GARRY ARMSTRONG REVIEWS “THE TEN COMMANDMENTS”

We did our annual viewing of “The Ten Commandments” last night. It’s an annual rite of Spring and Easter Eve here.

We watched on our hinky DVD. The discs and the player are so hinky and old that we had glitches in the climactic scenes as Moses, Moses and the freed slaves begin their bigly Pilgrimage out of Egypt. We could have watched on ABC, but they have a gazillion commercials. Not in the mood for all that advertising time.

The movie

“Ten Commandments” really is a fun event thanks to Cecil B, beginning with his on-stage intro. The curtains seemed to open slower this year. Could be the hinky DVD or maybe the curtains open slower with each passing view. We always appreciate Cecil’s humility. I’m surprised he didn’t include himself as one of the on site contributors to the events in his bigly classic.

There is so much to appreciate if you just let yourself go and enjoy as a guilty pleasure. The humongous cast. Especially the featured players in very small size print as the open credits role. I never spot Clint Walker, who I suspect was one of Rameses’ body guards. Woodrow “Woody” Strode is obvious as the Nubian King who comes to pay tribute to Pharaoh (Sir Cedric Hardwicke). I don’t know who played the sexy Nubian Queen who obviously drew the scorn of Anne Baxter. She was clearly aware that once you go Black you never go back.

Lawrence Dobkin, with a wonderful toupee, has a lot of face time as one of Moses, Moses confidantes. Dobkin, you mavens surely know, was a busy chrome dome in 50’s television. Ditto Michael “Cochise” Ansara as an Egyptian Guard. I don’t think Ansara had any lines, just a few grunts and yells.

I scanned Anne Baxter’s cortege of scantily clad girl friends. No familiar faces but they were bigly bodacious. No “sisters” in Anne’s gang. No wonder she was jealous of the Nubian Queen.

Eddie G. Robinson probably had a blast as the nefarious Dathan, a toga and sandals version of Enrico Bandetti and Johnny Rocco. Eddie G “played” everyone with that smirky smile. He and Vinnie Price were a marvelous villainous duo. Vinnie was the syndicate “John” and Eddie, the pimp.

John Carradine always looks befuddled as Aaron who takes the fall for anything that Moses, Moses screws up.

Debra Paget, the central casting White Indian Princess, is the so fetching and vulnerable damsel who will do ANYTHING for John Derek’s Joshua. ANYTHING. Wonder if she did a Playboy spread for Derek? Debra preceded Ursula Andress, Linda Evans and Bo Derek in Joshua’s photography studio.

For all our jibes, Cecil B’s special effects are still impressive in our CGI era. The Red Sea parting alone is worth a rally of cheers.

Charlton Heston and the 10 commandments

A quickie question: Why weren’t Moses, Moses hands burned when he picked up the two ten commandments plaques after God just burned them into the rocks? Follow up question: Who did the voice of God? This was way before Morgan Freeman’s time.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

Author: Garry Armstrong

As a reporter for Channel 7 in Boston for 31 years, I was witness to most of the major events affecting the region. I met a lot of people ... politicians, actors, moguls, criminals and many regular folks caught up in extraordinary situations. Sometimes, I write about the people I've met and places I've been. Sometimes, I write about life, my family, my dogs and me. Or what might otherwise be called Life.

17 thoughts on “GARRY ARMSTRONG REVIEWS “THE TEN COMMANDMENTS””

  1. Not forgetting Lily from the Munsters (Yvonne De Carlo) and the King, from the King and I, Yul Brynner as Pharoah. πŸ™‚

    As for Moses, Moses’s fingers… the Lord protects those who do his Works – like he prevented anyone from getting blisters on the 40 year wandering the Wilderness Magical Mystery Tour! and making sure their clothes and sandal’s didn’t wear out. No mean ‘feat’ considering how abrasive that sand musta been? πŸ˜‰

    Nice ‘Wolverine’ hand action you got going there too, Garry! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bob. Yes, Yvonne DeCarlo still had “it”. Thought she did better job than the highly touted Anne Baxter who never really topped her work in “All About Eve”. Baxter was unintentionally funny as the temptress. A caricature for sure.

      I loved the “40 years later” makeup on the actors. So transparent. If only we looked that good in our golden years. Probably could use Edith Head and the other Hollywood Hall Of fame makeup people.

      I still think Eddie G. had the most fun as the leering, lecherous Dathan. He knew how to work the crowd which I compare to “what have you done for me lately?” Red Sox fans.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We can look back on those films now and smile, laugh even.. but back in the day we thought they were the tops!

        Sorry – the Red Sox (Beisbol team??) reference went WHOOSHH! – over the old dome.

        We could probably all use a little magic help from Edith but i guess that would be kinda difficult nowadays. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Marilyn — YOU got it, solid base hit! Line drive of Yul’s head, bouncing into desert. Moses, Moses, Moses — wake up and chase down that ball.

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    1. Garry and I tried to remember then all. The thing is, the first part is a long chain and related events having to do with ones relationship to God. Whether it’s one, two, three or more commandments, it’s pretty hard to tell. And these days, with all the variations on bibles they’s translated, it’s even more complicated. So we always remember the simple ones — don’t kill, don’t lie, be nice to mom and dad and don’t envy your neighbor’s ass. After that, it gets hinky.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have tried this one on a LOT of people and it isn’t so simple. Because different bibles have them listed in slightly different order and for some reason, we forget the ones that aren’t a part of our daily lifes. Funny about that, eh? Maybe there WILL be a quiz. At my age, I sure hope not!

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