The Ten Commandments

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search
The Lord of Hosts will do battle for us. Behold his mighty hand.

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. Written 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[edit]

  • A city is made of brick, Pharaoh. The strong make many. The weak make few. The dead make none. So much for accusations.
  • Blood makes poor mortar.
  • 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.
  • Thus sayeth the Lord God of Israel: "Let my people go!"
  • You gave me this staff to rule of scorpions and serpents, but God made it a rod to rule over kings. Hear his word, Rameses, and obey.
  • Hear, O Israel! Remember this day, when the strong hand of the Lord leads you out of bondage!
  • The Lord of Hosts will do battle for us! BEHOLD HIS MIGHTY HAND!!!
  • Who shall withstand the power of God?!
  • Blasphemers! Idolaters! For this you shall drink bitter waters! God has set before you this day his laws of life and good, and death and evil. Those who will not live by the law... shall die by the law!! [throws the Ten Commandments tablets at the Golden Calf]
  • [Final words] Go, proclaim liberty throughout the land, onto all the inhabitants thereof!

Seti I[edit]

  • 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[edit]

So let it be written.
So let it be done.
  • [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] I commend you to your Hebrew god who has no name. If you die, it will be by his hand, not by mine.
  • Farewell, my one-time brother.
  • Remember your firstborn! Death to the slaves! Death to their god!
  • This is work for a butcher, not a Pharaoh. Destroy them all. But bring Moses to me alive.

Nefretiri[edit]

  • Oh, Moses, Moses…
  • I cursed you. Each time Rameses took me in his arms, I cursed you, not him, because I loved you.
  • But I am Egypt.
  • Does a Pharaoh harden his heart against his son? If you let the Hebrews go, who will build his cities? You told Moses to make bricks without straw. Now he tells you to make cities without bricks. Who is the slave, and who is the Pharaoh? Do you hear laughter, Rameses? Yes. The laughter of kings in Babylon, in Cannan, in Troy, as Egypt surrenders to the god of slaves.

Narrator (Cecil B. DeMille)[edit]

  • [Introduction]
And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. And from this light, God created life upon Earth And man was given dominion over all things upon this Earth, and the power to choose between good and evil, but each sought to do his own will because he knew not the light of God’s law. Man took dominion over man. The conquered were made to serve the conqueror. The weak were made to serve the strong. And freedom was gone from the world. So did the Egyptians cause the children of Israel to serve with rigor, and their lives were made bitter with hard bondage, and their cry came up unto God and God heard them. And cast into Egypt, into the lowly hut of Amram and Yochabel, the seed of a man upon whose mind and heart would be written God’s law and God’s commandments. One man to stand alone against an empire.
  • [After Moses is exiled from Egypt]
Into the blistering wilderness of Shur, the man who walked with kings...now walks alone.
Torn from the pinnacle of royal power; stripped of all rank and earthly wealth; a forsaken man without a country, without a hope; his soul in turmoil like the hot winds and raging sands that lash him with the fury of a taskmaster's whip. He is driven forward, always forward, by a god unknown, toward a land unseen…
Into the molten wilderness of sin where granite sentinels stand as towers of living death to bar his way.
Each night brings the black embrace of loneliness. In the mocking whisper of the wind, he hears the echoing voices of the dark. His tortured mind wondering if they call the memory of past triumphs or wail foreboding of disasters yet to come or whether the desert's hot breath has melted his reason into madness.
He cannot cool the burning kiss of thirst upon his lips nor shade the scorching fury of the sun. All about is desolation. He can neither bless not curse the power that moves him, for he does not know where it comes.
Learning that it can be more terrible to live than to die, he is driven onward through the burning crucible of desert, where holy men and prophets are cleansed and purged for God's great purpose, until at last, at the end of human strength, beaten into the dust from which he came. The metal is ready for the Maker's hand.
And he found strength from a fruit-laden palm tree, and life-giving water flowing from the well of Midian.
  • [On the day of the Hebrews’ freedom]
And it came to pass, after the stifling night of terror, came a day such as the world had never seen. From east and west, from north and south, they came with all they had, driving their flocks and their herds and their camels before them. By tens, by hundreds, by thousands, unending streams of man and beast and burden, and even very much cattle, poured into the Avenue of Sphinxes. Beneath the stone feet of the four colossal images of Rameses, which their own sweat and blood and sinew had hewn from solid rock, a nation arose and freedom was born into the world.
Like Dathan, they did not know where they were going, and they cared no more than the flocks and herds they drove. Now they used the brick yokes to carry a very different burden. And there went forth among them planters of vineyards and sowers of seeds, each hoping to sit under his own vine and fig tree. Out off this glorious chaos, it is Joshua who brings order and purpose.
And he brought forth the people with joy and gladness. He bore them out of Egypt as an eagle bears its young upon its wings.
But again, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened…

