History Main / TheTenCommandments

12th Dec '12 6:51:02 AM erforce
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ten_Commandments_poster.jpg]]
->Thus sayeth the Lord God of Israel: let my people go!
-->--'''Moses'''

The last of the great CecilBDeMille epics.

This 1956 film from Creator/{{Paramount}} tells Literature/TheBible story of Moses and the Exodus. Charlton Heston plays Moses. YulBrynner plays Rameses. They are in a LoveTriangle with Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), whom Moses might have won, had the matter of injustice to Hebrew slaves not come up. Other important characters are, naturally, Moses's brother Aaron (JohnCarradine); Sephora ([[TheMunsters Yvonne de Carlo]]), daughter of Jethro and Moses's eventual wife; Joshua (Jon Derek); and Liliah (Debra Paget), the woman Joshua loves -- who happens to be the sex slave of the overseer Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), see?

You know the basic tale -- or if you don't, you need either to see this or read [[Literature/TheBible the source material.]] Moses hears the voice of God while out in the wilderness. It ages him about forty years -- hey, the film may be long, but to keep the cast of characters constant, the time in which it takes place is compressed. Moses goes to Rameses to tell him that God wants him to let His people go, or else. "Or else" happens. Nefretiri tries to seduce Moses out of this position; it doesn't work...

The film won one AcademyAward for its special effects, and was nominated for seven others, including best picture. The majestic score was written by ElmerBernstein as his first major film project.

The dedicated and curious might want to compare this with ''ThePrinceOfEgypt''. The source material is the same (though this film might've been distilled through an extra novel), but the directions taken with it are very different.

