DeMille always considered the star of this film to be God and the extraordinary journey of one man to free the chosen people of God. This 1956 film, lauded as the 10th Greatest Epic of all time as ranked by 1500 members of the ‘creative community’ in AFI’s 2008 rankings of the ten best films in ten distinct genres, is a partial remake of DeMille’s own 1923 silent film. Many cast and crew from that first piece joined DeMille again on this much grander – and successful – retelling.
The Ten Commandments was a monstrous success at the box office, grossing an enormous $65MM from a not small $15MM budget (that’s over $977MM adjusted for inflation). It would garner seven academy award nominations, winning for Visual Effects, and become a mainstay of Passover family entertainment on television after a long theatrical run and theatrical re-runs. It was considered good old-fashioned traditional filmmaking even in 1956, and was the antithesis of noir filmmaking. It remains today a mesmerizing accomplishment of vision and Cecile B. DeMille’s most remarkable accomplishment.