Others[edit]

  • Bithiah: You will be the glory of Egypt, my son. Mighty in words and deeds. Kings shall bow before you. Your name will live on when the pyramids are dust. And…because I drew you from the water, you shall be called Moses. Moses! Moses!
  • Aaron: Arise, O Israel! Behold the dawn of freedom!
  • Commander of the Hosts: I’ve known battle for 30 years, Pharaoh, but I’ve not known fear till tonight.
  • Song of Joseph:
Jacob cherished
His son Joseph
Many colors was his coat.
God of A’bram
Isaac, Jacob
Ever bless us with Thy hand

Dialogue[edit]

What have you found?
[As they are setting a baby Moses away]
Miriam: But Mother, we have not even given him a name.
Yochabel: God will give him a name

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: [about the Hebrew cloth Moses lies in] 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.

Announcer: The Lord Moses, Prince of Egypt, son of the Pharaoh’s sister, beloved of the Nile god, commander of the Southern Host!
Egyptian 1: Welcome home!
Egyptian 2: Prince Moses!
Jannes: The blessing of the god Amun-Ra be upon you, Great Prince! He has brought down the pride of Ethiopia. Yes, that is…
Seti: [As Jannes continues on] The old windbag.
Nefretiri: I agree with him.

Seti: Would you please your Pharaoh, Moses?
Moses: Your wish is my will.
Seti: Then you build the city
Rameses: A wise decision. [To Moses] Noble task.
Seti: Rameses, do you believe this slave deliverer is a myth?
Rameses: What I believe is of no account. What matters is the slaves believe in him.
Seti: Of course, of course. Then you, too, shall go to Goshen. Learn if this deliverer be a myth or a man. If a myth, bring him to me in a bottle. If a man, bring him to me in chains.
Rameses: So let it be written, so let it be done.

Joshua: Here! Water lily!
Lilia: My name is Lilia.
Joshua: To me you are a lily, and I want water.

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.

Yochabel: My noble one, it caught. I had not the strength to free myself.
Moses: Your shoulder should not bear a burden, old woman. [Begins cutting her loose]
Yochabel: The Lord has renewed my strength and lightened my burdens.
Moses: He would have done better to remove them.

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 pharaoh likes his images cut deep.
Moses has words. Pharaoh has spears!

Moses: You know it is death to strike an Egyptian.
Joshua: I know it.
Moses: Yet you struck him. Why?
Joshua: To free the old woman.
Moses: What is she to you?
Joshua: An old woman.
Egyptian guard: Lord Moses, send him to his death!
Moses: The man has courage. You do not speak like a slave.
Joshua: God made man. Man made slaves.
Moses: Which god?
Joshua: The God of Abraham, the Almighty God!
Moses: If your God is Almighty, why does He leave you in bondage?
Joshua: He will choose the hour of our freedom and the man who will deliver us!

Seti: Are you quite sure it will be Rameses?
Jannes: Who else could succeed you?
Nefretiri: Moses, of course!
Jannes: Because of Moses there is no wheat in the temple granaries.
Seti: [peering at Jannes] You don't look any leaner.

