~The Ten Commandments~
~Plot Synopsis~
Cecil B. DeMille's first screen version of The Ten Commandments is only peripherally a Biblical story. The
film's first 45 minutes recaps the struggle between Moses (Theodore Roberts) and Rameses (Charles de Roche)
over the liberation of the Hebrews. Only after the Lord has imposed a series of plagues upon Egypt does
Rameses relent and permit the Exodus to take place--only to go back on his word a few moments later. The
scenes of thousands of Hebrews trekking across the desert, the parting of the Red Sea (an effect accomplished in
part by splitting a bowl of gelatin down the middle) and the pre-Commandments revelries before the Golden
Calf--complete with a fetchingly undressed Estelle Taylor as Miriam--are produced on a spectacular scale...but
this is only the beginning. Just as Moses is invoking the Wrath of God upon the ungrateful Hebrews, the film
dissolves to the present day (1923, that is). We are introduced to the MacTavish Family: pious, Bible-thumping
Martha McTavish (Edythe Chapman) and her sons, straight-arrow John (Richard Dix) and hedonistic Dan (Rod
LaRocque). Both sons love Mary Leigh (Leatrice Joy), but the roguish Dan wins out. While John continues
honoring the Ten Commandments, Dan breaks as many as he can get his hands on, especially after falling under
the spell of Eurasian adventuress Sally Lung (Nita Naldi). Before the uplifting climax, wherein John and Mary
finally get together with (it is implied) the blessings of Heaven, we are treated to a series of disastrous plot turns,
including the death of mother McTavish in a collapsing church, Sally Lung's revelation that she has leprosy, and a
wild speedboat chase. All that's missing is the kitchen sink. Partially filmed in Technicolor at a then-astronomical
cost of $1.2 million (a sum that caused a decade-long rift between Cecil B. DeMille and Paramount Pictures),
The Ten Commandments grossed several times that amount. DeMille's 1956 Ten Commandments dispenses with
the modern story to concentrate on the life of Moses.

Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson, AllMovie.com
Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille

Written by:
Jeanie Macpherson - story

Based on the story of Moses from the Bible.
Theodore Roberts ...  Moses, the Lawgiver (prologue)
Charles de Rochefort ...  Rameses, the Magnificent (prologue)
Estelle Taylor ...  Miriam, the Sister of Moses (prologue)
Julia Faye ...  The Wife of Pharaoh (prologue)
Pat Moore ...  The Son of Pharaoh - prologue (as Terrence Moore)
James Neill ...  Aaron, Brother of Moses (prologue)
Lawson Butt ...  Dathan, The Discontented (prologue)
Clarence Burton ...  The Taskmaster (prologue)
Noble Johnson ...  The Bronze Man (prologue)
Edythe Chapman ...  Mrs. Martha McTavish
Richard Dix ...  John McTavish, her son
Rod La Rocque ...  Dan McTavish, her son
Leatrice Joy ...  Mary Leigh
Nita Naldi ...  Sally Lung, a Eurasian
Robert Edeson ...  Redding, an Inspector
Charles Ogle ...  The Doctor
Agnes Ayres ...  The Outcast
Genevieve Belasco ...  (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ...  Butler (uncredited)
Gino Corrado ...  Israelite Slave (uncredited)
Dorothy Dale ...  Egyptian Girl (uncredited)
Cecilia de Mille ...  Extra (uncredited)
Louise Emmons ...  Elderly Israelite (uncredited)
Charles Farrell ...  Israelite Slave (uncredited)
Viscount Glerawly ...  Extra (uncredited)
Rex Ingram ...  Israelite Slave (uncredited)
Roscoe Karns ...  The Boy in the Rain (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery ...  Egyptian Cavalryman (uncredited)
Kathleen O'Shee ...  Israelite Maiden (uncredited)
Jack Padjan ...  Pharoah's Horseman (uncredited)
Eugene Pallette ...  Israelite Slave (uncredited)
Jack Richardson ...  Israelite Slave (uncredited)
Mabel Richardson ...  Israelite Woman (uncredited)
Robert St. Angelo ...  Extra (uncredited)
~Remaining Credits~

Produced & Released by: Paramount Pictures

Produced by: Cecil B. DeMille
Cinematography by:
Bert Glennon
J. Peverell Marley
Archie Stout
Fred Westerberg
Film Editing by: Anne Bauchens
Art Direction by: Paul Iribe
Costume Design by: Howard Greer & Clare West
Assistant director: Cullen Tate
Stunts: Jack Montgomery & Jack Padjan
Assistant Camera: Edward S. Curtis & Donald Biddle Keyes
Technical Director: Roy Pomeroy
Assistant to Mr. DeMille: Henry Hathaway

Length: 13 Reels
Runtime: 136 Minutes
Released: November 23, 1923
~Julia Faye~