Cecil B. De Mille

Tit. it.: “I dieci comandamenti”; Scen.: Aeneas MacKenzie, Jack Gariss, Frederic M.Frank, da “La Bibbia” e dai romanzi “Prince of Egypt” di Dorothy Clark, “Pillar of Fire” del Rev. J.H. Ingraham, “On Eagle’s Wings” del Rev. A.E. Southon; F.: Loyal Griss; M.: Anne Bauchens; Scgf.: Hal Pereira, Walter Tyler, Albert Nozaki; Cost.: Edith Head, Ralph Jester, John Jensen, Do- rothy Jeakins, Arnold Frieberg; Trucco: Wally Westmore, Frank Westmore, Frank McCoy; Su.: Louis H. Mesenkop, Harry Lindgrene, Gene Garvin; Effetti speciali: John P. Fulton; Mu.: Elmer Bernstein; Coreografia: LeRoy Prinz, Ruth Godfrey; Int.: Charlton Heston (Mosé), Anne Baxter (Nefretiri), Yul Brinner (Ramses), Yvonne De Carlo (Sephora), John Derek (Joshua), Nina Foch (Bithiah), Judith Anderson (Memnet), John Carradine (Aaron), Douglass Dumbrille (Jannes), Henry Wilcoxon (Pantatur), Donald Curtis (Mered), H.B. Warner (Amminadab), Edward G. Robinson (Dathan), Debra Paget (Lilia), Cedric Hardwicke (Sethi), Martha Scott (Yochabel), Vincent Price (Baka), Olive Deering (Miriam), Franjk DeKova (Abiram), Eduard Franz (Jethro), Lawrence Dobkin (Hur Ben Caleb); Prod.: Cecil B.De Mille per Paramount 35mm. D.: 219’. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

With a running time of nearly four hours, Cecil B. De Mille’s last feature and most extravagant blockbuster is full of the absurdities and vulgarities one expects, but it isn’t boring for a minute. Although it’s inferior in some respects to his 1923 picture of the same title (which used the story of Moses as an extended prologue to a contemporary tale), the color is ravishing, and De Mille’s form of showmanship, which includes a personal introduction and his own narration, never falters. Simultaneously ludicrous and splendid, this is an epic driven by the sort of personal conviction one almost never finds in more recent Hollywood monoliths. As Luc Moullet once pointed out, Yul Brynner’s Ramses was clearly a stand-in for Mao; De Mille’s introduction clearly articulates the Cold War message, but in fact the opponent of God’s law in the film turns out to be not so much communism as unbridled libido. When Paramount in some of its rereleases capriciously stretched out this VistaVision feature into a ‘Scope format, trimming the top and bottom of every frame to accommodate the new format, there may have been some divine form of retribution at work: De Mille was a notorious foot fetishist, and thanks to the studio’s skulduggery, many of his foreground players were deprived of their feet.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

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