The Ten Commandments is a 1923 American silent religious, epic film and produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Written by Jeanie MacPherson, the film is divided into two parts: a prologue recreating the biblical story of the Exodus and a modern story concerning two brothers and their respective views of the Ten Commandments.
Lauded for its “immense and stupendous” scenes, use of Technicolor process 2, and parting of the Red Sea sequence, the expensive film proved to be a box-office hit upon release. It is the first in DeMille’s biblical trilogy, followed by The King of Kings (1927) and The Sign of the Cross (1932).
The Ten Commandments is one of many works from 1923 that entered the public domain in the United States in 2019.
It was the second most popular film of 1923 in the United States and Canada. The film’s box-office returns held the Paramount revenue record for 25 years until it was broken by other DeMille films. The film competed at the box office with Fox’s The Shepherd King, and won out overall. (by Paul Richardson)