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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous film treated respectfully.
The Ten Commandments was made in Vistavision which was Paramount's answer to Cinemascope. Not as wide as Cinemascope, Vistavision had an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 which is almost exactly the same as a widescreen TV at 1.78:1. Standard 35mm film was used but it moved horizontally through the newly designed Vistavision cameras, the frames being photographed side by side...
Published on 21 April 2009 by Fussy Bloke

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Excellent film. Great to watch when lounging on sofa on a cold and winters day. I can watch it anytime instead of waiting for it to come on the telly.
Published 17 months ago by denise


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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous film treated respectfully., 21 April 2009
The Ten Commandments was made in Vistavision which was Paramount's answer to Cinemascope. Not as wide as Cinemascope, Vistavision had an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 which is almost exactly the same as a widescreen TV at 1.78:1. Standard 35mm film was used but it moved horizontally through the newly designed Vistavision cameras, the frames being photographed side by side instead of one over the other. This resulted in a bigger negative area and therefore better picture quality than Cinemascope.
To view the movie as intended you'd have had to visit a cinema equipped with the horizonal projectors. Most cinemas would have 35mm anamorphic prints which would crop the picture at top and bottom to give a scope aspect ratio of 2.35:1. TV of course, would crop the picture at the side to give a ratio of 1.37:1.
Paramount's Vistavision productions had a sharp, grain free look and it shows on this DVD. Ten Commandments is presented here in its correct aspect ratio with no black lines at top and bottom or at the sides.
The Ten Commandments was and is a ROADSHOW movie with an overture, intermission and exit music. In the 50s and 60s a roadshow movie often had special instructions sent to cinema projectionists on how it should be exhibited.
When the overture was playing the curtains were kept closed because there is no picture, the film has a soundtrack only at this point. When the picture appeared the curtains opened and the movie proper began. At the end of the first half the word "intermission" appeared briefly and then faded to black, the curtains closed. After about 15 minutes the second half of the movie began with the entr'acte music. Curtains were closed at this point because there is again, no picture. The curtains were opened when the picture appeared. In roadshow films there was never a title at this point, the second half just began on the next scene. - At the end of the movie after the end titles the film would go to black and the exit or walkout music would play while the curtains were closed.

The Ten Commandments is the only roadshow movie on DVD that I know of that is presented correctly. The screen is black during the overture, entr'acte and exit music. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE. The word "overture" should not be present at the start, the word entr'acte should not be present at the start of the second half and, most heinous of all, there should not be a slide show during the intermission - ARE YOU LISTENING MGM WITH "DOCTOR ZHIVAGO?"

Cecil B. De Mille introduces the Ten Commandments after the overture, he's usually edited out as is all the additional music when it's shown on TV.

In this DVD everything is correct. Those of you with projector systems at home can replicate accurately the presentation of the Ten Commandments at its time of release. WELL DONE PARAMOUNT, FIVE GLOWING STARS FOR THIS ONE.

Some say there are inaccuracies in the storyline. Well, this is a movie and the movies have never been known for their accuracy. It's great filmaking though, made at a time when going to the cinema was a real event. It's all about showmanship. They don't make them like this any more. - Anyway, if you want the true word of God you should be reading your Bible...shouldn't you?
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be blown away - Blu- Ray Transfer is amazing, 3 Dec 2011
By 
A.M.Boughey "Poetmaster" (Rochester, MN) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
It's easy to start running out of superlatives quickly, on the quality of this Blu-Ray Transfer of the 1956 classic; I doubt it ever looked better.
According to Ron Smith, (the man at Paramount who was in charge of the restoration project), the original VistaVision negative was scanned at high resolution, giving an image basically 6000 pixels 4000 pixels, so you've got a rather large file with each and every shot, each and every frame.
The scanner then literally takes a photograph of each frame in the film as it goes by and turns it into data. That data is cleaned up by an army of technicians, before color restoration work by Smith and Yan Yarbrough, from Warner Brothers Motion Picture Imaging completes the process.

When you consider the running time of 231 minutes, you start to realize what a mammoth task this was, in fact Smith himself admitted that he hadn't done a lot of photochemical or even digital work since he started working on it in '96-'97,

No hi def restoration on older films, even on more contemporary classics like the original Star Wars, and Star Trek flicks, is without a down side though.
Crystal clarity often exposes the special effects quite clearly. Effects I might add that might have been cutting edge in their day and in the case of the Ten Commandments even award winning get a transparency in the wash.
Myself, I think this adds to the style of the picture, but some of the more obvious overlaid shots, and super imposing on stock footage, or backdrops can look cheesy.
All that said, this a masterpiece - not just the movie but the rich colors, crisp AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, and full production complete with Overture, Introduction by De Mille himself, and original Intermission.
The movie runs over two Blu-Ray discs with just the main feature, but also has some worthwhile extras.

