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'The Ten Commandments' returns to the big screen 60 years after its release

Updated on March 19, 2016

Monumental 1956 visual saga

Charlton Heston stars as the larger-than-life Moses in "The Ten Commandments" (1956).
Charlton Heston stars as the larger-than-life Moses in "The Ten Commandments" (1956). | Source

Religious cinema about rules to live by

“The Ten Commandments” is a movie of biblical proportions.
That assessment is supported by survey results released by, which proclaim the 1956 epic the favorite Bible-based film of cinema-loving respondents.
Directed by the legendary Cecil B. DeMille, “The Ten Commandments” is returning to the big screen, as it hits more than 650 theaters in the United States on Sunday, March 20, and Wednesday, March 23
Show times are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (local time) each day. Theater locations can be found at
Starring Charlton Heston as Moses, this G-rated Easter season event is presented by Colorado-based Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
Promotional material touts this 60th anniversary edition as a fully restored VistaVision production that serves up vibrant details in the film’s landscapes, costumes and visual effects. “The Ten Commandments” will be digitally projected in its original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio.
It was filmed in Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, and utilized some of the biggest motion-picture sets ever built.
The large-scale effort has paid off with moviegoers.
The Heston flick topped the poll taken by the national online ticketing site
The survey asked consumers to pick their favorite biblical blockbuster from among the five highest-grossing Bible-themed motion pictures ever made.
Finishing second was “The Passion of the Christ” (2004).
“ ‘The Ten Commandments’ ” is truly one of the most beloved features ever made -- and also one of the highest grossing, and most spectacular to witness on the big screen,” said John Rubey, Fathom Events chief executive officer.
Also offering high praise is Ben Clement, executive director of the Gary Office of Film and Television in Indiana.
“The film was way ahead of its time in terms of scope and scale,” Clement said. “To tackle the biblical story effectively was daunting enough; however, director Cecil B. DeMille pulled out all stops and spared no expense in portraying the rich tapestries that comprise the story. Even today it stands the test of time.”
An Easter season favorite on television, “The Ten Commandments” returns to the big screen with its collection of visual delights that includes the parting of the Red Sea.
According to Fathom Events, the movie tells the story of Moses, who was once favored in the household of a pharaoh, played in the film by Yul Brynner.
Moses “turned his back on a privileged life to lead his people to freedom,” according to a Fathom description.
Using pageantry and timeless religious themes, the Oscar-winning film traces the grand saga of Moses, whose heritage as a Hebrew is the catalyst for his sacred mission to serve as the deliverer of his people. The Academy Award handed out was for visual effects.
Known to television audiences as TCM host, Ben Mankiewicz is providing commentary to theater goers both before and after the March showings of “The Ten Commandments” -- a star-studded affair.
Besides Heston and Brynner, the feature also rolls out performances by Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo of TV’s “The Munsters,” and Vincent Price and John Carradine, who are two horror-movie standouts.
According to Fathom Events, “The Ten Commandments” went on to gross more than $65 million domestically after its 1956 release in America, which equals more than $1.1 billion today.
As far as U.S/domestic rankings which take into account earnings adjusted for inflation, “The Ten Commandments” rates as one of the Top 10 highest-grossing titles.

Famous faces in cast

Yul Brynner is the imposing pharaoh in "The Ten Commandments," an in-theater spectacle for March that is part of the "TCM Big Screen Classics" series.
Yul Brynner is the imposing pharaoh in "The Ten Commandments," an in-theater spectacle for March that is part of the "TCM Big Screen Classics" series. | Source

Colorful and visual


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