There was also a ''Ten Commandments'' mini-series starring Dougray Scott which [[{{Deconstruction}} rips apart the Moses story]].
----
!!Tropes:
* ActorAllusion: On behalf of the two main leads.
** Charlton Heston's [[BenHur other role]] also has him playing a Jewish character, who returns after being years away to set things right.
** In YulBrynner's case, it's good to be the king. Prior to this role, [[TheKingAndI he's running Siam and wooing the English tutor]] in both the Broadway musical and later the film.
* AdoredByTheNetwork: ABC has shown this on either Easter Sunday or the the day before every year since 1973, according to TheOtherWiki.
* AnachronismStew: Mostly averted except for one deliberate case, which falls under RuleOfFunny. In the DVD commentary, they mention that the soldier would have said the Underworld or Hades, but it wouldn't have worked so well.
-->'''Dathan''': Where are we going?
-->'''Egyptian Soldier''': Hell, I hope.
* AncientEgypt
* ArcWords: "So let it be written, so let it be done."
* AscendedExtra: Joshua, who's promoted to Lancer in the film. In the scriptures, while Joshua did eventually TakeUpMySword, he didn't come into focus until they were in the desert, and was implied to be much younger than Moses.
** Also Dathan, who appears in only one scene in the Bible. (See HistoricalVillainUpgrade below.)
* TheAtoner
* BadassBoast: By a [[TranquilFury quietly furious]] Rameses: "The city he builds will bear my name. The woman he loves will bear my child. So let it be written. So let it be done."
* BadassBeard: Moses, with the hair to match.
* BaldOfEvil: Rameses. YulBrynner kept the bald look from ''TheKingAndI''.
** DyeingForYourArt: Brynner bulked up for the role of Rameses so that he did not look skinny in contrast to the imposing Charlton Heston.
* BatheHerAndBringHerToMe: the TropeNamer.
* BettyAndVeronica: Sephora and Nefretiri. Unfortunately, God is the ThirdOptionLoveInterest.
* BigNo
* BittersweetEnding: The Hebrews eventually reach Israel... but for his Wrath, Moses cannot enter the Promised Land.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: In the movie, Moses angrily throwing down the tablets results in a chasm that many of the Jews fall into. In the Bible/Tanakh, Moses gets the Levites (priests) to grab some swords and get busy. Killing 3,000 total.
** To be fair, keeping in the original slaughter makes Moses a hell of a DarkShepherd.
* BrattyHalfPint: Rameses' son.
* BroadStrokes: The movie's approach to the source material in some areas, especially what happened to the Hebrews after the flight from Egypt.
* CaptainObvious: "Moses' serpent swallows up the others!"
* CatchPhrase: "So let it be written. So let it be done." by Rameses.
* ChangelingFantasy: Where Moses does ''not'' enjoy learning that he is actually a Hebrew, nor does his love interest. This is [[RuleOfDrama altered for drama's sake]] from the original story, which suggests that Moses knew very well while he was growing up that he was Hebrew.
* ChekhovsGunman: Dathan all the way. From a minor role in Literature/TheBible to one of the major characters in the film.
* TheChosenOne
* ChickMagnet: Moses to a degree--all of Jethro's daughters, with one exception, are trying to catch his eye.
* TheCommandments: Naturally!
* DemotedToExtra: Miriam and Aaron
* DeadpanSnarker: Seti
--> '''Priest''': "Because of Moses, there is no wheat in the temple granaries!"
--> '''Seti:''' "You don't look any leaner."
** In addition, the soldier who evicts Dathan.
---> '''Dathan:''' "Why do you come here? I put no blood on my door!"
---> '''Egyptian Soldier:''' "Then stone bleeds!"
** Nefretiri:
---> '''Sethi:''' "It is pleasing to the gods to see a man honored by his enemies."
---> '''Nefretiri:''' "And such a beautiful enemy."
* DeathGlare: several, but Nefretiri gives a ferocious one to the Ethiopian princess flirting with Moses.
* DoingInTheWizard: After nine plagues, Rameses informs Moses that he'd learned of a volcano erupting that would explain all nine of those plagues.
** Interestingly, it is a serious theory that the plagues and the parting of the sea, not to mention the pillar of smoke and flame, and for an encore a scene in ''JasonAndTheArgonauts'' where they get pelted with rocks, are all explicable somewhat by a truly MASSIVE eruption in the Aegean Sea - Antikythera or Santorini. Pretty good reference...
** It gets better. The Ten Plagues were actually recorded on the stele of Ahmose. The current most probable theory is that a climatic variation caused extremely heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands, resulting in the Nile being choked with red, acidic mud. The river became as blood, fish died, frogs left the river, and so on. The same variation resulted in unusually dry weather in the locusts' spawning grounds, hence the plague of locusts, and the enormous sandstorm that hid the sun. The deaths of the firstborn of Egypt? All those dead fish sank, then the water became supersaturated with toxic gasses, and when they came out of solution, the firstborn sons, who alone among the inhabitants of Egypt slept inside, at ground level, smothered. Everyone else was fine because the custom was to sleep outside, on the roof. Imagine [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Nyos#The_1986_disaster this]] on a nation-wide scale. They say God works in mysterious ways...
** Although, in TheMovie, since Rameses actually sees Moses turn the water into blood, without a volcano being involved, this comes across more as a WhatAnIdiot moment.
* TheDragon: Dathan to both Baka and Rameses.
** Ultimately DragonAscendant in the finale sequence.
* EldritchAbomination: The Angel of Death. Rather than being a human looking angel (or TheGrimReaper,) it's portrayed as a cloud of bluish fog descending from the sky in the shape of a creepy hand. It makes sense for the Angel to take on this kind of form, given the nature of its job but still, it's incredibly creepy....
** Even better: the {{Metallica}} song "Creeping Death" is about the Exodus (and specifically to this film), and the title refers to the appearance of the Tenth Plague.
* EnforcedMethodActing: Of a sort. Heston, many years later, told of how on one location shoot, many of the locals were rounded up to serve as a huge crowd of extras... many of whom didn't even need to be dressed up as they were still wearing that sort of clothes today, and didn't really have the scene explained to them other than very basically. As Heston walked through the crowd in costume during the scene, he heard many of them whispering "Mosah! Mosah!"... and realized they thought that ''he actually was Moses''.
* EpicMovie: And how!
* FateWorseThanDeath: How Joshua describes working in the copper mines.
** For Lilia, it is being Dathan's sex toy.
--> '''Joshua:''' They said you were dead.
--> '''Lilia:''' To all who I love, Joshua, I ''am'' dead.
* {{Fanservice}}: By modern standards, many of the outfits worn by the women in the palace are pretty revealing. In the 1950s, they were pushing the limits of what was allowable on screen.
* FemmeFatale: Nefretiri.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Moses told Nefretiri that God will use her to work his will. Her manipulations would later backfire and lead to the plague on the firstborn and help the Israelites go free.
* {{God}} -- or His voice, anyway.
* HaveAGayOldTime: The Isrealites were released from their bondage
* HappilyAdopted: After he finds his birth family, Moses still assures Bithia he's her son and will always love her. Aww.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[BenHur Judah Ben-Hur]] is exiled to the desert by his brother, [[TheKingAndI The King of Siam]]. He also hooks up with [[TheMunsters Lily Munster]]. Oh, and VincentPrice (yes, '''that''' one) is the master builder.
* HisNameIs: Seti on his deathbed breaks his own decree by saying Moses' name.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Dathan played a much more minor role in the Exodus account, leading a revolt against Moses and getting swallowed up by the ground. Here, he becomes TheQuisling, is responsible for the Golden Calf incident, and was responsible for driving Moses out of Egypt to begin with.
