The Ten Commandments: 50th Anniversary Collection
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of DeMille’s Academy Award-winning second kick at the can, Paramount has just released a lush DVD package that includes both versions of the film as well as a host of special features. These include a six-part behind-the-scenes documentary, two full-length commentaries by Katherine Orrison, author of Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic, The Ten Commandments, as well as newsreels and trailers heralding the 1956 film’s original release.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with either The Ten Commandments or Cecil B. DeMille, the 1956 film is one of the most extravagant movies ever made by one of the most extravagant filmmakers ever to come out of Hollywood. Budgeted at what was then an astounding figure of $13.5 million, the film went on to become Paramount’s biggest-grossing movie up to that time. For years it ranked second only to Gone With the Wind as the most successful film in Hollywood history. Starring Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, and a host of other greats, the film spawned a number of big budget historical classics, such as Ben Hur, Cleopatra, and Spartacus. But few matched The Ten Commandments in terms of scope and pageantry.
Whether you’re a fan of Hollywood’s golden age—when Bible-based films were guaranteed box office gold rather than a curious subcultural phenomenon—or you're merely curious to see what special effects-laden movies were like before the digital revolution, this is one DVD you won’t want to miss.