The Ten Commandments

1956 G 3h 40m DVD

The Ten Commandments

1956 G 3h 40m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
The story of Moses comes to life in director Cecil B. DeMille's gigantic retelling. As the Egyptian prince turned Prophet of the Jews, Charlton Heston is Biblical fury incarnate, memorably smashing God's stone tablets in the face of his golden calf-worshipping followers. Yul Brynner is the caustic Pharaoh Rameses, who pursues Moses' followers at his own peril.
Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget, John Derek, Cedric Hardwicke, Nina Foch, Martha Scott, Judith Anderson, Vincent Price, John Carradine, Douglass Dumbrille
Cecil B. DeMille
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.66:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, French: Dolby Digital Mono
G - All ages admitted. Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.
age 9+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 9+
age 9+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that there are potentially nightmare-inducing elements for small children, such as the Ten Plagues (which do not spare children and innocents). While essential parts are faithful to the biblical narrative, much of the late parts of Exodus and Deuteronomy are excised, and much is Hollywood scriptwriters filling in the blanks with romantic-triangle melodrama. Part of the appeal of "biblical epics" was that they could get away with depicting some pretty intense (for the time) violence and sensuality, as long as it was in the context of sin and inevitably punished by heaven. This wasn't the worst offender by far -- in fact scenes of debauchery come off as more silly than sexy -- but that's something to keep in mind.

Sexual Content

Egyptian and Hebrew glamour-girls in flowing robes. The queen of Egypt refers to "strumpets." When the Hebrews make a golden-calf idol to worship they celebrate with sinful "lasciviousnessÂżiniquity...adultery" that translates as a rowdy, sensual revel, with a lot of festive dancing, roughhousing, and writhing around -- it's more silly than steamy.


Hebrew slaves are whipped, threatened with death (including an old woman nearly crushed under a stone), and occasionally killed on camera. Moses strangles an Egyptian baddie, and a princess is nearly murdered. Children (in the massacres/deaths of the first born) die off-screen, and a boy's body is shown.


Not applicable

Social Behavior

Moses is the ultimate Good Guy, played with sterling qualities of manliness, respect, humility, piety, you name it. Even conquered enemies and slaves revere him (there's a hint that his rugged sex appeal has a bit to do with it). Except for conquered Ethiopians and Yul Brynner's pharaoh, everyone looks ethnically more or less Caucasian -- rather than distinctly Middle Eastern or North African.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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