A Random Thought on The Ten Commandments (1956)

Yesterday I got the chance to do something I thought I would never get to do: I got to see the 1956 epic The Ten Commandments on the big screen at my local theater (it’s a program that Turner Classic Movies runs every year where each month select classic films are run in theaters for a very limited time). While this movie was made long before my time, I grew up watching classic cinema, and watching The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur (1959) was an annual tradition at our house.


How was it? In a word, INCREDIBLE! I’m not sure what excited me more: seeing the film in a theater or hearing Elmer Bernstein’s standout score in surround sound (probably both). This is the film that made Elmer Bernstein (no relation to Leonard by the way) famous, as it was his first major film score.


My favorite moment (and I knew it would be going in) was the incredible “parting of the Red Sea.” They could completely recreate this scene in CGI and the original would STILL look better, simply because it feels REAL, there’s a reality to the special effects in this film that CGI could never touch. When the moment began and the music swelled, I tell you, I was covered in goosebumps from head to toe.

Watching this classic film in the theater brought it home to me that Hollywood does NOT make movies like this anymore. Think about it, of all the movies coming out since the year 2000, how many can you honestly say you would watch 60 years from now?

This was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait for the chance to see another classic film in the theater!

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5 thoughts on “A Random Thought on The Ten Commandments (1956)

  1. christinawehner

    I’m going to see this on Wednesday! Seriously excited and glad to here that the experience was so fantastic!

    I know what you mean about how real it feels. Have you seen the trailer for the new Ben-Hur? The chariot race looks so CGI over-the-top it made me nostalgic for the ’59 version.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jordan Richardson

    I know what you mean. Audiences have become so accustomed to the efficient “perfection” of CGI that epic movies actually lose that “epicness” that made them so grand in the first place. Movies like the revised BEN HUR look like cop-outs.

    For a while, it seemed like epics were making a comeback (BRAVEHEART, GLADIATOR, LORD OF THE RINGS). But even those films seem like they came from another era, where real landscapes played a role and tons of extras made roaring action sequences seem authentic. Now we’re left with shortcuts, green screens and a lack of heart. I’d rather have the flawed humanity of 1959 cinema any day of the week.

    Welcome back, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person


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