Rameses: Difficulty with the slaves, my brother?
Moses: None that could not be cures by a ration of grain and a day of rest.
Rameses: A day of rest?
Moses: When your horses tire, they’re rested. When they hunger, they’re fed.
Rameses: Slaves draw brick and stone. My horses draw the next Pharaoh.
Moses: Is there any grain stored here in Goshen?
Rameses: None that you would dare take, my brother.
Joshua: The temple granaries are full.
Moses: [To Joshua] Bring the push-pole men and some women with baskets.
Joshua: I will…great prince.
Rameses: I warn you, Moses, the temple grain belongs to the gods.
Moses: What the gods can digest will not sour in the belly of a slave.

[After Nefretiri kisses Rameses and he shoves her away]
Rameses: I know you, my sweet. You’re a sharp-clawed, treacherous little peacock. But you’re food for the gods, and I’m going to have all of you
Nefretiri: None of me. Did you think my kiss was a promise of what you’ll have? No, my pompous one, it was to let you know what you will not have. I could never love you.
Rameses: Does that matter? 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 your own affair. But I think you will.
[Rameses leaves and Nefretiri wipes her lips in disgust]

Seti: With so many slaves, you could build…an army.
Moses: But I have built a city. Sixteen of these lions of Pharaoh will guard its gates. And it shall be the city of Seti’s glory.
Seti: Mm. Are these slaves loyal to Seti’s glory, or to you, Moses?
Moses: The slaves worship their God, and I serve only you.

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 it shall be written, so it shall be done.

Yochabel:Why have you come here?
Bithiah: Because Moses will come here.
Yochabel:My son?
Bithiah: No, my son. And that’s all he must know.
Yochabel:My lips might deny him, great one, but my eye never could.
Bithiah: You shall leave Goshen, you and your family, tonight.
Yochabel: We are Levites, appointed shepherds of Israel. We cannot leave our people.
Bithiah: Would you take from Moses all that I have given him? Would you undo all that I have done for him? I have put the throne of Egypt within his reach. What can you give him in its place?
Yochabel:I gave him life.
Bithiah: I gave him love!

Moses: 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.
Yochabel: A moment ago, you were her son, the strength of Egypt. Now you are mine, a slave in Egypt. You find no shame in this?
Moses: There is no shame in me. How can I feel shame for the woman who bore me?

Moses: That’s a hard dance you do, old man.
Old Man: We’ve been dancing it for 400 years…[A whips cracks in the background followed by a low moan] …to grim music.

Moses: You bring a warm smile with your cool water.
Lilia: My smile is for a stonecutter. The water is for you.

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.

Nefretiri: If you want to help your people, come back to the palace.
Moses: And hide the truth from Seti, that I am Hebrew and a slave?
Nefretiri: The truth would break his dear old heart, and send Bithiah into exile and death. Think of us and stop hearing the cries of your people.
Moses: Their god does not hear their cry.
Nefretiri: Will Rameses hear it, if he is made Pharaoh? No, he would grind them into the clay they mold and double their labors. And what about me? Think of me as his wife. Do you want to see me in Rameses' arms?
Moses: No!
Nefretiri: Then come back with me.

Seti: I do not care who you are or what you are or what they may say about you, but I want to hear from your own lips that you are not a traitor, that you would not lead these people in revolt against me. Tell me, Moses. I will believe you.
Moses: I am not this deliverer you fear. I would take more than a man to lead the slaves from bondage. It would take a god. But if I could free them, I would.
Seti: What has turned you against me? From the time my sister brought you to the court, I loved you, reared you, set you before my own son, because I saw in you a worth and a greatness above other men.
Moses: No son could have more love for you than I.
Seti: 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.

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

[After Moses saves Sephora and beats the Amalekites]
Moses: Let them be first whose hands have drawn the water.
Sephora: The stranger is wise… [Looks over at the beaten men] …and strong.

