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The Ten Commandments [Blu-ray]

1,744 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ten Commandments, The (1956) (BD)

Based on the Holy Scriptures, with additional dialogue by several other hands, The Ten Commandments was the last film directed by Ce cil B. DeMi lle. The story relates the life of Moses, from the time he was discovere d in the bullrushes as an infant by the pharoah's daughter, to his long , hard struggle to free the Hebrews from their slavery at the hands of t he Egyptians. Moses (Charlton Heston) starts out "in solid" as Pharoah's adopted son (and a whiz at designing pyramids, dispensing such construc tion-site advice as "Blood makes poor mortar"), but when he discovers h is true Hebrew heritage, he attempts to make life easier for his people. Banished by hi s jealous half-brother Rameses (Yul Brynner), Moses retu rns fully bearded to Pharoah's court, warning that he's had a message fr om G od and that the Egyptians had better free the Hebrews post-haste if they know what's good for them. Only after the Deadly Plagues ha ve dec imated Egypt does Rameses give in. As the Hebrews reach the Red Sea, the y discover that Rameses has gone back on his word and plans to have them all killed. But Moses rescues his people with a little Divine legerdema in by parting the Seas. Later, Moses is ag ain confronted by God on Mt. Sinai, who delivers unto him the Ten Commandments. Meanwhile, the Hebrew s, led by the duplicitous Datha n (Edward G. Robinson), are forgetting t heir religion and behaving like libertines. "Where's your Moses now?" br ays Dathan in the ma nner of a Lower East Side gangster. He soon finds o ut. A remake of his 1923 silent film, DeMille's The Ten Commandments may not be t he most subtle and sophisticated entertainment ever concocted, but it tells its story with a clarity and vitality that few Biblical sc holars have ever been able to duplicate. It is very likely the most even tful 219 minutes ever recorded to film-and who's to say th at Nefertiri (Anne Baxter) didn't make speeches like, "Oh, Moses, Moses, you splendid , stubborn, adorable fool"?


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 231 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,744 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,349 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

361 of 377 people found the following review helpful By D. Mikels on June 7, 2005
Format: DVD
Okay. I admit it. Watching this Biblical epic, when it was a mainstay on ABC each Easter evening for some 30 years, I practically had the whole script memorized. . .even knew when Anne Baxter, as over-eager Nefretiri, would slide into a wickedly wonderful pattern of over-acting. ("Moses. . ." she would coo, "take me in your arms. . .") I must have seen THE TEN COMMANDMENTS dozens of times, and yet, each year, I plopped my carcass on the couch on Easter evening, popcorn and suds in tow, and watched Cecil B. DeMille's 4-plus hour epic, completely mesmerized and entertained.

All of us know the story: a once-great Egyptian prince leads his true people, the Hebrews, into freedom from four centuries of slavery and bondage. It is a great story, as four books of the Old Testament aptly, well, attest. Yet what makes this flick truly wonderful, impressive, and fun to watch, is the scope and grand scale of DeMille's 1956 epic--from the awesome vistas of Egypt, portrayed on a blue screen in some Hollywood studio, to the blatantly corny, often laughable, dialogue and actions of its characters (a distant reflection of the silent film icon who dominates this picture). Accordingly, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, in particular, this DVD Special Collector's Edition, is an absolute blast for film buffs thirsty for more trivia and knowledge regarding one of Hollywood's alltime classics.

Here, in the wonderful commentaries that accompany the film, "The Ten Commandments" student and author Katherine Orrison furnishes an incredible, interesting, and overwhelming avalanche of information. For instance: Did you know that DeMille's first choice for Queen Nefretiri was not Anne Baxter, but Audrey Hepburn?
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168 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Matthew T. Weflen VINE VOICE on March 31, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
**The Film**

I'm not going to spend too much time here critiquing the movie. It's a perennial classic that most have seen at least parts of. Released in 1956 and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, it is also not a 'cinema verite' gorefest like many modern "swords and sandals" epics. It is peopled by characters who speak exclusively in dramatic flourishes, regardless of how illiterate or poor their characters are supposed to be. It takes liberties with some elements of the bible story (Moses' stutter and his Ethiopian wife are strangely absent, for instance). But for my money none of these are knocks on it - it is a classic through and through, and despite starting off a bit slowly, it picks up dramatic steam quickly and becomes quite a mesmerizing experience. The actors make their characters easy to care about, the visuals are sumptuous and engaging, the music is stirring, the story is solid. As a film, it's an easy recommendation for anyone who enjoys historical or biblical epics, or just connoisseurs of classic movies.

**The Blu-Ray**

I purchased this (the 2-disc edition) based on its glowing pre-release reviews on major online review sites. So my expectations were high, to say the least. I was expecting nothing less than a Grand Slam HD experience.

So what did I get? I'm happy to say: A Grand Slam HD experience.

You'll know you're in for a treat when the Overture begins. The backdrop looks just like leather - the sheen and texture are so finely presented that it's easily visible, even from a relatively far viewing distance. Things just keep getting better from there. Colors are out-of-this-world gorgeous. Fine detail is excellent, especially on the intricate Egyptian costumes and cloth textures.
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236 of 264 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on September 3, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
While Cecil B. DeMille's directorial skills were sometimes too rooted in the more grandiose style of the silent era, he CERTAINLY was ALWAYS a master showman, and his 1956 remake of "The Ten Commandments" is a whale of a show! Both pious and profane, posturing and sincere, it isn't great history, but it abounds in spectacle. While he was in poor health during the filming (suffering a seizure that was either a stroke or mild heart attack, while working under the 130-degree Egyptian sun), his distinctive 'style' was never more in evidence, with broad, overwrought performances, dazzling costumes and sets, monumental climaxes, and morals that are repeatedly hammered home. In 'classic' DeMille, there ARE no 'grays', everything is 'good' or 'evil', and 'evil' WILL be punished! Watching the film, you'll either enjoy the 'ride', or you'll groan, again and again. Personally, I love it, even with it's unintentional(?) campiness!

Among my favorite 'so bad it's FUN' moments are 'Rameses' Yul Brynner and 'Nefretiri' Anne Baxter's frequent use of "Moses, Moses..." whenever he predicts something dire (Brynner looks like he can barely keep a straight face, uttering the phrase); 'Sephora' Yvonne De Carlo's stoic, yet impassioned pitch to Moses to marry her, always looking away ('into the future', I presume), when comparing her assets to Nefretiri's; 'Dathan' Edward G. Robinson's entire performance (nearly epic hamminess from one of America's finest film actors); Woody Strode's Ethiopian 'Princess' companion, who praises Moses' kindness with so much heat and honey that Nefretiri suspects he was fooling around, down south; and Sir Cedric Hardwicke's 'Sethi', turning an Egyptian Pharoah into a world-weary lovable executive-type (one can't help but wonder how Rameses could be HIS son!
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The Ten Commandments [Blu-ray]
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