* HistoryMarchesOn: Most modern estimates put the Exodus in the reign of Thutmose III, not Rameses II. Though to be fair, there isn't clear consensus among scholars and reconciling Old Testament timelines with historical dates is tricky at best.
* HollywoodAtheist: Rameses. Possibly, Dathan as well.
* HumanSacrifice: Lilia nearly becomes one of these during the Golden Calf incident.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Moses' justification for for betraying Sethi. Sethi [[IronicEcho turns this right back on Moses]] in ordering his punishment.
* IJustKnew: Miriam when she warns the women to stock up on water since there will be none for 7 days. It's implied she uses this gift often ("Miriam is always right.")
* InsultBackfire:
--> '''Ramses''': "You have a rat's ears and a ferret's nose."
--> '''Dathan''': "[[TheQuisling To use in your service]], [[ProfessionalButtKisser son of Pharaoh]]."
* IWantThemAlive: When ordering his men to pursue the fleeing Hebrews, Rameses commands his troops to kill everyone else, but bring Moses to him alive.
* IWarnedYou: "If there is one more plague on Egypt, it is by your word that God will bring it." Shoulda kept your mouth shut, Rameses.
* InformedAttribute: Unless you really believe Charlton Heston is slow of speech and thick of tongue...
* {{Intermission}}
* {{Irony}}: The following quote:
--> '''Sethi:''' "Let the name of Moses be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of Egypt. Let the name of Moses be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time."
* JerkAss: Dathan. Dathan. '''Dathan'''.
** Rameses certainly qualifies, as does Nefretiri after she's been married to him long enough.
* JustEatGilligan: So Moses, why don't you wait for Seti to die, be crowned ruler of Egypt, and set the slaves free yourself? Lampshaded by Nefretiri "Will Ramses hear [the slaves'] cries when he is Pharoah?"
** Except, in RealLife, Ancient Egypt was extremely stiff. The one time a pharoah, Ikhnaten, tried to make significant changes, it didn't end well.
** Also, in the film, it is implied that Moses plans to do this, but he is stopped when he gets caught having killed Baka to save Joshua and Lilia.
** In addition, YouCantFightFate.
* TheLancer: Joshua
* LadyMacbeth: Nefretiri to Ramses, once she's decided to become vengeful.
* LargeHam: It's a toss up among Charlton Heston, YulBrynner and Anne Baxter.
** And in universe, the "old windbag" announcer.
** Honorable mention goes to Vincent Price.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Lilia's theme, "Death Cometh To Me".
* LoveTriangle
* ManipulativeBitch: Nefretiri.
* MassOhCrap: Seen on the side of those who worshipped the golden calf as Moses pass judgement.
--> '''Moses:''' Those who shall not live by the law, shall die by the law!
* MosesInTheBullrushes: Of course!
* [[NiceJobBreakingItHerod Nice Job Breaking It, Pharoah:]] Sethi I ordering the murder of all Hebrew newborns to [[SelfFulfillingProphecy thwart the prophecy of the deliverer]].
* OldWindbag: Sethi's court announcer is kind of the TropeNamer.
* OhCrap: The look on Baka's face when he sees that the slave who is about to strangle him is actually Moses.
** Moses' birth mother, when she is about to be crushed by the granite she is greasing.
** Moses himself, when Nefeteri tells him that Rameses has ordered the murder of the Hebrew children, meaning that the Egyptian firstborn, not the children of Goshen, will perish.
* PetTheDog / PragmaticVillainy: Prince Moses has no problem using the Hebrew slaves to build the treasure city, but he knows that happier and healthier slaves are more productive. So he increases their rations and gives them one day in seven to rest, and construction thus accelerates.
--> '''Moses''': "A city is made of brick, Pharaoh. The strong make many. The weak make few. The dead make none."
* PleaseSpareHimMyLiege: Lilia does this twice in order to save Joshua's life. The first time, it was to Prince Moses. The second time, it was to Dathan. [[ScarpiaUltimatum But there was a catch in Dathan's case...]]
* TheQuisling: Dathan, who is of Hebrew descent but gladly works as an overseer.
* RealLifeRelative: Moses as an infant was played by Charlton Heston's real life son, Frasier Heston.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Seti listens to both sides before making a decision. However, that decision isn't necessarily in favor of the protagonists.
** Moses is one of these, particularly when he is in charge of building the city.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Moses at first.
* SayMyName: A motif. People say "Moses, Moses" many times in the movie.
* ScarpiaUltimatum: Dathan gives this to Liliah
* ShownTheirWork: According to Katherine Orrison, De Mille's biographer and protoge of De Mille's friend Henry Wilcoxon, De Mille did a HUEG amount of research, using not only the Bible but the Qur'an and various Hebrew traditional texts including the Midrash.
** Plus, the red-white-black pattern of the Tribe of Levi ''is'' actually the pattern associated with the Tribe of Levi.
* SexSlave: Liliah
* SmugSnake: Baka, Dathan.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: "Beauty is but a curse to our women." Poor Liliah.
* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: Baka realizes that the Hebrew slave is actually Moses when he (Moses) refers to him as the "Master Butcher" -- which Moses has called him before. A little too late, as he said this while he was strangling Baka to death.
* TakeThatKiss: Nefretiri to Ramses and vice versa.
* ThereAreNoCoincidences: During production, the man who designed Moses' distinctive rust-white-and-black-striped robe used those colors because they looked impressive--he only later discovered that [[GeniusBonus these are the actual colors of the Tribe of Levi]].
* ThreatBackfire:
--> '''Rameses:''' Come to me no more, Moses! For on the day you see my face again...you will surely die!
--> '''Moses:''' (deadpan) So let it be written.
* TooDumbToLive: The Egyptian army following the fleeing Israelites into the parted sea. Did NOBODY realize that God could (and would) solve that little problem simply by letting things return to normal?
** "Better to die before a God than live in shame", according to Rameses. [[RevengeBeforeReason He knew there was a chance his army could die but he ordered them to charge anyway]].
*** Also, after ''seeing with their own eyes'' God part the waters of the sea, the Hebrews are quick to question the existence of Him while waiting for Moses to return from Mount Sinai. [[WhatAnIdiot So they decided to forge a golden idol to worship instead]].
**** Bithiah even points this out: ''Would a God who's shown you such wonders let Moses die before his work was done?''
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: Played straight with Rameses suceeding the relatively [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure reasonable]] Seti. Technically averted when Dathan is promoted to governor upon Baka's death -- while he is certainly a BadBoss, he's nowhere near as tyrannical as Baka.
* {{Unperson}}: Sethi proclaims that Moses' name be erased from every carving, and never be spoken again, after learning that he is the one destined to free the Israelites. So let it be written, so let it be done! Obviously, that didn't take.
** In ancient Egypt, this was done to ensure that a person would not only disappear from everyday life, but would have no life after death. De Mille biographer Katherine Orrison says that was the very reason Moses' name was spoken so often in the film. It was De Mille's symbolic attempt to ensure the real Moses could enter heaven.
* TheVamp: Nefertiri, so very much.
* WhipItGood: Baka.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: [[EvilIsSexy Rameses.]]
** Moses and Joshua.
* WomanScorned: Nefretiri becomes this toward the end.
* WorldOfHam
* YouCantFightFate: Lampshaded by Yochabel, who warns Bithia that, no matter what, if God ahs a purpose, Moses will be unable to resist.
----

