten Commandments, 1956

The story of Moses from his escape to the Nile as a baby in a basket to the end of his career as the leader of the Israelites was a big project to film. The conflict between Charlton Heston as the hero Moses and Yul Brynner as his nemesis Rameses was played out well. The conniving Nefretiri, played by Anne Baxter, was constantly between them. I was impressed by Edward G Robinson’s efforts as Dathan. I also enjoyed Vincent Price as Baka and Debra Paget as Lilia.

Cecil B DeMille’s blockbuster took years to plan and film and only 220 minutes to view. Charlton Heston showed off his versatility in playing Moses the son of Pharoah’s daughter and Moses the son of slaves and Moses the messenger of God. It was the same character, but in vastly different mindsets. The transformation of his character showed how God can use anyone who is willing to obey Him. Moses showed many heroic qualities throughout the movie.

Heston persuaded DeMille to use his voice as the voice of God in the burning bush. DeMille took advantage of the fact that Heston’s son was born while the movie was being filmed and cast Heston’s son as baby Moses who was rescued from the Nile by Pharoah’s daughter.

Edith Head was one of the many people working on this film in the Costume and Wardrobe Department. One of my favorite movie costume designers, Edith Head won 8 of the 35 Academy Awards she was nominated for during her career. Working with her was Dorothy Jeakins, a costume designer who won 3 of the 12 Academy Awards she was nominated for during her career. The costumes they created for this movie were outstanding. They were nominated for an Oscar for this film, but lost to The King and I, which also starred Yul Brynner.

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