The Ten Commandments

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The Ten Commandments is a 1956 film about the Egyptian Prince, Moses, who learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
Adapted by Aeneas MacKenzie, Jesse Lasky Jr., Jack Gariss and Fredric M. Frank from the J.H. Ingraham novel Pillar of Fire, the A.E. Southon novel On Eagle's Wings and the Dorothy Clarke Wilson novel Prince of Egypt.
It would take more than a man to lead the slaves from bondage. It would take a God. Taglines

Moses

  • The city is made of bricks. The strong make many, the starving make few, the dead make none. So much for accusations.
  • Blood makes poor mortar.
  • Love cannot drown truth, Nefretiri.
  • What change is there in me? Egyptian or Hebrew I am still Moses. These are the same hands, the same arms, the same face that were mine a moment ago.
  • It would take more than a man to lead the slaves from bondage. It would take a god.
  • There is a beauty beyond the senses, Nefretiri. Beauty like the quiet of green valleys and still waters. Beauty of the spirit that you cannot understand.
  • [to Nefretiri] You may be the lovely dust through which God works his purpose!
  • Thus sayeth the Lord God of Israel: Let my people go.
  • The Lord of Hosts will do battle for us. Behold his mighty hand.
  • Go, proclaim liberty throughout all the land, and to all the inhabitants thereof.
  • Those who shall not live by the law, shall die by the law! [throws the Ten Commandments tablets at the Golden Calf]

Sethi

  • Harden yourself against subordinates. Have no friend. Trust no woman.
  • The one who I choose will be the best man to rule Egypt. I owe that to my fathers, not to my sons.
  • Let the name of Moses be stricken from every book and tablet. Stricken from every pylon and obelisk of Egypt. Let the name of Moses be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of man, for all time.
  • With my last breath I'll break my own law and speak the name of Moses... Moses.

Ramses II

  • [To Nefretiri] You will be mine, like my dog, or my horse, or my falcon, except that I shall love you more - and trust you less.
  • [banishing Moses to the desert] Here is your king's scepter, and here is your kingdom, with the scorpion, the cobra, and the lizard for subjects. Free them if you will. Leave the Hebrews to me.
  • His God... is God!
  • My son, I shall build your tomb upon their crushed bodies.

Others

  • Bithiah: Your tongue will dig your grave, Memnet.
  • Joshua: God made men. Men made slaves.
  • Dathan: Moses has words. Pharaoh has spears!
  • Sephora: [upon meeting Nefretiri] The Queen of Egypt is beautiful . . as he said.

Dialogue

Memnet: What have you found?
Bithiah: The answer to my prayers!
Memnet: You prayed for a basket?
Bithiah: No, I prayed for a son.
Memnet: Your husband is in the house of the dead.
Bithiah: And he has asked the Nile God to bring me this beautiful boy.

Memnet: Do you know the pattern of this cloth?
Bithiah: If my son is wrapped in it, it is a royal robe!

Moses: Great one, I bring you Ethiopia.
[Trumpets play, Ethiopians step forward]
Rameses: Command them to kneel before Pharaoh.
Moses: Command what you have conquered my brother.

Nefretiri: You will be king of Egypt and I will be your footstool!
Moses: The man stupid enough to use you as a footstool isn't wise enough to rule Egypt.

Baka: We use the old ones for greasing the stones. If they are killed it is no loss.
Moses: Are you a master builder or a master butcher?
Baka: If we stop moving stones for every grease woman who falls, the city will not rise.
Overseer: If the slaves are not driven they will not work.
Joshua: If their work lags it is because they are not fed.
Moses: You look strong enough.
Joshua: I am a stone cutter. The pharoah likes his images cut deep.

Baka: Will you lose a throne because Moses builds a city?
Rameses: The city that he builds shall bear my name, the woman that he loves shall bear my child. So let it be written, so let it be done.

Baka: You make no outcry, Joshua, but you will; you will cry for the mercy of death.
Joshua: One day you will listen to the cry of slaves.
Baka: This is not that day, Joshua.

