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The Ten Commandments [DVD] 
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Epic retelling of the story of Moses (Charlton Heston), beginning with him as a baby in the bullrushes, and then moving through his time in the Egyptian court, the struggle with Pharoah (Yul Brynner) to obtain the freedom of his people, the parting of the Red Sea, the receipt of the Ten Commandments, the years of wandering in the desert, and the final arrival in the land of Canaan. Directed by Cecil B. DeMille, this was both his crowning glory and his final film.
- 3 Theatrical Trailers: 1956, 1966 and 1989
Legendary silent film director Cecil B. DeMille didn't much alter the way he made movies after sound came in, and this 1956 biblical drama is proof of that. While graced with such 1950s niceties as VistaVision and Technicolor, The Ten Commandments (DeMille had already filmed an earlier version in 1923) has an anachronistic, impassioned style that finds lead actors Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner expressively posing while hundreds of extras writhe either in the presence of God's power or from orgiastic heat. DeMille, as always, plays both sides of the fence as far as sin goes, surrounding Heston's Moses with worshipful music and heavenly special effects while also making the sexy action around the cult of the Golden Calf look like fun. You have to see The Ten Commandments to understand its peculiar resonance as an old-new movie, complete with several still-impressive effects such as the parting of the Red Sea. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good film Charlton Heston gives a commanding performance.Published 26 days ago by Roscoe D Taylor
A movie classic which is excellent viewing for all the family. Definitely a "must see" on those long, cold days in winter when you don't want to go outside.Published 1 month ago by Paul Fellows
Superb. I remember watching this numerous times as a kid, blown away by the awesome special effects of the day. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr. A Weston