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The Ten Commandments (1956 movie)

The Ten Commandments is a 1956 epic film which tells the Bible story of Moses as he struggled to get Pharaoh Ramses to let the Israelites leave Egypt. It stars Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget, John Derek, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Nina Foch, Martha Scott, Dame Judith Anderson, Vincent Price and John Carradine.

The movie was adapted by Aeneas MacKenzie, Jesse Lasky Jr, Jack Gariss and Fredric M. Frank from the J.H. Ingraham novel Pillar of Fire, the A.E. Southon novel On Eagle's Wings and the Dorothy Clarke Wilson novel Prince of Egypt. It was directed by Cecil B. DeMille.

It won an Academy Award for Best Effects, Special Effects and was nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color, Best Cinematography, Color, Best Costume Design, Color (Edith Head, Ralph Jester, John Jensen, Dorothy Jeakins and Arnold Friberg), Best Film Editing, Best Picture and Best Sound, Recording. In 1999 the film was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

DeMille had previously made the film in 1923, starring Theodore Roberts, Charles de Rochefort, Estelle Taylor, Julia Faye, Terrence Moore and James Neill. It was adapted by Jeanie Macpherson.

One legacy of the movie are scores of decalogues - public displays of the 10 Commandments - that DeMille paid to be erected around the country as a publicity stunt. The displays were set up by the fraternal group Fraternal Order of Eagles, sometimes in or near government buildings, and several have been involved in court battles over whether they violate the US Constitution's ban on mixing church and state.

Famous quotes

Better to die in battle with a God than to live in shame.