This is a year for Bible-movie anniversaries. Intolerance turned 100 last month, The Bible: In the Beginning… turns 50 on Wednesday, and The Nativity Story turns 10 in December. But the most significant Bible movie celebrating the end of yet another decade on our screens would have to be the second and most famous version of The Ten Commandments, which premiered 60 years ago in the fall of 1956.
Moses holds a sword to Ramses’ throat and soldiers hold spears galore in new Exodus: Gods and Kings photos
At least fourteen photos and three posters were released this month during the run-up to the first trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings. Now, thanks to a website called Pissed Off Geek, we have at least three more images for our collections.
The most striking, to me, is this shot of Moses holding a sword to Ramses’ throat, which was hinted at in the trailer but is much more explicit in this photo. And look at how much taller Moses is! I can’t think of another movie about the Exodus that made Moses so much more physically imposing, even threatening, than the Pharaoh he confronts. Even Charlton Heston, for all his statuesque poses, was content to proclaim things, point his fingers, and let God and his miracles take care of the rest. (And the Pharaoh opposing him was played by Yul Brynner, who was no slouch in the alpha-male department himself.)
With industry analysts predicting a box-office take of over $300 million, The Passion of The Christ is easily the biggest religious blockbuster in decades. But for sheer popularity, staying power and cultural clout, it would be hard to top the biblical epics of the 1950s.
One film towers above them all. According to Box Office Mojo, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments — which is now available as a “special collector’s edition” DVD — grossed the equivalent of $790 million in its day, and thus remains one of the five most successful films of all time.