The Ten Commandments


1h 50m 1923

Brief Synopsis

The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy of the commandments in modern life through a story set in San Francisco. Two brothers, rivals for the love of Mary, also come into conflict when John discovers Dan used shoddy materials to construct a cathedral.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Historical
Release Date
Dec 21, 1923
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Famous Players--Lasky
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Silent
Color
Black and White, Color (2-strip Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1
Film Length
12,397, then 9.946ft (13 reels)

Synopsis

A prolog depicts the Biblical stories from Exodus: the ill-treatment of the Jews by the Egyptians; their escape across the parted water of the Red Sea; the presentation to Moses of the Ten Commandments; Moses finding the Israelites worshipping the golden calf; and his breaking of the tablets. Main Story: The remainder of the film takes place in modern-day San Francisco. Two brothers, John and Dan McTavish, love Mary Leigh. She chooses Dan, who becomes a wealthy building contractor by using inferior materials and bribing the building inspector, Redding. This is the beginning of his downfall, ending in his death when he is crushed on the rocks in a motorboat accident. Before his death, Dan kills Sally Lung, his Asian mistress, while trying to obtain bribe money and then discovers that he may have contracted leprosy from her. Drunk and panicstricken, Dan takes the fatal boatride. Mary weds John.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Historical
Release Date
Dec 21, 1923
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Famous Players--Lasky
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Sound
Silent
Color
Black and White, Color (2-strip Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.33 : 1
Film Length
12,397, then 9.946ft (13 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Remade as Ten Commandments, The (1956), again by Cecil B. DeMille.

To create the water effect for the Red Sea parting two gelatin molds were jiggled on camera.

The Egyptian set seen in the prologue was, in reality, an enormous construction, and was actually considerably larger than the Babelon sets in D.W. Griffith's _Intolerance(1916)_ , to which they are often compared.

Most of the chariot crashes in the prologue were real and unplanned.

Notes

Cecil B. DeMille also directed the 1956 Paramount production The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston. Unlike the 1923 film, the later version was entirely set in biblical times.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1923

Released in United States March 1980

Released in United States November 1971

Director Mervyn LeRoy was an extra on the film.

Released in United States 1923

Released in United States March 1980 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (The Epic: A Monumental Movie Marathon) March 4-21, 1980.)

Released in United States November 1971 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (A Tribute to the American Cinema) November 4-14, 1971.)