Moses: At such a time, has any man ever gone to see him [God] face to face?
Sephora: No man has ever set foot on the forbidden slopes of Sinai. Why do you want to see him, Moses?
Moses: To know that he is. And if he is, to know why he has not heard the cries of slaves in bondage.
Sephora: Moses, it would be death to look upon his face.
Moses: How many of my people have died because he has turned away his face?
Sephora: Can a man judge God? No, Moses. We cannot see his whole purpose. Even Ishmael did not know that God drove him into the desert to be the father of a nation. Is it not enough to know that he had saved you from the Pharaoh’s anger?
Moses: How do you know that?
Sephora: You walk like a prince. And you fight like a warrior. There is word in the caravans of a great one who was driven out of Egypt.
Moses: This is not the scepter of a prince, but the staff of a wanderer.
Sephora: Then rest from wandering. My father has many flocks, but no son to tend them. There would be peace of spirit for you, Moses, in our tents beneath the holy mountain.
Moses: You have strong faith in the God, Sephora. But, for me, there is no peace of spirit until I hear the word of God, from God himself.

Sephora: Which of my sisters did you choose?
Moses: I made no choice, Sephora.
Sephora: She was very beautiful, wasn’t she? This woman of Egypt who left her scar upon your heart. Her skin was white as curd. Her eyes, green as the cedar of Lebanon. Her lips, tamarisk honey. Like the breast of a dove, her arms were soft. And the wine of desire was in her veins.
Moses: Yes. She was beautiful, as a jewel.
Sephora: A jewel has brilliant fire, but gives no warmth. Our hands are not so soft, but they can serve. Our bodies not so white, but they are strong. Our lips are not perfumed, but they speak the truth. Love is not an art to us. It’s life to us. We are not dressed in gold or fine linen. Strength and honor are our clothing. Our tents are not the marbled halls of Egypt, but our children play happily. We can offer you little, but we offer all we have.
Moses: I have not little, Sephora. I have nothing.
Sephora: Nothing from some is more than gold from others.
Moses: You would fill the emptiness of my heart?
Sephora: I could never fill all of it, Moses. But I shall not be jealous of a memory.
[Moses takes her hand and puts his marriage band around her arm]

Joshua: Praise God I have found you!
Moses: Joshua? We thought you dead.
Joshua: In the copper mines of Geber, the living are dead.

Joshua: Is the holy mountain forbidden to men?
Sephora: Yes. And I am afraid for him
Joshua: [Seeing Moses] Then he is more than man, for look…

Joshua: Did he ask something of you?
Moses: That I go to Egypt.
Joshua: You are God’s messenger! He has set the day of deliverance. I will get water and bread that we may leave at once.
Sephora: But Egypt holds death for you.
Moses: If it be his will.
Sephora: Where he sends you, I shall go. Your God is my God.
Joshua: I will lead men against the armory at Migdol and get swords for the people!
Moses: It is not by the sword that he will deliver his people, but by the staff of a shepherd.

Egyptian Guard: What kingdom has sent you?
Moses: The kingdom of the Most High

Nefretiri: But beauty of the spirit will not free your people, Moses. You will come to me or they will never leave Egypt.
Moses: The fate of Israel is not in your hands, Nefretiri
[Moses turns and walks away, but Nefretiri blocks his exit]
Nefretiri: Oh, isn’t it? Who else can soften Pharaoh’s heart? Or harden it?
Moses: [Takes hold of her jaw] Yes. You may be the lovely dust through which God will work his purpose.

Joshua: They told me you were dead.
Lilia: To all I love, Joshua, I am dead.

Jannes: Great one, you hear the cry of Egypt.
Rameses: They would cry louder if they had to make the bricks.

Egyptian Tax Collector: Can taxes be collected from dead cattle and blighted harvests?
Rameses: Does fear rule Egypt?! Or do I?

Moses: If there is one more plague on Egypt, it is by your word that God will bring it. And there shall be so great a cry throughout the land…that you will surely let the people go. [Walks away]
Rameses: Come to me no more Moses! For on the day you see my face again, you will surely die!
Moses: So let it be written.

Bithiah: In fear of your God, they have set me free. May a stranger enter?
Moses: There are no strangers among those who seek God’s mercy.
Bithiah: My bearers?
Moses: All who thirst for freedom may come with us.

