THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 1923
1923, Paramount, 136 min, USA, Dir: Cecil B. DeMille

Cecil B. DeMille produced and directed this epic silent film, told in two parts, starring Estelle Taylor, Theodore Roberts, Charles de Roche, Richard Dix and Leatrice Joy. The first part (shot in two-color Technicolor) tells the biblical tale, adapted from the Book of Exodus, of the prophet Moses leading the Children of Israel from bondage under the Egyptian Pharaohs into the Promised Land. Things go awry, however, when Moses goes to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God and the Israelites renounce their faith to worship the Golden Calf. The second part (shot in black-and-white) reflects the efficacy of the Ten Commandments in people’s everyday lives through a modern-day parable involving two brothers - one a saint, the other a sinner - in love with the same girl. Architecture and the evils of shoddy construction practices figure in as well as some jaunty 1920s dialog and fashions. Remade by DeMille in 1956 with Charlton Heston as Moses.


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