ATLANTA — Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 epic telling of 'The Ten Commandments' has become an Easter holiday tradition, telling the story of the Egyptian prince, Moses, as he learns his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.
The movie has earned it's place in film history, winning seven Academy Awards including Best Motion Picture, Best Special Effects, Best Color Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Color Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Recording.
Here are a few little known facts about the movie:
Yul Brenner bulked up for the part
When Brenner was told that he would be playing opposite Charlton Heston and would be shirtless for a good portion of the movie, he started a rigorous weightlifting program because he didn’t want to be physically overshadowed by Heston.
No one got an on-screen credit for the voice of God
The voice was used heavily throughout the movie but was modified and mixed with sounds effects, making identification difficult. Some rumors of whose voice was used, were Cecil B. DeMille, who directed the epic film, as well as Heston. DeMille’s publicist and biographer, Donald Hayne, said Heston provided the voice of God at the burning bush, but Hayne did the voice of God giving the commandments.
Yes, the Red Sea was Jello
The illusion of the Red Sea parting was achieved by large "dump tanks" that were flooded, then the film was shown in reverse. Gelatin was added to the tanks to give the water a consistency like sea water.
Charlton Heston’s son was the infant Moses
Heston's newborn son Fraser C. Heston played the infant Moses. DeMille deliberately timed the filming of his scenes for when Fraser was about three months old, the age of baby Moses when his mother put him in the basket on the Nile.
DeMille was inspired by Michelangelo's Moses
Cecil B. DeMille picked Charlton Heston for the role of Moses because he bore a resemblance to Michelangelo's statue of Moses in Rome, Italy.