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10 COMMANDMENTS - fun facts from Heston's biography

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Making this film was quite an adventure. (as described in: CHARLTON HESTON-HOLLYWOOD'S LAST ICON, by Marc Eliot.)

Charlton Heston kept typed journals of his daily experiences during this film.

No sound was recorded for the Israelites' exodus from Egypt because the herds of animals made so much noise--it was dubbed later.

10 COMMANDMENTS had a fascinating array of "extras", probably just about anyone available in Hollywood, including Patricia Hitchcock, Alfred's daughter.

Victor Mature almost got the role of Moses. But he and DeMille fell out, and Charlton Heston was hired instead.

Raymond Massey almost got the role of Dathan (played by Edward G. Robinson), but he chose instead to film EAST OF EDEN.

Exotic dancers and strippers were hired to fill out the scenes of "golden calf" worship, but they regretted taking on the job---it was weeks of filming in rough ancient clothing.

Martha Scott, who played Moses' birth mother, also played Ben-Hur's mother in BEN-HUR.

The "prop" stone tablets of the 10 Commandments are on permanent display in DeMille's church in Hollywood.

Cecil B. DeMille suffered two heart attacks while making this film.



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Interesting stuff.

I can't imagine Victor Mature as Moses, no matter how hard I try. I can, however, imagine Raymond Massey as Dathan. I generally like Edward G. Robinson but in this movie he's too much like a cartoon villain. (Not that the whole movie isn't kind of a cartoon in a way.) Massey probably would have made him more of a menace. 

I love the part about hiring the strippers. DeMille knew exactly what he was doing injecting all that titillating stuff into a "reverant" movie....selling tickets.

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I just remembered an interesting fact about this movie.  The first time I saw it, when Edward G. Robinson first appeared, I could hear laughter from the audience.  I guess they felt his appearance was rather comical.  Of course, once they got used to seeing him,  the laughter stopped.

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THE FUN THING about Edward G. Robinson is that he STEALS the movie!

Not an easy thing to do in the biggest epic of all time.

He makes all the other actors look darned STIFF.


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