The Ten Commandments

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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.
  • 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.
  • Thus sayeth the Lord God of Israel: Let my people go.
  • 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]

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 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.
  • [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!

Dialogue[edit]

What have you found?
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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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. For 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 island!
Rameses: Laughter? Laughter? My son I shall build your tomb upon their crushed bodies. If any escape me, their seed shall be spattered and accursed forever. My armor! The war crown! 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.

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 than to live in shame.

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]