Rameses: You have a rat's ears and a ferret's nose.
Dathan: To use in your service, son of Pharaoh.

Rameses: Now speaks the rat that would be my ears.
Dathan: Too many ears tie a rat's tongue.

Nefretiri: [sorting through various veils and scarves] This is for the temple ceremony... this is for my wedding night!
Memnet: You will never wear it.
Nefretiri: [surprised] Why not?
Memnet: I have brought you a cloth more revealing... send them away.
Nefretiri: [nodding to her servants] Go then, while I hear what this puckered old persimmon has to say!

Moses: No son could have more love for you than I.
Sethi: Then why are you forcing me to destroy you? What evil has done this to you?
Moses: The evil that men should turn their brothers into beasts of burden, to be stripped of spirit, and hope, and strength - only because they are of another race, another creed. If there is a god, he did not mean this to be so.

Sethi: Do you mean to tell me he would turn the slaves against me? I've been his father!
Jannes: Ambition knows no father.

Bithiah: They will stop for me!
Hebrew man: A charging chariot knows no rank!

Nefretiri: You need have no fear of me.
Sephora: I feared only his memory of you.
Nefretiri: You have been able to erase it?
Sephora: He has forgotten both of us. You lost him when he went to seek his god. I lost him when he found his god.

Nefretiri: I saved your son.
Moses: It is not my son who will die, it is the first born of Egypt, it is your son, Nefretiri!
Nefretiri: You would not dare strike Pharaoh's son!
Moses: In the hardness of his heart, Pharaoh has mocked God and brings death to his own son!
Nefretiri: But he is my son. You would not kill my son.
Moses: Without God I am nothing. I am the tool by which he works his will.
Nefretiri: But I saved your son!
Moses: I cannot save yours.

Commander of the Host: Let us go from this place, men cannot fight against a God.
Rameses: Better to die in battle with a God then to live in shame.

Little Boy: The wind opens the sea.
The Blind One: God opens the sea with a blast of his nostrils.

Dathan: Where are we going? Do you know where we're going?
Egyptian Soldier: To Hell, I hope!

Dathan: We shall wander north from Egypt! Do you know why?
The entire tribe of the Children of Israel: For peace?
Dathan: No! For food!

Others

  • "The city is made of bricks. The strong make many, the starving make few, the dead make none." (Moses answering Ramses' accusations that Moses is treating the slaves too generously)
  • "Blood makes poor mortar." (Moses to Baka (Vincent Price), the slave master)
  • "The city that he builds shall bear my name, the woman that he loves shall bear my child." (Ramses, speaking about Moses)
  • "It would take more than a man to lead the slaves from bondage. It would take a god." (Moses)
  • "Better to die in battle with a God than to live in shame". (Ramses)
  • "So let it be written, So let it be done" or "So it shall be written, so it shall be done." (repeated 10 times throughout the movie)
  • "Oh Moses, Moses, you stubborn, splendid, adorable fool!" (Throne Princess Nefertiri (Anne Baxter) to Moses (Charlton Heston))
  • "The evil that men should turn their brothers into beasts of burden, to be stripped of spirit, and hope, and faith - only because they are of another race, another creed. If there is a god, he did not mean this to be so." (Moses in reply to Pharaoh Seti's question in what evil compelled him to murder Baka)
  • "Those who shall not live by the law, shall die by the law" (Moses, upon breaking the covenant over the Golden idol in Mount Sinai)
  • "Come to me no more, Moses, for the day you see my face again you will surely die!" (Ramses) - " 'So let it be written...' " (Moses)
  • "His god... is God!" (Ramses)
  • "You will be my wife. You will come to me whenever I call you, and I will enjoy that very much. Whether you enjoy it or not is entirely your own affair... But I think you will." (Ramses)

Taglines

  • It would take more than a man to lead the slaves from bondage. It would take a God.
  • The Greatest Event in Motion Picture History

Cast

External links