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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Hur’

the-ten-commandments-1956-movie-05Well, it’s the day before Easter which can only mean one thing:  the annual showing of The Ten Commandments, the 1956 epic film from Cecille B. DeMille.  

I always look forward to watching this movie not so much from any admiration of its quality as great cinema (though it is great moviemaking with its beautiful cinematography and color and the great musical score) but more so for the treasure trove of kitsch it bears.  I love the clumsy, stilted lines of dialogue.  The stylized overacting- Anne Baxter’s Nefretiri and John Derek’s Joshua are right out of the earliest, clumsiest silent films.  The boo-hiss quality of Yul Brynner’s Rameses.  And how can you not love Edward G. Robinson playing Dathan, snarling, “Where’s your Moses now?”  in that oft imitated voice straight out of Little Caesar.

But the star is Moses.  Love him or hate him, Charlton Heston was the perfect specimen for this or any epic movie.  Don’t get me started on Ben Hur. His physical stature, his deep voice and his ability to deliver the most wooden lines with complete commitment make his portrayal a complete pleasure to watch.  A tour de force.

Modern moviemakers always try to remake these epic type movies with full attention to every detail, trying to bring realism and authenticity to the story.  But while there may be realism there is no entertainment quality and they never measure up to the very films that some of these people mock.  This is is real entertainment.

So if you get a chance tonight, look in for a while (because it is a very lonnnng movie) and enjoy…


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