If you've seen it, like it and want to know whether it's worth shelling out the extra few bucks to get this fully restored high def feast, I highly recommend you don't give it a second thought.
I guarantee you won't believe your eyes.............5 Stars
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Courting Couples On The Back Row Broke None Of Them, 4 Feb 2006
As a child I queued for 3 hours to get tickets for this film when it was released. It was the custom in those days to stay in the " pictures " for free repeat showings if the film was something special. However this film proved so popular that it was separate performances only and I could not afford to buy more tickets to see it over again.
The back row of the " picture houses " were the usual haunt for courting couples and I am sure that many a Commandment was broken by them and they never got to see the film or even remember the name of what was showing.
During the showing of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS I am absolutely positive that no Commandments were broken by any of the audience as it held our attention for the full 3 hours and 39 minutes.
This was 50 years ago and having just watched the DVD I can honestly say that for me it is still the best movie of its genre. The colour, sound and widescreen adds to the tremendous effects and enhances the close-ups. In the final orgy scene I was amused to see an extra hamming it up pretending to get his leg burned on the artificial fires smelting the gold. As an "EXTRA" myself I tend to look for that kind of thing but nothing else would prompt me to say anything negative about this great story. Todays' special computerized special effects cannot match the ones featured in this movie. I was reduced to tears during several scenes as I was as a child when I saw it for the first time. I got this DVD at a bargain price and the quality is SPARKLING. I think that this film should be released into cinemas again for todays' generation to see a masterpiece in true widescreen.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic of Epic's, 1 Dec 2010
By 
Brawny Withed (Leeds, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Let me start this review by stating that I am rather biased towards this film as it is my favourite film of all time.

In the interest of not wasting too much of your time and coming across as a bit fanatical I will keep the review as brief as possible.

The acting is top class especially Charlton Heston & Yul Brynner, yes i admit that some of the dialogue can be quite cheesy and at times OTT Sanctimonous but don't let that put you off.

The epic scale of the production is evident when you learn that the majority of the film was shot on location in Egypt and Sinai and this gives the film a genuine nature. The studio sets and props are beautifully (works of art in my opinion) realised and again add to the overall film.

This is one of Hollywood's golden moments and it must have been awesome for the audiences of 1956 to see such spectacles realised on film such as The Exodus, and the parting of the Red Sea which still stands today as a major special effect.

If you have an interest in The Bible, Religion this is a great movie to watch, but even if you don't the film is one of the best films of the 20th Century and is well worth a viewing.

