Ralph's Daily Devotional - Friday, June 22

"The Ten Commandments" film, starring Charlton Heston, is still to this day a magnificent and reverent portrayal of the Exodus story.

While producing and directing this huge epic, Cecil B DeMille refused to rely on the convenience of Hollywood sets to shoot its scenes.  While extremely expensive and timely to shoot it outside of the studio lots, he nevertheless went to the Holy land to gain a sense of reality that would have been impossible otherwise.

I never tire of seeing this film.  My first showing was in 1956 with my parents at New York's RKO Theater.  The screen there was huge by today's standards.  In fact, part of it was covered until the parting of the Red Sea scene, when the full screen was unveiled.  Spielberg states that to this day, that scene is still considered the best studio special effects work ever executed. 

While by today's standards the acting is somewhat hokey at times and the sets rather staged, nevertheless everything about this film is amazing and wonderful.  Now available on Bluray, its spectacular presentation is better than ever.  Yul Brenner is amazing as Pharaoh.  His best line was after the final plague and his admitted defeat, when he says, referring to Moses, "His God IS God."

An amazing side note to this is that DeMille suffered a massive heart attack while on location shooting.  They wanted to take him out of the film's production to recover.  He said in his journal that he prayed fervently that night to be able to finish the film to showcase God's glory.  To the amazement of all, he miraculously and fully recovered and went on to complete the film!

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