to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ten_Commandments_poster.jpg]]
->Thus sayeth the Lord God of Israel: let my people go!
-->--'''Moses'''

The last of the great CecilBDeMille epics.

This 1956 film from Creator/{{Paramount}} tells Literature/TheBible story of Moses and the Exodus. Charlton Heston plays Moses. YulBrynner plays Rameses. They are in a LoveTriangle with Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), whom Moses might have won, had the matter of injustice to Hebrew slaves not come up. Other important characters are, naturally, Moses's brother Aaron (JohnCarradine); Sephora ([[TheMunsters Yvonne de Carlo]]), daughter of Jethro and Moses's eventual wife; Joshua (Jon Derek); and Liliah (Debra Paget), the woman Joshua loves -- who happens to be the sex slave of the overseer Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), see?

You know the basic tale -- or if you don't, you need either to see this or read [[Literature/TheBible the source material.]] Moses hears the voice of God while out in the wilderness. It ages him about forty years -- hey, the film may be long, but to keep the cast of characters constant, the time in which it takes place is compressed. Moses goes to Rameses to tell him that God wants him to let His people go, or else. "Or else" happens. Nefretiri tries to seduce Moses out of this position; it doesn't work...

The film won one AcademyAward for its special effects, and was nominated for seven others, including best picture. The majestic score was written by ElmerBernstein as his first major film project.

The dedicated and curious might want to compare this with ''ThePrinceOfEgypt''. The source material is the same (though this film might've been distilled through an extra novel), but the directions taken with it are very different.

