The Ten Commandments
Collector's Edition Digibook
review by Drusilla Blakey
As some of you may know, I didn't grow up watching a lot of TV or movies. My parents always liked us to go outside to play, or to read and play board games. But, one movie I do remember seeing as a child was The Ten Commandments. It was a favorite with my parents especially since my father is a Pastor. It amazed me as a child seeing how Moses' life changed in an instant as the story of his real birth is revealed. And then as we get into the larger part of the story where plagues are sent to ancient Egypt, my mind was blown! Water turned to blood, death crawled through the streets, and Pharaoh refused to have a change of heart. Needless to say it was moving to me.
Going back now to revisit the film I wondered if it would still be as impactful. Also throw in the fact that this Special Collector's Edition includes the original 1923 silent film - wow! I was ready for something exciting. And honestly, I was not disappointed. I had never heard of or seen the silent film, but upon seeing that it was also directed by Cecil B. DeMille I felt like it was going to be special. The most amazing thing to me about this version is that even though it's a silent film, the time and effort put into the stunningly beautiful sets is breathtaking! A lot of the sets look very similar to the film we are more familiar with that stars Charlton Heston, which isn't a surprise knowing they were both directed by the same person. But honestly, the sets, the makeup, the costumes are so high class!
And then I started watching the main 1956 feature film and I had forgotten how much I do like Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. Their characters come together really well and I know at times Heston over acts, but meh, I dig it. Brynner was such a powerful Pharaoh and is amazing in this role. I found the story to be just as moving and compelling as I remember, so I was glad to be able to revisit it again. The one thing that I find funny now is how "long" the film is. The run time is about 3 and a half hours and it includes an Overture at the beginning and an Intermission in the middle. That is so old school that most people may not even understand that that's how movies were shown in a theatre back in the day. So fancy! However, these days a 3 and a half hour run time isn't even a big deal to us anymore so it should be an easy watch for everyone to enjoy. I hope you will go out and watch this grand, moving story!
This collector’s edition features the fully restored 1956 version of the film and DeMille’s original 1923 silent version, as well as a 16-page booklet featuring rare photos and historical facts about both productions. The set also includes an in-depth, 73-minute documentary entitled “The Ten Commandments: Making Miracles,” commentary on the 1956 film by Katherine Orrison, author of “Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic, The Ten Commandments,” newsreel footage of the film’s New York premiere, theatrical trailers, hand-tinted footage of the Exodus and Parting of the Red Sea sequence from the 1923 version, a two-color Technicolor segment, and photo galleries.
Grab your copy of The Ten Commandments: Collector’s Editon available now from Paramount Home Entertainment.