The Ten Commandments

Synopsis: To escape the edict of Egypt's Pharaoh, Rameses I, condemning all newborn Hebrew males, the infant Moses is set adrift on the Nile in a reed basket. Saved by the pharaoh's daughter Bithiah, he is adopted by her and brought up in the court of her brother, Pharaoh Seti. Moses gains Seti's favor and the love of the throne princess Nefertiri, as well as the hatred of Seti's son, Rameses. When his Hebrew heritage is revealed, Moses is cast out of Egypt, and makes his way across the desert where he marries, has a son and is commanded by God to return to Egypt to free the Hebrews from slavery. In Egypt, Moses' fiercest enemy proves to be not Rameses, but someone near to him who can 'harden his heart'.
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Director(s): Cecil B. DeMille
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
220 min

Ladies and gentlemen, young and old,

this may seem an unusual procedure,

speaking to you

before the picture begins,

but we have an unusual subject:

the story of the birth of freedom.

The story of Moses.

As many of you know,

the Holy Bible omits

some 30 years of Moses' life,

from the time he was

a three-month-old baby

and was found in the bulrushes

by Bithiah,

the daughter of Pharaoh,

and adopted into the court of Egypt

until he learned that he was Hebrew

and killed the Egyptian.

To fill in those missing years,

we turned to ancient historians

such as Philo and Josephus.

Philo wrote at the time that

Jesus of Nazareth walked the Earth,

and Josephus wrote some 50 years later

and watched the destruction

of Jerusalem by the Romans.

These historians had access

to documents

long since destroyed,

or perhaps lost,

like the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The theme of this picture

is whether men are

to be ruled by God's law,

or whether they are to be ruled by

the whims of a dictator like Rameses.

Are men the property of the state,

or are they free souls under God?

This same battle continues

throughout the world today.

Our intention was not to create a story,

but to be worthy

of the divinely inspired story

created 3,000 years ago:

the five books of Moses.

The story takes three hours

and 39 minutes to unfold.

There will be an intermission.

Thank you for your attention.

And God said, "Let there be light. "

And there was light.

And from this light,

God created life upon Earth.

And man was given dominion

over all things upon this Earth,

and the power to choose

between good and evil,

but each sought to do his own will

because he knew not

the light of God's law.

Man took dominion over man.

The conquered

were made to serve the conqueror

The weak were made to serve the strong.

And freedom was gone from the world.

So did the Egyptians

cause the children of Israel

to serve with rigor;

and their lives were made bitter

with hard bondage,

and their cry came up unto God

and God heard them.

And cast into Egypt,

into the lowly hut

of Amram and Yochabel,

the seed of a man

upon whose mind and heart

would be written

God's law and God's commandments.

One man to stand alone

against an empire.

Divine One,

last night our astrologers

saw an evil star

- enter into the house of Egypt.

- Meaning war?

From the frontiers of Sinai and Libya

to the cataracts of the Nile.

What nation would dare

draw the sword against us?

The enemy to fear

is in the heart of Egypt.


The Hebrew slaves

in the land of Goshen.

I number my enemies by their swords,

not by their chains, High Priest.

Chains have been forged

into swords before now, Divine One.

Among these slaves,

there is a prophecy of a deliverer

who will lead them out of bondage.

The star proclaims his birth.

Then let the Hebrews die.

Slaves are wealth, Commander.

The more slaves we have,

the more bricks we make.

I would still see fewer bricks made

and fewer Hebrews in Goshen.

It is our eastern gate.

Since this deliverer

is among their newborn,

only their newborn need die.

Every newborn Hebrew man-child

shall die.

So let it be written,

so let it be done.

So speaks Rameses I.


Oh, no!

Please! Please! No!

God of Abraham,

take my child into thy hands,

that he may live to thy service.

But Mother,

we have not even given him a name.

God will give him a name.

Follow it, Miriam.

Watch it from the reeds.

- See where the Lord will lead him.

- Yes, Mother.

- Why didn't you say no?

- She didn't think of it.

Here! Throw!

- You're getting fat.

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Dorothy Clarke Wilson

Dorothy Clarke Wilson (May 9, 1904 – March 26, 2003) was an American writer, perhaps best known for her novel Prince of Egypt (1949), which was a primary source for the Cecil B. DeMille film, The Ten Commandments (1956). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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