There was also a ''Ten Commandments'' mini-series starring Dougray Scott which [[{{Deconstruction}} rips apart the Moses story]].
----
!!Tropes:
* ActorAllusion: On behalf of the two main leads.
** Charlton Heston's [[BenHur other role]] also has him playing a Jewish character, who returns after being years away to set things right.
** In YulBrynner's case, it's good to be the king. Prior to this role, [[TheKingAndI he's running Siam and wooing the English tutor]] in both the Broadway musical and later the film.
* AdoredByTheNetwork: ABC has shown this on either Easter Sunday or the the day before every year since 1973, according to TheOtherWiki.
* AnachronismStew: Mostly averted except for one deliberate case, which falls under RuleOfFunny. In the DVD commentary, they mention that the soldier would have said the Underworld or Hades, but it wouldn't have worked so well.
-->'''Dathan''': Where are we going?
-->'''Egyptian Soldier''': Hell, I hope.
* AncientEgypt
* ArcWords: "So let it be written, so let it be done."
* AscendedExtra: Joshua, who's promoted to Lancer in the film. In the scriptures, while Joshua did eventually TakeUpMySword, he didn't come into focus until they were in the desert, and was implied to be much younger than Moses.
** Also Dathan, who appears in only one scene in the Bible. (See HistoricalVillainUpgrade below.)
* TheAtoner
* BadassBoast: By a [[TranquilFury quietly furious]] Rameses: "The city he builds will bear my name. The woman he loves will bear my child. So let it be written. So let it be done."
* BadassBeard: Moses, with the hair to match.
* BaldOfEvil: Rameses. YulBrynner kept the bald look from ''TheKingAndI''.
** DyeingForYourArt: Brynner bulked up for the role of Rameses so that he did not look skinny in contrast to the imposing Charlton Heston.
* BatheHerAndBringHerToMe: the TropeNamer.
* BettyAndVeronica: Sephora and Nefretiri. Unfortunately, God is the ThirdOptionLoveInterest.
* BigNo
* BittersweetEnding: The Hebrews eventually reach Israel... but for his Wrath, Moses cannot enter the Promised Land.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: In the movie, Moses angrily throwing down the tablets results in a chasm that many of the Jews fall into. In the Bible/Tanakh, Moses gets the Levites (priests) to grab some swords and get busy. Killing 3,000 total.
** To be fair, keeping in the original slaughter makes Moses a hell of a DarkShepherd.
* BrattyHalfPint: Rameses' son.
* BroadStrokes: The movie's approach to the source material in some areas, especially what happened to the Hebrews after the flight from Egypt.
* CaptainObvious: "Moses' serpent swallows up the others!"
* CatchPhrase: "So let it be written. So let it be done." by Rameses.
* ChangelingFantasy: Where Moses does ''not'' enjoy learning that he is actually a Hebrew, nor does his love interest. This is [[RuleOfDrama altered for drama's sake]] from the original story, which suggests that Moses knew very well while he was growing up that he was Hebrew.
* ChekhovsGunman: Dathan all the way. From a minor role in Literature/TheBible to one of the major characters in the film.
* TheChosenOne
* ChickMagnet: Moses to a degree--all of Jethro's daughters, with one exception, are trying to catch his eye.
* TheCommandments: Naturally!
* DemotedToExtra: Miriam and Aaron
* DeadpanSnarker: Seti
--> '''Priest''': "Because of Moses, there is no wheat in the temple granaries!"
--> '''Seti:''' "You don't look any leaner."
** In addition, the soldier who evicts Dathan.
---> '''Dathan:''' "Why do you come here? I put no blood on my door!"
---> '''Egyptian Soldier:''' "Then stone bleeds!"
** Nefretiri:
---> '''Sethi:''' "It is pleasing to the gods to see a man honored by his enemies."
---> '''Nefretiri:''' "And such a beautiful enemy."
* DeathGlare: several, but Nefretiri gives a ferocious one to the Ethiopian princess flirting with Moses.
* DoingInTheWizard: After nine plagues, Rameses informs Moses that he'd learned of a volcano erupting that would explain all nine of those plagues.
** Interestingly, it is a serious theory that the plagues and the parting of the sea, not to mention the pillar of smoke and flame, and for an encore a scene in ''JasonAndTheArgonauts'' where they get pelted with rocks, are all explicable somewhat by a truly MASSIVE eruption in the Aegean Sea - Antikythera or Santorini. Pretty good reference...
** It gets better. The Ten Plagues were actually recorded on the stele of Ahmose. The current most probable theory is that a climatic variation caused extremely heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands, resulting in the Nile being choked with red, acidic mud. The river became as blood, fish died, frogs left the river, and so on. The same variation resulted in unusually dry weather in the locusts' spawning grounds, hence the plague of locusts, and the enormous sandstorm that hid the sun. The deaths of the firstborn of Egypt? All those dead fish sank, then the water became supersaturated with toxic gasses, and when they came out of solution, the firstborn sons, who alone among the inhabitants of Egypt slept inside, at ground level, smothered. Everyone else was fine because the custom was to sleep outside, on the roof. Imagine [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Nyos#The_1986_disaster this]] on a nation-wide scale. They say God works in mysterious ways...
** Although, in TheMovie, since Rameses actually sees Moses turn the water into blood, without a volcano being involved, this comes across more as a WhatAnIdiot moment.
* TheDragon: Dathan to both Baka and Rameses.
** Ultimately DragonAscendant in the finale sequence.
* EldritchAbomination: The Angel of Death. Rather than being a human looking angel (or TheGrimReaper,) it's portrayed as a cloud of bluish fog descending from the sky in the shape of a creepy hand. It makes sense for the Angel to take on this kind of form, given the nature of its job but still, it's incredibly creepy....
** Even better: the {{Metallica}} song "Creeping Death" is about the Exodus (and specifically to this film), and the title refers to the appearance of the Tenth Plague.
* EnforcedMethodActing: Of a sort. Heston, many years later, told of how on one location shoot, many of the locals were rounded up to serve as a huge crowd of extras... many of whom didn't even need to be dressed up as they were still wearing that sort of clothes today, and didn't really have the scene explained to them other than very basically. As Heston walked through the crowd in costume during the scene, he heard many of them whispering "Mosah! Mosah!"... and realized they thought that ''he actually was Moses''.
* EpicMovie: And how!
* FateWorseThanDeath: How Joshua describes working in the copper mines.
** For Lilia, it is being Dathan's sex toy.
--> '''Joshua:''' They said you were dead.
--> '''Lilia:''' To all who I love, Joshua, I ''am'' dead.
* {{Fanservice}}: By modern standards, many of the outfits worn by the women in the palace are pretty revealing. In the 1950s, they were pushing the limits of what was allowable on screen.
* FemmeFatale: Nefretiri.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Moses told Nefretiri that God will use her to work his will. Her manipulations would later backfire and lead to the plague on the firstborn and help the Israelites go free.
* {{God}} -- or His voice, anyway.
* HaveAGayOldTime: The Isrealites were released from their bondage
* HappilyAdopted: After he finds his birth family, Moses still assures Bithia he's her son and will always love her. Aww.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[BenHur Judah Ben-Hur]] is exiled to the desert by his brother, [[TheKingAndI The King of Siam]]. He also hooks up with [[TheMunsters Lily Munster]]. Oh, and VincentPrice (yes, '''that''' one) is the master builder.
* HisNameIs: Seti on his deathbed breaks his own decree by saying Moses' name.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Dathan played a much more minor role in the Exodus account, leading a revolt against Moses and getting swallowed up by the ground. Here, he becomes TheQuisling, is responsible for the Golden Calf incident, and was responsible for driving Moses out of Egypt to begin with.
