Because it's Easter, the movie, The Ten Commandments, is on TV. I'm sure there were other big budget films like The Ten Commandments made, but those aren't shown every year. Personally, I think Ben-Hur is a better Easter film. And for one with a bum leg, it's a good show to have on TV. Tonight's broadcast is sixteen minutes shy of five hours long. As I watched the show, one actor caught my attention. I don't know if, over the thirty-plus times I've watched the movie, I've ever noticed him before. As I watched him tonight, he made me smile.
There's a lot to like about this movie. It must have been the Star Wars, or Jurassic Park of its day. I can't imagine audiences not going nuts when they saw the City of Sethi's Glory, the Burning Bush, the Pillar of Fire, and--of course--the Parting of the Red Sea. It probably blew their minds.
And, depending on your perspective, it's either held up well, or not at all. It must still have some draw since it plays every year. Nothing in the last sixty-one years has replaced it. On the flip side, oh--the green screen shots! It could be due to the age of the film, and I understand, it was the best, cheapest technology at the time. But by today's standards, it's awful. The acting--if you like that style--is okay, but it's dated as well.
For me, the film has a lot of great quotes. When Yul Brynner says, "No doubt." I know it's strange but I've always loved that. I've also liked the line Joshua gives as an excuse for saving the old woman caught in the rock--"An old woman"--one of my favorites.
In graduate school I read that if you want to read a novel like an English professor, you've got to read Shakespeare and the Bible. I wonder if something similar is found in the film world. If you want to watch a movie like a professor of film, must you watch The Ten Commandments?
Next time you find yourself watching The Ten Commandments, watch as the grain reserved for the Gods falls into the hands and arms of the starving slaves. Check out this guy. I don't know who his is--I tried looking him up on IMDb, but of many names listed, they didn't identify him. I like him because he personifies the message of the film, that no matter how bad it gets, when you consider just how blessed we are, you'll raise your arms to the Heavens as well. May you and your loved ones have a blessed Easter weekend.