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The Ten Commandments LiveBlog

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

So we watched The Ten Commandments on ABC on Saturday night and decided to do a livetweeting. Because why not?

But if you missed the livetweeting, well, here you go! This will include the tweets in text form (for ease of reading), neatened up a bit. Some of them also ended up in side threads, so…here they are, all together!

1) Okay for shits and giggles the Pagan with the History major and the Jew with a Religion Major are gonna be #LiveBlogging the #TenCommandments because it’s fun. That’s why. Expect snark about everything from the costumes to the weirdness.

2) I always forget Yvonne de Carlo is in this. So it’s always a shock when Lily Munster shows up in this.

3) I fully think this movie would be improved if she appeared dressed like this:

4) Love the stock video of the clouds.

5) So baby Moses is Charlton Heston’s son. That’s one way to do Take Your Child to Work Day.

6) This is some hella clunky exposition. My editor’s brain is going to find a better way to do this.

7) Is it just me or does the whole “the star heralds his birth” read as a rewrite of the Christmas story?

8) Last I checked, Ancient Egypt didn’t have granny panties under their robes. Or spandex.

9) Like this secret isn’t going to come back to bite everyone in the ass.

10) I love that the attendant can recognize exactly which group of Hebrews the cloth belongs to. Like why would she pay attention to that?

11) Okay but, Yul Brynner is a total thirst trap. Although I keep waiting for him to start saying “Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.”

12) Okay but, I want to know where they got California Poppies in Egypt.

13) Hollywood casting: the woman who plays Moses’s adoptive mother is younger than the man who plays Moses. *facepalm*

14) Okay but I’m seriously cringing during this whole Ethiopian Tribute segment. Like… whoa.

15) “You conquered us so have our most valuable possession!” Seriously, it’s terrible.

16) So the height difference was so great between Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston that they tended to put Yul on a whole stair higher so they would look like they were the same height.

17) Or Two. It’s pretty noticeable once you know to look for it.

18) I love all this talk about the Deliverer, I’m expecting them all to break out into Prince of Egypt’s “Deliver Us.”

19) Oh look, it’s time for a Deus Ex Machina. Because of course Moses saves his own mother.

20) Oh Look, it’s Vincent Price. I am now waiting for Dracula to show up.

21) The brownface is pretty cringey in this. Like seriously cringey.

22) Yul Brynner is the only PoC in this so far. (He’s Russian of Mongol descent and born in Vladivostok.) Not that anyone knew that at the time. Also, there is a distinct lack of Jewish people in this. This will be a problem later. Spoilers.

23) Amendment… major speaking role… the Ethiopians were there and the princess did speak… to make eyes at brownface Charlton Heston. But considering this is pre-Greek Egypt there should be more Brown and Black people in this.

24) Poor Anne Baxter got Sharon-Stone-d in this. Half her costumes are see-through – pay attention and you’ll see everything.

25) On the other hand, there is the very strong positive of all the male eye candy. Lots and lots of attractive shirtless men.

26) I am seriously loving the polyester on the pharaoh’s costume. A+ 1950s.

27) Is it just me or is that obviously a greenscreen? Or, well, a projection. Because pre-CGI.

28) Wait… is this supposed to be Seti I? You know the same Seti from The Mummy? If so, then where is Anck-Su-Namun and Imhotep?

29) If so… is the Nefretiri played by Anne Baxter supposed to be the same Nefertiri played by Rachel Weisz? Where’s my Hamunaptra? Dude… These are important questions.

30) Also can we all agree that that Brendan Fraser > Charlton Heston?

31) On the one hand, Moses was the son of Levites, so they got that right. On the other hand, why do both the Egyptian servant woman and Nefretiri recognize that it specifically belongs to a Levite? Why would they know that much about their slaves?

32) Also, Nefretiri, dropping it where you stand was incredibly stupid if you’re trying to hide the truth. Cause that’s not going to come back to bite you. *facepalm*

33) The Melodrama in this is on point! I can almost hear the old timey piano and see the twirling handlebar mustache.

34) Also seriously, Moses’s mother was named Jochebed/Yocheved (the latter is closer to the Hebrew pronunciation, the former is in the King James Bible). Not Yoshebel which is what they’re saying. Come on, guys.

35) So it pisses me TF off that Moses just tosses his adoptive mother away like she didn’t raise him and love him. And he like literally loved her until like 5 minutes ago. This is an insult to adoptive parents and children everywhere.

36) Also the whole thing with God’s name is wrong. See, we don’t know the pronunciation of God’s name NOW. But they did back then! The High Priest said God’s name every Yom Kippur! And the High Priest was literally descended from Aaron, so it’s AFTER this.