Joshua: If it is not forbidden to look upon the breath of pestilence, then see, for it is here.
[Eleazar begins to rush to the door, but Moses grabs his arm]
Moses: Do not look, Eleazar. [To Joshua] Close the door, Joshua, and let death pass.

Miriam: Death is all around us!
Joshua: But it passes those who have believed the Lord.
Moses: Always remember, Eleazar, he passed over your house.

Rameses: You have conquered, Moses. The foot of a slave is on the neck of Egypt. You were saved from the Nile to be a curse upon me. Your shadow fell between me and my father, between me and my fame, between me and my queen. Your shadow now fills all things with death. Go out from among us, you and your people. I set you free.
Moses: It is not by your word, nor by my hand that we are free, Pharaoh. The power of God has freed us.
Rameses: Enough of your words! Take your people, your cattle, your god and your pestilence. [Throws his collar to the ground] Take what spoils from Egypt you will, but go!

[After discovering that Joshua had marked his doorpost]
Dathan: Your stonecutter did this to me!
Lilia: All you gold cannot wipe that mark from you door, Dathan, or my heart. [walks away]
Dathan: Just for that, you’ll walk all the way to… Where are we going? [To the guard] Do you know where we’re going?
Guard: To hell, I hope!

Caleb: Do you hear thunder? Over the sea?
Joshua: No, it comes from the desert. That’s the thunder of horses!

Bithiah: They will stop for me!
Hebrew man: A charging chariot knows no rank!
I lost him when he found his god.

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.

Nefretiri: How many more days and nights will you pray? Does he hear you?
Rameses: Dread Lord of Darkness, I have raised my voice to you, yet life has not come to the body of my son. Hear me!
Nefretiri: He cannot hear you. He's nothing but a piece of stone with the head of a bird.
Rameses: He will hear me. I am Egypt.
Nefretiri: Egypt? You are nothing. You let Moses kill my son. No god can bring him back. What have you done to Moses? How did he die? Did he cry for mercy when you tortured him? Bring me to his body! I want to see it, Rameses! I want to see it!
Rameses: This is my son. He would have been Pharaoh and would have ruled the world. Who mourns him now? Not even you. All you can think of is Moses. You will not see his body. I drove him out of Egypt. I cannot fight the power of his God.
Nefretiri: His God? The priests say that Pharaoh is a god. But you are not a god. You are even less than a man! Listen to me, Rameses. You thought I was evil when I went to Moses. And you were right. Shall I tell you what happened, Rameses? He spurned me like a strumpet in the street. I, Nefretiri, Queen of Egypt! All that you wanted from me he would not even take! Do you hear laughter, Pharaoh? Not the laughter of kings, but the laughter of slaves on the desert!
Rameses: Laughter? Laughter?! [Shoves her aside and rings the gong] My son I shall build your tomb upon their crushed bodies. If any escape me, their seed shall be spattered and accursed forever. [To the arriving servant] My armor! War crown![To Nefretiri] Laughter... I will turn the laughter of these slaves into wails of torment! They shall remember the name of Moses! Only that he died under my chariot wheels!
Nefretiri: Kill him with your own hands.

Nefretiri: [Bringing Rameses his sword] Bring it back to me, stained with his blood.
Rameses: I will. [Takes the sword and sheathes it] To mingle with your own!

Commander of the Host: He opens the waters before them, and he bars our way with fire. Let us go from this place. Men cannot fight against a God.
Rameses: Better to die in battle with a God than to live in shame.

Dathan: Pull! Pull for your lives!
Lilia: Is your life worth so much?

Joshua: There is a noise of war in the camp.
Moses: It is not the noise of war. It is the noise of song and revelry.

[Walking into the throne room, Rameses lifts his sword to kill Nefretiri]
Nefretiri: Before you strike, show me his blood on your sword.
[Lowering his arm, Rameses tosses the sword down and sits]
Nefretiri: You couldn’t even kill him.
Rameses: His god…is God!

Taglines[edit]

  • 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[edit]

You will be my wife. You will come to me whenever I call you, and I will enjoy that very much.

External links[edit]