On this Day in Movie History, October 14, 1954: C.B. DeMille epic, “The Ten Commandments” Started Filming in Egypt

It was on this day, October 14, 1954, the C.B. DeMille epic, “The Ten Commandments”, starring Charlton Heston, began filming in Egypt. Partially a remake of DeMille’s 1923 silent film, the 1956 epic film that dramatized the biblical story of the Exodus, in which the Hebrew-born Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince, becomes the deliverer of the Hebrew slaves, is one of the most financially successful films ever made, grossing over $65 million at the US box office. Adjusting for inflation, this makes it the sixth highest-grossing movie domestically, with an adjusted total of $1,025,730,000 in 2012.

The Ten Commandments Starred Charlton Heston in the lead role, Yul Brynner as his adoptive brother, Pharaoh Rameses II, Anne Baxter as Nefretiri, Edward G. Robinson as Dathan, Yvonne De Carlo as Sephora, Debra Paget as Lilia, and John Derek as Joshua. The supporting cast includes Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Pharaoh Seti I, Nina Foch as Bithiah, Martha Scott as Yoshebel, Judith Anderson as Memnet, Vincent Price as Baka, and John Carradine as Aaron.

In 1999, The Ten Commandments was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

In June 2008, AFI revealed its “Ten Top Ten”—the best ten films in ten American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. The Ten Commandments was listed as the 10th best film in the epic genre.

The film received seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, and won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Charlton Heston was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor in the drama category. Yul Brynner won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor for his role as Rameses, along with his other roles in The King and I and Anastasia.

Birthdays
1893 – Lillian Gish (de Guiche) (actress: Birth of a Nation, Orphans of the Storm, Sweet Liberty, A Wedding, The Whales of August; died Feb 27, 1993)

1924 – Robert Webber (actor: Private Benjamin, 10, Revenge of the Pink Panther, The Stripper, The Sandpiper, Twelve Angry Men, Moonlighting; died May 19, 1989)

1927 – Sir Roger (George) Moore (actor: The Saint, Maverick, The Persuaders, The Alaskans; James Bond ‘007’: A View to a Kill, For Your Eyes Only, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun, Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy)

1952 – Harry Anderson (actor: Night Court, Dave’s World; magician)

1956 – Arleen Sorkin (actress: It’s Pat: The Movie, Days of Our Lives, Duet; TV host: America’s Funniest People)

1962 – Trevor Goddard (actress: JAG, Mortal Kombat, Assault on Devil’s Island, First Encounter, Deep Rising, Dead Man’s Run; died June 7, 2003)

1970 – Jon Seda (actor: Twelve Monkeys, Primal Fear, Homicide: Life on the Street, Oz, Thin Air, Rikki the Pig, Double Bang)

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