It’s a classic. The Ten Commandments came out in 1956. I saw it decades later. It is still probably a top-twenty film for me.
The Cecil B. DeMille production had a budget of $13 million (adjusted to $116,619,639.62 in 2016) and took in $122.7 million ($1,100,709,983.17 adjusted) in its initial box office release.
Three hours and forty minutes. That’s the runtime. It beats Avatar by an hour. And let me say that it’s worth every minute.
That’s not coming from Greg the Catholic. That’s coming from Greg the Movie Fan. I will spend time looking at IMDb.com while watching a movie and look at the Trivia section to learn the ins and outs of the production. This movie was the work of thousands of people, extras, etc.
The sets were massive. And this was before green screens and CGI.
The exceptions I know of are the Parting of the Red Sea and Raising the Obelisk of Seti’s Jubilee.
You can see in the beginning of this clip the variation of foreground and background image quality. Charlton Heston and Vincent Price (and later Yul Brynner and Cedric Hardwicke) are there in front of the camera, while the background of the laboring crews is clearly added in post-production.
The reason I’m writing about this today is today is Passion (Palm) Sunday, and tomorrow is the first day of Passover. I always thought that this was the night of the yearly telecast of The Ten Commandments, but in my research, I learned that they always played it on Easter. Since 1973, this film has been on ABC each year (with the exception of 1999). So before it was even a twenty-year-old movie, it was getting the same annual timeslot. That’s good exposure.
I try to watch this movie each year. I really love it. As far as biblical epics go, this is the golden standard. Maybe that was all a part of the plan – get this movie in front of the viewing public regularly. Get them to love it. Get the ratings each year and the advertising dollars.
I don’t know. All I know is that sometime between now and next week, I’m going to watch this movie and thoroughly enjoy it.