If I'm not mistaken, this is one of Mom's all-time favorite movies. She makes it a habit to watch this every Easter weekend just like she's makes it routine to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" every Christmas. Of course I had seen "The Ten Commandments" before but I can't even recall when the last time was that I had watched it all the way thru from beginning to end. I decided to do that as it was televised tonite and had quite a few observations to share.
It would have been nice to actually have been able to watch the movie in its entirety. It was getting interrupted at least every 30 minutes with some new thunderstorm and/or tornado warning. They even had nerve to break in during THE best part in the movie so I didn't get to see the beginning of Moses parting the Red Sea! But that part did remind me of something...if the Hebrews were smart, they would have grabbed some of the fish out of the walls of water while they were walking thru so they would have had some more food.
So Pharaoh's daughter plucks Moses out of the Nile and no one ever thinks it's suspicious that she was never pregnant and just shows up with a baby? And Pharaoh had to know it was a Hebrew baby yet he lets her keep it right after he had just ordered all the firstborn Hebrew males killed? Good thinking on his part. Good thing God's will be done and He made them ignorant to allow it to happen.
As I'm sitting there watching it, it dawns on me that they really don't make movies like this anymore. Hollywood tries to do epics and some of them are pretty decent but none are on the scale which "Commandments" was done. Casts of thousands can now be a cast of one thanks to CGI. The special effects may have looked like crap back then, but using real actors for all those thousands of people has a much better effect.
For years, I used to slam the original for not using Black actors in the cast. I actually hadn't seen it in years. They actually do have brothas and sistas in there playing the Ethiopian ambassadors. And they even had speaking parts! Well, the woman did anyway. Now that I've seen this again, I also never noticed until now that the scene of the presentation of the prince's wife in "Coming to America" was a direct rip off of the Ethiopian entrance in "Commandments".
Still, my biggest gripe with this movie, the remake and pretty much most Biblical movies is the lack of Black folks in lead roles. During that time and in that area of the world, everyone was much darker than the caucasian actors portraying them. And of course they would have had Black features. I will hand it to Cecil B. DeMille for at least trying to get his actors as tan as possible to pass. Nice try, but no.
One thing that always killed m about not just Biblical movies but all movies set in those times: their teeth. Ever notice how everyone has pearly white and perfectly straight teeth? They had dentists then? And where were they getting toothpaste? Oh, and don't even get me started on how all the women had cleanly shaven legs.
Another thing about movies from that era (meaning made in the 40s and 50s)...the overacting. That was notorious for that age of Hollywood. Everything was so melodramatic. It makes for scene upon scene of unintentional comedy even in what should be the most serious movie. When E was here, we would check out matinees of movies and clown them mercilessly. Only we could turn "Titanic" into an outright comedy. We would have a field day with "Commandments".
Wait, Vincent Price is in this?! How did I not know that?! The quintessential face and voice of classic horror films and he plays a villain in here also. Say it isn't so.
You know they had to be hot in that dessert with the clothes they had on. They're always sporting long long wool robes and some type of head dress to match. They didn't have somebody who could have invented the tank top back then? I would have been walking around shirtless ALL the time. I don't care what shape I was in.
It's funny how Rameses continued to let Moses come to him talking smack. Had it been any other Hebrew, he probably would have had him killed Not Moses though. He was pretty much allowed to talk all the trash he wanted to with no consequences. God is good.
It's amazing that after being in bondage for all those years and seeing all the miracles of God, the Hebrews had the nerve to act a fool. While they waited for Moses to return from he mountaintop, they basically lost they minds. You would think all that they had seen and experienced would have humbled them. Apparently not.
Yeah, I was a bit long-winded here, but what else is new? Plus, this was a 4+ hour movie so of course the post is going to be long. I usually don't make it a habit to rate movies I have seen before; however, this is a rare exception since it's the first time I remember watching the whole thing.
My rating: B-