Production info

The Ten Commandments
USA, 1923

Theodore Roberts
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille

  

The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy of the commandments in modern life through a story set in San Francisco (!). Two brothers, rivals for the love of Mary, also come into conflict when John discovers Dan used shoddy materials to construct a cathedral.

The exodus was actually filmed in California at Nipomo Dunes near Pismo Beach, where its sand dunes provided an Egyptian looking desert. After filming the massive set of four 35 foot tall Pharaoh statues, 21 sphinxes, and gates reaching a height of 110 feet, were dismantled and buried in the sand. The remains of this site were discovered again in 1983, and in 1988 'DeMille's lost city' passed into the hands of The Nature Conservancy. Hollywood Heritage offered its non-profit sponsorship and in 1990 Bank of America, who had originally sponsored the movie back in 1923, provided a grant for an archaeological survey.


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