37) Sadly, this is only one of many examples on why they, you know, maybe should’ve asked a Jewish person to work on this film.

38) Is it just me or does this bit about slaves working sound like the narration in March of the Penguins or that sort of documentary?

39) Lark: I’m going to bow out. I don’t want to watch this part. Rose: But I don’t want to watch this part. You watch it. Lark: I said it first! Both of us do not like the section where Moses is a slave because he is TSTL.

40) The hotness of shirtless!Charlton Heston is unfortunately tempered by his NRA-Assholery and his severe homophobia (see: Ben Hur).

41) You can see the hand/fingerprints of the makeup artists where they artistically smeared mud exactly on the right spots on Charlton Heston’s chest and arms. Can’t have mud messing up his face after all!

42) There’s a fucking zipper on the back of Nefretiri’s teal outfit. Last I checked, zippers didn’t exist in 3000 BCE!

43) Why the hell is Lilia wearing wedges and gold lamé? Go home, costume department, you’re drunk.

44) And we’ve now entered the homoerotic BDSM portion of this movie.

45) The makeup department had fun drizzling raspberry sauce on Joshua.

46) Last I checked, gold sequins didn’t exist in Ancient Egypt!

47) The costume department really skimped on those dancers. Green polyester and blond hair showing under the dark wigs.

48) Seriously, his mom is still being his mom…and she’s wearing wedges. Silver fucking wedges.

49) Rose: Is it bad that this scene is making me want a Moses/Ramses/Nefretiri threesome? Lark: Nope! It’s very “stop it, I’m already bi!”

50) We are not okay with the Black attendants here. [Later note: due to the severe racism exhibited by the Black people only being attendants and being treated that way.]

51) That dress is way too close to her skintone. As in, unless the camera is really close, it doesn’t really look like she’s wearing anything.

52) Why are you walking during the day, Moses? Find some shade and wait ‘til dusk and dawn!

53) Sephora (should be Tzipporah, but hello no Jews) and her sisters: color coded for your convenience!

54) Moses: I want something to drink, not have my feet washed. These sisters are THIRSTY for Charlton Heston. Also, seriously, Jesus imagery much?

55) Jethro’s necklace looks like turquoise. We didn’t know turquoise was native to the Sinai. /sarcasm [Edit note: Turns out it was back in 3000 BCE – The more you know!!!]

56) Hey, Moses, you’re not a runaway slave if you’re let go by the people who enslaved you!

57) We will now have the bellydancing portion of this movie.

58) 1) Mount Sinai is surrounded by other mountains, including taller ones, so it won’t stand out like that. 2) Mount Sinai isn’t a volcano. 3) If there are clouds about Mount Sinai, they move. [edit note: also the location of Mt. Sinai is disputed so there’s that too.]

59) Nefertiri’s bangs are on point. I am definitely getting “Ask a Mortician” vibes from her.

60) Doggy doggy doggy doggy doggy!

61) Those are some really shiny chains considering how far he came.

62) Lark: How is he able to see the burning bush from where he was if he has to climb this far? It’s DAY! And it’s in the rocks! Rose: Magic.

63) The Voice of God will also be played by Charlton Heston. So we have Charlton Heston talking to…Charlton Heston.

64) The makeup and hair department had a LOT of fun with the canned gray hair.

65) “Your God is my God” – great, now we’re grabbing from the Book of Ruth.

66) We are entering the portion where Rose will take over the angry tweeting and Lark will just sit back and make snarky commentary about the costuming.

67) Cheat out, Charlton Heston! Cheat out!

68) It’s all about the gold lamé. And wearing a cape so I can hide the zipper.

69) Does the smell of myrrh scent her skin? Well I should fucking hope not considering myrrh was used to hide the scent of death! Come on guys, do research on ancient Egypt.

70) We don’t want to have to figure out how to show all the plagues so we’re just going to skip over them. (Though I must admit the blood in the water was well-done.)

71) Ah, it’s time for “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

72) At least there are multiple women with actual roles. Even if it’s not technically a Bechdel test pass?

73) So they’re not going into how they know about the lamb’s blood. That…should be mentioned maybe?

74) Okay, seriously, the Passover seder is to COMMEMORATE this night! “Why is this night different from all other nights?” comes LATER. Time for the “just hire a freaking Jew!” rant.

75) Lark: why is no one sitting on the other side of the table?

76) Why is he calling her Bithia? She RAISED him. She’s mom! Sigh.

