Passover and Easter are coming up, and ABC did not let the coronavirus pandemic stop it from following its annual tradition to air The Ten Commandments. Viewers have been happy to see the movie, which takes four hours to air thanks to commercials, during the crisis. It has helped many take their minds off the situation for just a little bit.
The Ten Commandments is Cecil B. DeMille's film version of the story of Passover, which begins Wednesday night and lasts through April 16. Although the film will celebrate its 64th anniversary later this year, it has remained a part of the popular lexicon because at least one major network has been airing it during the Passover and Easter season every year since 1973. The film also remains one of the biggest box office hits in movie history, grossing $122.7 million upon its initial release. Adjusted for inflation, that's about $1.15 billion in 2019 dollars.
The film features Charlton Heston as Moses, who was raised as the brother of the Egyptian Prince Rameses before learning he was really born to a Jewish family. After learning his true origin, he ran from Egypt until he heard the voice of God from the Burning Bush and returned to Egypt to free the Hebrews. Rameses, now Pharoah, refused until God sent the 10 plagues upon Egypt. After freeing the Hebrews, Rameses chased them to the shores of the Red Sea. God parted the Red Sea, allowing the Hebrews to escape. During the Exodus, Moses was given the Ten Commandments from God.
Phew saw the ten commandments trending and thought he got coronavirus pic.twitter.com/jdhBFbtizz— Mega Gamer #SoraForSmash (@Mega_Gamer123YT) April 5, 2020
The Ten Commandments, which DeMille previously filmed in 1923, is a star-studded movie with major actors filling out nearly every role. Aside from Heston, the movie stars Yul Brynner as Rameses, Anne Baxter as Nefretiri, Edward G. Robinson as Dathan, Yvonne De Carlo as Sephora, Debra Paget as Lilia, John Derek as Joshua, Nina Foch as Bithiah and Vincent Price as Baka.
The Ten Commandments tonight 7p ET on ABC... Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, dir. Cecil B. DeMille... A CLASSIC! pic.twitter.com/jApnyu9PAh— Markas Ackerman (@MarkasAckerman) April 4, 2020
Parting the Red Sea
Watching The Ten Commandments. A movie about plagues that strike a nation because God wants to free his people from an oppressive and evil ruler. Hmmmmmm pic.twitter.com/JoVNmaYvmq— John Anderson (@jtadrum) April 4, 2020
Although the film was a critical and commercial hit, the movie only won an Oscar for Best Special Effects. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Art Direction - Set Direction, Best Color Costume Design, Best Sound Recording and Best Film Editing.
The Ten Commandments— L. Morrison (@LAMeducatorTX) April 4, 2020
my favorite part...
(no pun intended) pic.twitter.com/CGJwLK4LQK
'One of My Favorite Movies to Watch Every Year'
One of my favorite movies to watch every year if I catch it is legit The Ten Commandments. It’s over-the-top & like 4 hrs long...but Yul Brynner is extremely hot in it & Anne Baxter’s costumes are incredible & I’ve adored them since I was a child. Anyway, it’s on ABC right now pic.twitter.com/KMOBHZcn7t— V. (@Lady_VEE) April 4, 2020
Sadly, The Ten Commandments is not available to stream with a subscription to Netlfix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. It is available to rent on Amazon for $3.99 and buy for $9.99. Paramount has kept the film in print on DVD and Blu-ray, so you can order physical copies as well.
Every year my mom would watch The Ten Commandments and go on about how good it was and how good the actors were back then.— John (@John_Florida_) April 4, 2020
So tonight I'm going to tell all of you what a great movie this is. They really don't make them like they used to. pic.twitter.com/GGYdzeZWXz
"Yul Brynner plays one of the coolest villains of all time on The Ten Commandments," one person tweeted.
The Ten Commandments needs one update pic.twitter.com/2sFqrHNCKG— jeffrey 🛸✨ (@Jxff4y) April 5, 2020
"Randomly started watching The Ten Commandments with my mom and dammit, it’s great!" one person wrote as an example of how the film brings generations together.
'Watching My Man Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments is Tradition'
y’all I know The Ten Commandments historically inaccurate but .... 😳🥵 https://t.co/Llsr4C6yhy— Lauren Walsh (@LaurenWalshArt) April 5, 2020
Every year, people fall in love with Yul Brynner's performance. The actor is also known for his stellar performance in The King and I, which earned him an Oscar. His other movie credits include Westworld, The Magnificent Seven and Anastasia (1956).
Watching my man Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments is tradition. pic.twitter.com/69GSEnNJrk— Christina's Artistic Imaginings (@ArtisticCMR) April 5, 2020
'Just What I Need'
"Praise the LORD that the annual showing of The Ten Commandments is tonight. This campy ridiculousness is just what I need," one fan wrote.
"The Ten Commandments" Would like to remind everyone that Lily Munster played beautiful Sephora. pic.twitter.com/jPXqzcCbyU— Allison Brannock (@AllisonBrannock) April 5, 2020
"Every year, my Dad watched The Ten Commandments and we all complained about being 'forced' to watch it. It's on now and I can't help up laugh, smile and watch. I'm sure he's watching it in heaven," another wrote.
Photo credit: LMPC via Getty Images