* HistoryMarchesOn: Most modern estimates put the Exodus in the reign of Thutmose III, not Rameses II. Though to be fair, there isn't clear consensus among scholars and reconciling Old Testament timelines with historical dates is tricky at best.
* HollywoodAtheist: Rameses. Possibly, Dathan as well.
* HumanSacrifice: Lilia nearly becomes one of these during the Golden Calf incident.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Moses' justification for for betraying Sethi. Sethi [[IronicEcho turns this right back on Moses]] in ordering his punishment.
* IJustKnew: Miriam when she warns the women to stock up on water since there will be none for 7 days. It's implied she uses this gift often ("Miriam is always right.")
* InsultBackfire:
--> '''Ramses''': "You have a rat's ears and a ferret's nose."
--> '''Dathan''': "[[TheQuisling To use in your service]], [[ProfessionalButtKisser son of Pharaoh]]."
* IWantThemAlive: When ordering his men to pursue the fleeing Hebrews, Rameses commands his troops to kill everyone else, but bring Moses to him alive.
* IWarnedYou: "If there is one more plague on Egypt, it is by your word that God will bring it." Shoulda kept your mouth shut, Rameses.
* InformedAttribute: Unless you really believe Charlton Heston is slow of speech and thick of tongue...
* {{Intermission}}
* {{Irony}}: The following quote:
--> '''Sethi:''' "Let the name of Moses be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of Egypt. Let the name of Moses be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time."
* JerkAss: Dathan. Dathan. '''Dathan'''.
** Rameses certainly qualifies, as does Nefretiri after she's been married to him long enough.
* JustEatGilligan: So Moses, why don't you wait for Seti to die, be crowned ruler of Egypt, and set the slaves free yourself? Lampshaded by Nefretiri "Will Ramses hear [the slaves'] cries when he is Pharoah?"
** Except, in RealLife, Ancient Egypt was extremely stiff. The one time a pharoah, Ikhnaten, tried to make significant changes, it didn't end well.
** Also, in the film, it is implied that Moses plans to do this, but he is stopped when he gets caught having killed Baka to save Joshua and Lilia.
** In addition, YouCantFightFate.
* TheLancer: Joshua
* LadyMacbeth: Nefretiri to Ramses, once she's decided to become vengeful.
* LargeHam: It's a toss up among Charlton Heston, YulBrynner and Anne Baxter.
** And in universe, the "old windbag" announcer.
** Honorable mention goes to Vincent Price.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Lilia's theme, "Death Cometh To Me".
* LoveTriangle
* ManipulativeBitch: Nefretiri.
* MassOhCrap: Seen on the side of those who worshipped the golden calf as Moses pass judgement.
--> '''Moses:''' Those who shall not live by the law, shall die by the law!
* MosesInTheBullrushes: Of course!
* [[NiceJobBreakingItHerod Nice Job Breaking It, Pharoah:]] Sethi I ordering the murder of all Hebrew newborns to [[SelfFulfillingProphecy thwart the prophecy of the deliverer]].
* OldWindbag: Sethi's court announcer is kind of the TropeNamer.
* OhCrap: The look on Baka's face when he sees that the slave who is about to strangle him is actually Moses.
** Moses' birth mother, when she is about to be crushed by the granite she is greasing.
** Moses himself, when Nefeteri tells him that Rameses has ordered the murder of the Hebrew children, meaning that the Egyptian firstborn, not the children of Goshen, will perish.
* PetTheDog / PragmaticVillainy: Prince Moses has no problem using the Hebrew slaves to build the treasure city, but he knows that happier and healthier slaves are more productive. So he increases their rations and gives them one day in seven to rest, and construction thus accelerates.
--> '''Moses''': "A city is made of brick, Pharaoh. The strong make many. The weak make few. The dead make none."
* PleaseSpareHimMyLiege: Lilia does this twice in order to save Joshua's life. The first time, it was to Prince Moses. The second time, it was to Dathan. [[ScarpiaUltimatum But there was a catch in Dathan's case...]]
* TheQuisling: Dathan, who is of Hebrew descent but gladly works as an overseer.
* RealLifeRelative: Moses as an infant was played by Charlton Heston's real life son, Frasier Heston.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Seti listens to both sides before making a decision. However, that decision isn't necessarily in favor of the protagonists.
** Moses is one of these, particularly when he is in charge of building the city.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Moses at first.
* SayMyName: A motif. People say "Moses, Moses" many times in the movie.
* ScarpiaUltimatum: Dathan gives this to Liliah
* ShownTheirWork: According to Katherine Orrison, De Mille's biographer and protoge of De Mille's friend Henry Wilcoxon, De Mille did a HUEG amount of research, using not only the Bible but the Qur'an and various Hebrew traditional texts including the Midrash.
** Plus, the red-white-black pattern of the Tribe of Levi ''is'' actually the pattern associated with the Tribe of Levi.
* SexSlave: Liliah
* SmugSnake: Baka, Dathan.
* SoBeautifulItsACurse: "Beauty is but a curse to our women." Poor Liliah.
* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: Baka realizes that the Hebrew slave is actually Moses when he (Moses) refers to him as the "Master Butcher" -- which Moses has called him before. A little too late, as he said this while he was strangling Baka to death.
* TakeThatKiss: Nefretiri to Ramses and vice versa.
* ThereAreNoCoincidences: During production, the man who designed Moses' distinctive rust-white-and-black-striped robe used those colors because they looked impressive--he only later discovered that [[GeniusBonus these are the actual colors of the Tribe of Levi]].
* ThreatBackfire:
--> '''Rameses:''' Come to me no more, Moses! For on the day you see my face again...you will surely die!
--> '''Moses:''' (deadpan) So let it be written.
* TooDumbToLive: The Egyptian army following the fleeing Israelites into the parted sea. Did NOBODY realize that God could (and would) solve that little problem simply by letting things return to normal?
** "Better to die before a God than live in shame", according to Rameses. [[RevengeBeforeReason He knew there was a chance his army could die but he ordered them to charge anyway]].
*** Also, after ''seeing with their own eyes'' God part the waters of the sea, the Hebrews are quick to question the existence of Him while waiting for Moses to return from Mount Sinai. [[WhatAnIdiot So they decided to forge a golden idol to worship instead]].
**** Bithiah even points this out: ''Would a God who's shown you such wonders let Moses die before his work was done?''
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: Played straight with Rameses suceeding the relatively [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure reasonable]] Seti. Technically averted when Dathan is promoted to governor upon Baka's death -- while he is certainly a BadBoss, he's nowhere near as tyrannical as Baka.
* {{Unperson}}: Sethi proclaims that Moses' name be erased from every carving, and never be spoken again, after learning that he is the one destined to free the Israelites. So let it be written, so let it be done! Obviously, that didn't take.
** In ancient Egypt, this was done to ensure that a person would not only disappear from everyday life, but would have no life after death. De Mille biographer Katherine Orrison says that was the very reason Moses' name was spoken so often in the film. It was De Mille's symbolic attempt to ensure the real Moses could enter heaven.
* TheVamp: Nefertiri, so very much.
* WhipItGood: Baka.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: [[EvilIsSexy Rameses.]]
** Moses and Joshua.
* WomanScorned: Nefretiri becomes this toward the end.
* WorldOfHam
* YouCantFightFate: Lampshaded by Yochabel, who warns Bithia that, no matter what, if God ahs a purpose, Moses will be unable to resist.
----
[[redirect:Film/TheTenCommandments]]
5th Dec '12 1:18:37 PM fawn
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* ThereAreNoCoincidences: During production, he man who designed Moses' distinctive rust-white-and-black-striped robe used those colors because they looked impressive--he only later discovered that [[GeniusBonus these are the actual colors of the Tribe of Levi]].