77) Also, why aren’t you offering Bithia’s Black…slaves? Servants? A place at the table.

78) “Why do we eat unleavened bread and bitter herbs, my uncle?” …Because we’re remembering the night you’re LITERALLY HAVING RIGHT NOW. The unleavened bread DOESN’T EXIST YET OH MY FREAKING GOD.

79) I’m just sitting here because NO. Like they literally haven’t left yet! The matzah hasn’t been baked! They’re commemorating TOMORROW at this point!

80) The seder didn’t exist! You shouldn’t be having a seder right now, guys. Seriously.

81) I will say this: for 1956, the special effects are actually really good.

82) So Pharaoh is explicitly exempted from the death of the first born even though he is a first born so he can, you know, suffer more, but…they should’ve stated it in the movie.

83) Don’t blame her, you asshole, you were already hardened against him!

84) “He’s my only son.” Well, that’s your fault, isn’t it?

85) Love how the “dead” kid is still moving his arm to help his dad get it into position.

86) Alert! Alert! We have actual Egyptians in this scene!

87) Getting really really sick of this exposition narration. It is bad storytelling.

88) The camel: I want that. I am going to eat your dates. Mine!

89) Oh my god he’s throwing gold to the crowd. That’s…probably not the best way to deal with it.

90) Did they borrow costumes from The Conqueror? We’ve got a bit of Genghis Khan going on here.

91) Maybe not have the Black people carrying the white “Egyptian” woman? That…is bad.

92) Okay, the kid sleeping on top of the…animal? And the guy carrying the donkey. Those are great.

93) Though that donkey is possibly dead, so…why?

94) Somebody tell the kid to hold his breath!

95) That is one big blue helmet.

96) So how many of these chariots were later reused in Ben Hur?

97) Oooh, more actual Egyptians! (In this case, the Egyptian Army was used for the chariots.)

98) The clouds are actually moving this time!

99) Where’s the #EverGiven to bridge the Red Sea?

100) That is clearly cartoon fire, but the parting of the Red Sea is a pretty damn impressive effect. And don’t forget to pose for the poster!

101) The kids are the best part in this scene. Whether they’re sleeping or playing or with the animals or whatever.

102) There’s gotta be some really confused fish right about now. And some pretty annoyed mollusks and crustaceans. And the coral must be really pissed off.

103) Also, we want to know how they’re not sinking up to their armpits in sea gunk. That’s some really impressive dry ground there – and surprisingly devoid of fish poop.

104) Bring him to me alive! I must have him for more homoerotic torture! And my threesome!

105) Honestly I am with the Egyptian guys who look terrified of those walls of water. Like, I would be noping the fuck out of there if I were them.

106) And we’ve gone full Gandalf. You shall not pass!

107) Those poor horses. :( I always feel sorry for the horses.

108) No more Yul Brynner or Anne Baxter and this movie is made lesser for it. :( Who will quench my thirst now?

109) Time to fastforward through the rest of the Torah!

110) Okay, at least Dathan acknowledges that Bithia IS his mother. By the way, what happened to Yoshebel? Or however they’re spelling it. Dude, did Moses’s birth mother just disappear?

111) And we finally get to the whole point of the damn movie! It’s time for the Ten Commandments! And we have less than fifteen minutes left in the entire movie. 4 ½ hours in, we’re finally getting to the name of the movie.

112) This woman is shining the golden calf with her *hair*

113) Time for the orgy portion of the movie!

114) Couldn’t you just wait for 40 days? Honestly, after #COVID19 I no longer doubt that.

115) Those are some really light stone tablets. He’s carrying them like they’re made out of the styrofoam that the props are actually made of.

116) Bad Aaron! Bad Moses’s brother! And yet somehow he’s the only one of the siblings who makes it into the holy land. Clearly no good deed goes unpunished.

117) Stand there for the glamour shot! Do the other pose for the poster! Joshua, darling, get out of the way.

118) Somehow Moses has aged like 40 years in this movie while Joshua has aged about two.

119) “Oh shit, Dad’s home!”

120) Where is Moses’s son? His wife came back, but where’s his son?

121) It’s SUPER BEARDY Charlton Heston.

122) “Damn it, if you won’t play by my rules, I’m going to pull this car over and we are going to STAY HERE until you kids get your shit together!”

123) Okay guys, hide that ark. Nazis are going to want to steal it later.

124) Okay, we have Aaron’s son – where’s Moses’s? Clearly he is Sir Not Appearing In This Movie Anymore.

125) Excuse me while I pose dramatically in front of this painting.

126) We hope you enjoyed this liveblogging of the #TenCommandments!

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