Meek, mystical, or monumental?: Competing representations of Moses within Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956 & 1923)

Anton Kozlovic

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Auteur film director Cecil B. DeMille was a co-founder of Hollywood, a progenitor of Paramount Pictures, and a master of the American biblical epic responsible for the 1956 and 1923 versions of The Ten Commandments. The critical DeMille, film and religion literature was selectively reviewed, and these two watershed biblical epics were examined to reveal competing representations of Moses utilizing humanist film criticism as the guiding analytical lens. It was concluded that Theodore Roberts' mystical, wild-fire Moses differed significantly from Charlton Heston's monumental, warrior-king Moses, and that both portrayals eschewed the meek Moses of Judeo-Christian Scripture. Further research into DeMille studies, biblical epics, and the emerging interdisciplinary field of religion-and-film is warranted, warmly recommended, and already long overdue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-62
    Number of pages18
    JournalThe Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities
    Volume7
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

    Keywords

    • Biblical epic
    • Cecil B. DeMille
    • Charlton Heston
    • Hollywood
    • Moses
    • Religion-and-film
    • The Ten Commandments
    • Theodore Roberts

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