This 220 minute recant of Moses’ life and rein in Egypt is undoubtedly a classic. I don’t think anyone of you reading this has either a) not heard of the film or b) can deny it’s excellence. Still today, with all the CGI and special effects used in cinema, I would rather watch this movie for it’s effects and gaze in awe. Now we see a movie and it can all be credited to a computer genius, but in 1956 what computer graphics can we credit to this movie? Not many. It’s a lot of illusions and times stints. An Oscar winning movie that still makes people wonder, even in today’s standards is an achievement in itself.
Growing up going to a Catholic elementary school you can count on The Ten Commandments to be played ever Easter, just as we know Santa shows up every Christmas. My family and I would get our pj’s on and cuddle up in the television room for hours as we made dinner for Easter. This was always the prelude to Jesus Christ Superstar that would play late night on MuchMoreMusic. It’s the story of an Egyptian Price (Moses, played by Charlton Heston) who finds out about his Hebrew slave ancestory and vowes to take the slaves back from Egypt’s grips. In all of this is the religious story of Moses, parting of the red sea, the burning bush, and the ten commandments at Mt. Sinai.
The only other movie I had seen Heston in was Ben-Hur, and that being one of my mums favourite movies, it was always cemented in my mind that Heston was Judah, but this movie broke that stereotype for me. Charlton Heston IS Moses. There is no other actor that could touch him in this role, and no matter what people think of him on a personal level, no one can argue the sheer power of the legend he created. Not only Heston had such a pivitol role, but as Nefretiri Anne Baxtor did such a wonderful job. She made me wants to wear sheer gowns of blue and gold and be apart of the Egyptian royalty. My love for Egypt may have come from this movie subconsciously as I’m thinking now. In high school I had wanted to become a forensic scientist and go to Egypt after I was done university to work. And come to think of it, I’m not sure why I thought of Egypt. Maybe it was the history that you see in movies, how rich and fruitful it appears. Egyptologists must have the coolest jobs.
This past summer my family and I have decided to take ‘a trip of a lifetime’ as my mum calls it, to Egypt next June. To know that I will be standing where Ramses built his empire will be breathtaking; and although this story could very well be a story of fiction, it is not fiction to know who built the temples and pyramids portrayed in this film. When you think of it more as a work of fiction I think The Ten Commandments as a film is seen for what it really is, a spectacle. It has history, drama, romance, action, adventure, power, weakness, family, loss, suffering, humor, triumph. Most importantly though this will be a story that will be told throughout the generations. It will never get old, or dated. The story is really as timeless as one can get.
Hollywood certainly doesn’t make them like they used to.
Nefretiri: Hold me in your arms. Hold me close. You were not born prince of Egypt, Moses. You are the son of Hebrew slaves.