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Ben Hur/Ten Commandments [DVD]

  • SKU: 2891031
  • Release Date: 03/12/2013
  • Rating: G
  • 4.9 (24)
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
4.9
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (24 out of 24)

Special Features

  • Ben Hur features:
  • Commentary by film historian T. Gene Hatcher with Charlton Heston
  • Music-only track showcasing Miklós Rózsa's award-winning score
  • The Ten Commandments features:
  • Commentary by Katherine Orrison, author of "Written in stone: making Cecil B. DeMille's epic, The Ten Commandments"
  • Newsreel: The Ten Commandments premiere in New York
  • Theatrical trailers: 1956 "making of" trailer
  • 1966 trailer
  • 1989 trailer
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

The Ten Commandments
Based on the Holy Scriptures, with additional dialogue by several other hands, The Ten Commandments was the last film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The story relates the life of Moses, from the time he was discovered in the bullrushes as an infant by the pharoah's daughter, to his long, hard struggle to free the Hebrews from their slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Moses (Charlton Heston) starts out "in solid" as Pharoah's adopted son (and a whiz at designing pyramids, dispensing such construction-site advice as "Blood makes poor mortar"), but when he discovers his true Hebrew heritage, he attempts to make life easier for his people. Banished by his jealous half-brother Rameses (Yul Brynner), Moses returns fully bearded to Pharoah's court, warning that he's had a message from God and that the Egyptians had better free the Hebrews post-haste if they know what's good for them. Only after the Deadly Plagues have decimated Egypt does Rameses give in. As the Hebrews reach the Red Sea, they discover that Rameses has gone back on his word and plans to have them all killed. But Moses rescues his people with a little Divine legerdemain by parting the Seas. Later, Moses is again confronted by God on Mt. Sinai, who delivers unto him the Ten Commandments. Meanwhile, the Hebrews, led by the duplicitous Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), are forgetting their religion and behaving like libertines. "Where's your Moses now?" brays Dathan in the manner of a Lower East Side gangster. He soon finds out. DeMille's The Ten Commandments may not be the most subtle and sophisticated entertainment ever concocted, but it tells its story with a clarity and vitality that few Biblical scholars have ever been able to duplicate. It is very likely the most eventful 219 minutes ever recorded to film--and who's to say that Nefertiri (Anne Baxter) didn't make speeches like, "Oh, Moses, Moses, you splendid, stubborn, adorable fool"? ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Ben-Hur
This 1959 version of Lew Wallace's best-selling novel, which had already seen screen versions in 1907 and 1926, went on to win 11 Academy Awards. Adapted by Karl Tunberg and a raft of uncredited writers including Gore Vidal and Maxwell Anderson, the film once more recounts the tale of Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), who lives in Judea with his family during the time that Jesus Christ was becoming known for his "radical" teachings. Ben-Hur's childhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd) is now an ambitious Roman tribune; when Ben-Hur refuses to help Messala round up local dissidents on behalf of the emperor, Messala pounces on the first opportunity to exact revenge on his onetime friend. Tried on a trumped-up charge of attempting to kill the provincial governor (whose head was accidentally hit by a falling tile), Ben-Hur is condemned to the Roman galleys, while his mother (Martha Scott) and sister (Cathy O'Donnell) are imprisoned. But during a sea battle, Ben-Hur saves the life of commander Quintus Arrius (Jack Hawkins), who, in gratitude, adopts Ben-Hur as his son and gives him full control over his stable of racing horses. Ben-Hur never gives up trying to find his family or exact revenge on Messala. At crucial junctures in his life, he also crosses the path of Jesus, and each time he benefits from it. The highlight of the film's 212 minutes is its now-legendary chariot race, staged largely by stunt expert Yakima Canutt. Ben-Hur's Oscar haul included Best Picture, Best Director for the legendary William Wyler, Best Actor for Heston, and Best Supporting Actor for Welsh actor Hugh Griffith as an Arab sheik. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Charlton Heston
    Charlton Heston - Moses
  • Yul Brynner
    Yul Brynner - Rameses
  • Anne Baxter
    Anne Baxter - Nefertiri
  • Edward G. Robinson
    Edward G. Robinson - Dathan
  • Yvonne De Carlo
    Yvonne De Carlo - Sephora

Overall Customer Rating

4.9 (24 Reviews)
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