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The Ten Commandments
This commentary is only on the "Special Collector's Edition", not the original release.
Commentaries on this disc:
Katherine Orrison (author of “
Written in Stone--Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic ‘The Ten Commandments’
Rating:8.6/10 (9 votes) [
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Reviewed by Max Frost on February 19th, 2008
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Even if you're only marginally interested in this film, the commentary is fascinating. She knows her stuff--whether it's religious history, film history, or De Mille in partucalar and she fills the entire runing time with almost breathless enthusiasm for the subject. She also provides commentary for the silent version of the film as well. Highly recommended listening.
Reviewed by Uniblab on April 17th, 2009
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Katherine Orrison definitely knows what an A-grade commentary is made of, because she imparts every possible information anyone could wish to hear about the movie from the point of view not of a pedantic so-called "scholar" trying to examinine the movie under a microscope or cynically looking for every mean-spirited "subtext" under the sun in it, but of someone who very much likes not only the movie and its filmakers, but also its subject matter. That also means that she is very candid about the movie's obvious limitations, as well as anachronisms and continuity mistakes.
Reviewed by Therealmrspock on September 25th, 2016
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Katherine Orrison gives an excellent commentary track, admitting she is "passing on" the memory of the film to the new generations, which was shared to her by producer and actor Henry Wilcoxon. It is remarkable how she has the energy to talk for almost 4 hours, during the entire film without any major pause, and her effort pays our royally. She loves the film, has seen it since she was a kid, and it shows. Mrs. Orrison talks a lot about the making of the film (how the script had over 300 pages; how they filmmed footage in Egypt in 1955 and combined it with the locations on sound stage in the US, pointing out several scenes where Charlton Heston looks at the blank blue screen in reality; how actor H.B. Warner, already sick and old, was carried to the set and allowed to say whatever he wants for this role, which would probe to be his last; how Egyptian soldiers worked as extras; how Audrey Hepburn almost got the leading role, but did not look good in costumes; how DeMille had a heart attack when he walked upstairs during one scene...), and there is a whole wealth of information about it - even if you think the movie in question is stiff and dated - though I find it a small pity that she talks too much about costumes and casting at times, instead of focusing more on what is happening on screen. Still, an incredible undertaking for such a long film. 9/10
Reviewed by captainsolo on September 6th, 2017
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Despite not being a truly great picture at its very long running time, this track is a wealth of knowledge and appreciation to the dedication of the crew-one that makes you able to appreciate the production far more.
Reviewed by Liam_gal on July 26th, 2021
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Fantastic commentary. The movie is almost 4 hours long and the only silence gaps are during the intermission. Most historians deliver their commentary as if reading from notes but not this one. She adds personal anecdotes too.
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