The Ten Commandments (1923) 1923 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(17) IMDb 7.1/10

The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy of the commandments in modern life through a story set in San Francisco.

Starring:
Theodore Roberts, Charles de Rochefort
Runtime:
2 hours, 17 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Cecil B. DeMille
Starring Theodore Roberts, Charles de Rochefort
Supporting actors Estelle Taylor, Julia Faye, Pat Moore, James Neill, Lawson Butt, Clarence Burton, Noble Johnson, Edythe Chapman, Richard Dix, Rod La Rocque, Leatrice Joy, Nita Naldi, Robert Edeson, Charles Ogle, Agnes Ayres, Leon Beaumon, Genevieve Belasco, Wilson Benge
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Underwood on July 31, 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I already had high expectations of this film to begin with, and was not disappointed when it turned out to be quite different from what I had expected. For a start, the famous "Ten Commandments" story (10 plagues of Egypt, Israelites leave via parting of the Red Sea, Moses receives 10 Commandments on Mt Sinai while Israelites misbehave and make a golden calf) later made famous by Charlton Heston as Moses, is actually only the PROLOGUE in this silent 1923 version, and the larger part of the story is a contemporary drama showing the modern-day relevance of the ten commandments with similar dire consequences to those who defy them. This might be a disappointment to those who expect a full Biblical epic and a famous Cecil B DeMille spectacle, but for those who value a brilliant story with poignant highlights to impress its ideas, this one rates the full 5 stars. The prologue (about 45 minutes) with its beautiful Egyptian sets and convincing special effects has a special feature, namely a 20-minute colour sequence of the highlight, the parting of the Red Sea, and although the colours look soft, weak and washed-out, it's interesting to see one of these first experiments with colour.

The contemporary story shows a mother with two sons; one is a god-fearing and humble carpenter, the other an unbelieving go-getter determined to prove his mother's teaching of the Ten Commandments of no use in the modern world. Although you can guess that this defiant son's attitude will be proven wrong, being the parallel to the defiant Pharaoh of Egypt in the prologue, DeMille's direction of the story is still unpredictable and suspenseful enough to keep you enthralled and wondering exactly how it will turn out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Henry Magoo on November 1, 2012
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We all have seen the 10 Commandments that starred Chuck Heston. This one predates that movie and is one that I had seen only once. When this became available I had to have it. The early part of the film has all the historic parts of the movie we know but then it follows up with lessons for (then) modern day and still relevant for our "modern" time. This nicely ties up the package in a big bow.

Even though it is silent, you will be glued to your seat as you watch the action unfold - the production values and special effects are groundbreaking (for the day) and highly watchable today.

Sometimes it is good to look back and enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Muzzlehatch VINE VOICE on February 10, 2010
Format: VHS Tape
Cecil B. DeMille's first attempt at the story of Moses has more in common with such other silent films contrasting the ancient past to stories of today, than it does to his later epic retelling of the story. Griffith's "Intolerance" 7 years earlier had intercut several stories of sin and violence to show that the more man changes, the more he stays the same; Fritz Lang's "Destiny" and Carl Dreyer's "Leaves from Satan's Book" (both 1921) also worked out biblical themes in both ancient and modern contexts. All four directors were at one point or another quite serious Christians, though DeMille seems to have been the most obsessive in his faith, and certainly his many films on Biblical themes are often more obvious and blunt in their attempts at pedagogy.

Which is not to say that "The Ten Commandments" is just a lesson in "thou shalt nots"; but it is throughout informed of a very deep, and perhaps naive faith that the stories of the past are alive and exactly transferable to the lives we have today. In this case, we see a man break essentially every commandment in his quest for personal greatness, destroying in the process his own life and those of many around him, including his own mother. DeMille doesn't intercut multiple story lines like his predecessors, but rather uses the Biblical story as a 50-minute "prologue" to one feature-length story taking place in modern-day Los Angeles.

It's fascinating to watch the film if you've just watched the later version, as I did; the prologue is almost exactly the same as the last 50 minutes of the '56 version, picking up in the middle of the plagues that Moses has set upon Egypt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles L. Lyons III on September 28, 2011
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed this trek back into cinematic history very much as an earlt work of Cecil B. Demille. I particularly enjoyed the present day (1923) scenes filmed on and around the Church of Sts Peter & Paul in San Francisco as I am a native San Francisican. I ejoyed seeing the church as it was built and the surrounding neighborhood as it was not too long after the fire and earthquake of 1906. It was a delight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Loren w Christensen VINE VOICE on March 26, 2009
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Fun movie and better than I thought it would be. DeMille was a master of filling a scene with movement, whether it was two characters or a cast of thousands.

Good one for film buffs.
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Well I've always been a fan of Bible films. And this will have to be named one of THE BEST! Its not really a Bible film. It cuts into two differn't storys. The 2nd story is Just as Brilliant as the first of moses.
Sure I think there could have been more added to the story of moses, but it ain't really about moses. Its about teaching What the world has turned into after The Ten Commandments.
All in All, It is just Brilliant.
The Story starts out as you see the story of Moses, and your going along the lines of when Moses coming back after meeting god. We don't get to see many of the stuff we see in the Remake. We don't see the firstborn of every child, we don't see the snake coming out of the rode. We only hear about it. But when Moses is leading his people out of Egypt, I can kinda put that Scene right to the remake. They then take it to the Ten COmmandments.
And then they switch to the time, and You meet to Men named John and Dan. One Will Follow to Ten Commandments, One will break all 10. And when I first thought of the idea, I knew it was a good idea, but frankly I was hoping it would just be about Moses. and thats what I wanted. But this story is just as Brilliant as Moses story, and Just as thrilling.
Its a Rewatchable film!
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