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The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments(1956)

Remind Me

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  • To create the effect of the sandstorm in the narrated desert sequence, Cecil B. DeMille use the engine blast from tied-down Egyptian air force planes.
  • Director Cecil B. DeMille suffered a heart attack during the production after climbing 130 feet to check a faulty camera perched on one of the giant gates used in the exodus sequence. He took a couple of days off and then, against his doctor's orders, returned to work to complete the film.
  • DeMille gave his old actor friend, H.B. Warner, his last speaking role as the old man wanting to die in the desert in the Exodus sequence. H.B. Warner came to fame after Demille cast him the lead as Jesus in his silent film, King of Kings (1927).
  • This was legendary film composer Elmer Bernstein's first major project. Bernstein had just had some success with his jazz score for Man with the Golden Arm, The (1955). However, he was not DeMille's first choice to score the film. DeMille had a long relationship with Paramount contract composer, Victor Young, who had been working with DeMille since the 1940 film, Northwest Mounted Police. Unfortunately, Victor Young had become very ill and could not accept the project.
  • One day in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, a casting director for The Ten Commandments approached Jack Peters and his son to ask if Jon wanted to appear in the film. Multitudes of people with dark hair and complexions were needed to cross the Red Sea. Jon was chosen to ride a donkey and lead a goat by rope. Jon was so excited that he refused to wash off his makeup when he went home at night.

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