to:

* ThereAreNoCoincidences: During production, he the man who designed Moses' distinctive rust-white-and-black-striped robe used those colors because they looked impressive--he only later discovered that [[GeniusBonus these are the actual colors of the Tribe of Levi]].
16th Nov '12 6:51:57 PM damus2300
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* [[NiceJobBreakingItHerod Nice Job Breaking It, Pharoah:]] Sethi I ordering the murder of all Hebrew newborns in an attempt to thwart the prophecy of the deliverer.

to:

* [[NiceJobBreakingItHerod Nice Job Breaking It, Pharoah:]] Sethi I ordering the murder of all Hebrew newborns in an attempt to [[SelfFulfillingProphecy thwart the prophecy of the deliverer.deliverer]].



3rd Nov '12 6:04:33 PM angeldare
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* RaceLift: Arguably the [[AmbiguouslyBrown Ancient Egyptians]].

to:

* RaceLift: Arguably the [[AmbiguouslyBrown Ancient Egyptians]].
26th Oct '12 1:48:23 AM thesunisup
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This 1956 film from Creator/{{Paramount}} tells Literature/TheBible story of Moses and the Exodus. Charlton Heston plays Moses. YulBrynner plays Rameses. They are in a LoveTriangle with Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), whom Moses might have won, had the matter of injustice to Hebrew slaves not come up. Other important characters are, naturally, Moses's brother Aaron (John Carradine); Sephora ([[TheMunsters Yvonne de Carlo]]), daughter of Jethro and Moses's eventual wife; Joshua (Jon Derek); and Liliah (Debra Paget), the woman Joshua loves -- who happens to be the sex slave of the overseer Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), see?

to:

This 1956 film from Creator/{{Paramount}} tells Literature/TheBible story of Moses and the Exodus. Charlton Heston plays Moses. YulBrynner plays Rameses. They are in a LoveTriangle with Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), whom Moses might have won, had the matter of injustice to Hebrew slaves not come up. Other important characters are, naturally, Moses's brother Aaron (John Carradine); (JohnCarradine); Sephora ([[TheMunsters Yvonne de Carlo]]), daughter of Jethro and Moses's eventual wife; Joshua (Jon Derek); and Liliah (Debra Paget), the woman Joshua loves -- who happens to be the sex slave of the overseer Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), see?
3rd Sep '12 11:47:39 PM mlsmithca
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* DidNotDoTheResearch: We are pretty sure that Egypt did ''not'' have straight, double-edged swords. They instead used khopeshes, a weapon best described as a scimitar that got a straight section between the hilt and arc, without the arc changing angle with respect to the hilt; this gave the sword a look not unlike a lower-case "b". ''ThePrinceOfEgypt'', by the way, ''did'' portray Egyptians as using khopeshes.
** The inclusion of the straight, bronze sword was a ShoutOut to ''TheEgyptian,'' and knowingly done.
** Numerous sets and costumes from ''The Egyptian'' had been bought from 20th Century Fox by Paramount and were used by De Mille along with a handful of actors, creating unintentional as well as intentional continuity. This is especially noticeable in the throne room scenes.
** Averted slightly in that many of the odd "speeches", where Cecil B. De Mille is heard narrating with emphatic strings, are from Jewish midrash or legends about Moses -- just as the episodes where he saves the "grease woman", meets his family for the first time, or as an Egyptian gives the Hebrews one out of seven day of rest.
** Women probably didn't have '50s make-up and hairdos back then either. And they wore a lot less clothing back in Ancient Egypt as well.
30th Aug '12 1:54:32 AM FELH2
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This 1956 film from {{Paramount}} tells Literature/TheBible story of Moses and the Exodus. Charlton Heston plays Moses. YulBrynner plays Rameses. They are in a LoveTriangle with Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), whom Moses might have won, had the matter of injustice to Hebrew slaves not come up. Other important characters are, naturally, Moses's brother Aaron (John Carradine); Sephora ([[TheMunsters Yvonne de Carlo]]), daughter of Jethro and Moses's eventual wife; Joshua (Jon Derek); and Liliah (Debra Paget), the woman Joshua loves -- who happens to be the sex slave of the overseer Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), see?

