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The Ten Commandments (1956)

The Ten Commandments


Action / Adventure / Drama / Epic

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille

American Film Institute All-Time Top 100 Movies

Cast: Charlton Heston, Yul Brenner, Anne Baxter, Vincent Price, John Derek, Edward G. Robinson, Debra Paget and Yvonne DeCarlo

The Ten Commandments trailer

The film centers on the life of Moses from when he was found in a basket on the Nile to his restriction from entering Israel. Throughout the film, his adult life is shown as a loved orphaned son of Pharaoh Seti I, his romantic relationship with Throne Princess Nefertari and opposition with the Pharaoh's son, Pharaoh Rameses II.

Soon after Moses was born, Rameses I had organized the executions of all eldest male Hebrews to hinder the prophecy of the Deliverer from becoming reality. This is why Moses' mother had put him in a basket to sail on the Nile with his sister Miriam keeping an eye on him from a distance. Moses is found by the Ark by Bithiah where she was running around with other young women. She shows the baby to Memnet, her servant. Memnet knows the baby was placed in the basket to escape, due to the cloth found with him, but Bithiah does not care and keeps Moses as her son. She names him Moses after when the pyramids were dust. Memnet knows he is a son of Hebrew slaves and disapproves of Bithiah’s actions. She makes Memnet make a promise to her about their secret, but Memnet conceals the cloth under her clothes.

Moses grows up to be a triumphant general in a war with the Nubian people of Ethiopia and galvanizes Seti I by being cunning enough to become allies with the defeated Ethiopians instead of overthrowing them. Moses is then assigned to build a treasure city for Seti's celebration, something Rameses never completed himself.

All while this is going, Moses and Nefretiri fall passionately in love with one another. Only problem is she is the "throne princess", who is obliged to marry the next Pharaoh. Rameses does not want her near any other man, but himself, for he wants the throne to himself. Nefretiri cannot stand the sight of him and tells him that she will never love him. His response, “does that matter?” Moses passes through many trials and tribulations, but at the end he is a witness to God creating the stone tablets holding the Ten Commandments. 

Directors: Cecil B. DeMille
Actors: Anne Baxter, Yul Brynner, Yvonne De Carlo, John Derek, Charlton Heston, Debra Paget, Vincent Price, Edward G. Robinson
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