A good purchase along with this film is the excellent book: 'Written In Stone' which is full of anecdotes and stories of the films production.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu ray, 22 Mar 2014
You know the film so no need to preach(no pun intended) on that.
I will simply state that if you are pondering over the purchase of the blu ray then I can assure it is well worth it.
The restoration for HD is truly stunning, the colours gorgeous.
Time in a bottle:with rich costumes and sumptuous colours literally screaming at you.
Yes obviously some of the special effects, particularly the parting of the sea show for what they are NOW, but just remember how old this film is.What would you want, someone digitally enhancing it, no way.
Buy this then BEN HUR and enjoy Hollywood when it was at its finest.
Not a lot in extras but the film is spread over 2 discs with original Overture, DeMille intro and Entr Act .
100% what blu rays of old movies SHOULD look like.
Enjoy
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG - NOW THIS IS WHAT I CALL BLU RAY!, 23 Feb 2014
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Where do I Begin. This has to be one of the most sumptuous blu ray discs ever produced...and a lesson to other studios of how a movie should look and sound when released on the Blu ray format. The sharpness of the picture (with absolutely NO digital artefacts or halo images) and the rich colour palette makes you realise how wonderful blu rays should look. The 5.1 DTS Master sound is wonderful too (especially if one has an amplifier that is capable of outputting the sound in 7.1 or 9.2 surround). We all know the story so there's no need to go into that suffice to say watching in this format is like seeing the film for the first time. The only downside is that the picture is SO BLOODY GOOD that it is obvious that over 70% of the film featured the cast in process shots (as there was no CGI back in the 50's even though the movie won the oscar for best special effects)that is very very obvious. This is especially true of the parting of the red sea. However the disc is a wonder to behold Buy a copy ....it's money well spent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thou shalt enjoy, 27 July 2013
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Picture Quality is extaordinary for a film of its age. The DVD was pretty special but the bluray takes a step further. Would have been nice if they had exported a few more extras over though. Highly recommended to anyone who likes their biblical films in the epic size........
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood at its epic height, 23 Mar 2001
By 
Rob Ph. Elsas (Nieuwegein, Utr. Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This movie is the father of all epic movies. Overly long (3.5 hours), overly starstudded, overly sentimental and overly sanctimonious, but still one of the most wonderful products off the Hollywood conveyor belt. Including Cecil B. DeMille, who personally introduces the film standing before the cinema curtains (!) and some old trailers, that make you wonder what went wrong since the fifties. Don't miss it!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Get It!!!!!!!!, 7 Jan 2005
By 
Yahya S. Badaoui "EgyptDVD.net" (Cairo, Egypt) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ten Commandments [DVD] (DVD)
The second DVD release of Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 landmark film THE TEN COMMANDMENTS -- Special Collector's Edition (Paramount) has all the extras you expected from the first. Charlton Heston hears God's voice and obeys bringing law and light and freedom to slaves. Elmer Bernstein's terrific score, great production design, still nifty effects, a six-part production documentary and a highly detailed commentary make this one for the library.
I was hesitant to review this dvd since, in every credible theologian's view, a fundamentalist approach to the Bible, ignorant of ancient and medieval civilizations and their languages, leads to erroneous interpretations (for example, errors that today are being used to justify discrimination against gays and lesbians and their families, and which, until rather recently, were used to condone racism, segregation and slavery.) But I believe DeMille, The Ten Commandments' producer and director, and the son of a lay Episcopal minister, believed the Bible is the inerrant word of God AND that a historical-critical approach is necessary to understand it (as most mainline churches do, in spite of their often inconsistent stance on gay marriage). The fact that in The Ten Commandments, the Red Sea, not a 'sea of reeds' (a correct translation), parts, is perhaps an example of artistic license.
In a sense, The Ten Commandments is DeMille's Biblical commentary. It's a swan song (DeMille nearly died making it), and a real labour of love (DeMille gave away all of his profits to the cast and crew).
Perhaps first and foremost, The Ten Commandments is great propaganda for democracy (albeit from the Cold War era). Through it DeMille sought to help unite Jews, Christians and Muslims. It argues that all persons are equal and should be 'free', regardless of 'race', ethnicity or 'creed'. It even alludes to the fact that according to the Bible, Moses married an Ethiopian princess (a somewhat daring reference during the segregated '50s).
STYLE & INFLUENCE: It's arguably one of the most spectacular, entertaining and influential films ever made. At Lucasfilm, a poster for it has hung on the wall for many years, and one can easily see the movie's influence not only on Biblical films of the '50s and '60s, but also the Star Wars movies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Arc and numerous other science fiction and fantasy films. Director Michael Powell considered DeMille the greatest magician in film history.
Perhaps the most under-rated aspect of The Ten Commandments is its production design: a marvelous hybrid of art deco and nineteenth century and ancient Egyptian art. Viewing The Ten Commandments is a bit like stepping into a painting by Alma-Tadema or a Pre-Raphaelite, or a book illustration by Dorè, and having the artwork come to life.
The score, by Elmer Bernstein, is extraordinary. It's part of the very essence of the film, and uses leitmotiv beautifully.
TRANSFER: It's excellent, and the next best thing to seeing the movie on a big screen. The colours are very rich and vibrant, and the sound, originally recorded with cutting edge stereo equipment, is nicely remastered and restored.
EXTRAS: I'm SO glad I ordered the most recent dvd release (2004), containing a commentary by Katherine Orrison and a six-part documentary about the 'making of'. Both are extremely informative and entertaining. The latter features interviews with surviving cast and crew, as well as DeMille's granddaughter.
Five stars for the film, five for the transfer, and five for the commentary and documentary!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth it, 11 Jun 2013
Another reason to own a BLU ray player.
Stunning transfer of a classic. I have had the DVD for years and this is far superior.
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The Ten Commandments [DVD] [1956]
The Ten Commandments [DVD] [1956] by Cecil B. DeMille (DVD - 2013)
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