to:

This 1956 film from {{Paramount}} Creator/{{Paramount}} tells Literature/TheBible story of Moses and the Exodus. Charlton Heston plays Moses. YulBrynner plays Rameses. They are in a LoveTriangle with Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), whom Moses might have won, had the matter of injustice to Hebrew slaves not come up. Other important characters are, naturally, Moses's brother Aaron (John Carradine); Sephora ([[TheMunsters Yvonne de Carlo]]), daughter of Jethro and Moses's eventual wife; Joshua (Jon Derek); and Liliah (Debra Paget), the woman Joshua loves -- who happens to be the sex slave of the overseer Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), see?



**** Bithiah even points this out: ''Would a God who's shown you such wonders let Moses die before his work was done?''

to:

**** Bithiah even points this out: ''Would a God who's shown you such wonders let Moses die before his work was done?'' done?''
20th Aug '12 6:16:00 AM rlkitterman
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This 1956 film from {{Paramount}} tells Literature/TheBible story of Moses and the Exodus. Charlton Heston plays Moses. Yul Brynner plays Rameses. They are in a LoveTriangle with Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), whom Moses might have won, had the matter of injustice to Hebrew slaves not come up. Other important characters are, naturally, Moses's brother Aaron (John Carradine); Sephora ([[TheMunsters Yvonne de Carlo]]), daughter of Jethro and Moses's eventual wife; Joshua (Jon Derek); and Liliah (Debra Paget), the woman Joshua loves -- who happens to be the sex slave of the overseer Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), see?

to:

This 1956 film from {{Paramount}} tells Literature/TheBible story of Moses and the Exodus. Charlton Heston plays Moses. Yul Brynner YulBrynner plays Rameses. They are in a LoveTriangle with Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), whom Moses might have won, had the matter of injustice to Hebrew slaves not come up. Other important characters are, naturally, Moses's brother Aaron (John Carradine); Sephora ([[TheMunsters Yvonne de Carlo]]), daughter of Jethro and Moses's eventual wife; Joshua (Jon Derek); and Liliah (Debra Paget), the woman Joshua loves -- who happens to be the sex slave of the overseer Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), see?



** In Yul Brynner's case, it's good to be the king. Prior to this role, [[TheKingAndI he's running Siam and wooing the English tutor]] in both the Broadway musical and later the film.

to:

** In Yul Brynner's YulBrynner's case, it's good to be the king. Prior to this role, [[TheKingAndI he's running Siam and wooing the English tutor]] in both the Broadway musical and later the film.



* BaldOfEvil: Rameses.
** DyeingForYourArt: Yul Brynner shaved his head for the part, and liked it so much that it became his signature "look" for the rest of his career.
** Actually, he shaved it while performing as the King of Siam during the Broadway run of TheKingAndI before doing The Ten Commandments. He did bulk up for the role of Rameses so that he did not look skinny in contrast to the imposing Charlton Heston.

to:

* BaldOfEvil: Rameses.
Rameses. YulBrynner kept the bald look from ''TheKingAndI''.
** DyeingForYourArt: Yul Brynner shaved his head for the part, and liked it so much that it became his signature "look" for the rest of his career.
** Actually, he shaved it while performing as the King of Siam during the Broadway run of TheKingAndI before doing The Ten Commandments. He did bulk
bulked up for the role of Rameses so that he did not look skinny in contrast to the imposing Charlton Heston.



* LargeHam: It's a toss up among Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner and Anne Baxter.

to:

* LargeHam: It's a toss up among Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner YulBrynner and Anne Baxter.
15th Aug '12 2:51:37 AM CaptEquinox
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**** Bithiah even points this out: ''Would a God who's shown you such wonders let Moses die before his work was done?''



* TheVamp: Neferteri, so very much.

to:

* TheVamp: Neferteri, Nefertiri, so very much.



* YouCantFightFate: Lampshaded by Yochabel, who warns Bythia that, no matter what, if God ahs a purpose, Moses will be unable to resist.

to:

* YouCantFightFate: Lampshaded by Yochabel, who warns Bythia Bithia that, no matter what, if God ahs a purpose, Moses will be unable to resist.
13th Aug '12 5:48:06 AM Deusirae76
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Added DiffLines:

* CatchPhrase: "So let it be written. So let it be done." by Rameses.
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