Oh, Moses, Moses: Happy 60th Anniversary to The Ten Commandments

10commandments

So this past Sunday I decided to celebrate Easter/Passover in the best way I could think of. Going to the movies to see the rerelease of The Ten Commandments for it’s 60th anniversary.

It originally came out on October 5th 1956, but as I will be doing Horrorfest, and they rereleased it this week, I felt it was better to review now.

This was actually my first time watching the film.

OMG gasp

I know? How could a cinephile like me miss it? Well my mom tried to get me to watch it with her back when I was five, but my attention span was strong enough. Since then I never got around to seeing it. However, it was sooooo amazing I just can’t believe I missed viewing it before.

I love it

This movie is what The Price of Egypt is based on, but it is waaaaaay better. The tried to carefully follow the story in the bible along with other historical documents. The special effects they had were amazing for the time, the sets magnificent, and the actor unbelievable.

Wow

Wow

The film took four years to make, 13 million dollars, and was Cecille B. DeMille’s last film.

Every year since 1973, ABC airs this film on Easter, or Passover. In 1999, when they chose not to they received so many irate phone calls from people than they have for any other film they have ever telecast. I will say I think it has become my new Easter tradition.

AWESOME!!!

AWESOME!!!

This film was the highest grossing film, after Gone With the Wind (1939), until The Sound of Music (1965). It was the highest grossing religious film until The Passion of the Christ (2004)This is currently the 7th highest grossing film of all time.

keanu Whoa

So we have the two main leads who were just phenomenal. First we have Yul Brynner as Rameses II, the pharaoh believed to live at the time of Moses. Brynner played the role as a jealous brother, which some may think Ralph Fiennes was better and more brotherly, but I think it was spot on. For those who don’t know history, the game of who would get the throne could get ugly.

There is no middle ground.

There is no middle ground.

The Pharaoh would typically marry his nearest female relation to keep the blood pure; and then marry other wives/concubines. The wives and kids would battle each other in order to gain favor and the throne. In fact Rameses II had over 100 children, outlived most of his children due to their killing each other, and their mothers plots against each other (plus a few accidental deaths and illnesses.)

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

When Brynner found out he would be playing against Charlton Heston, he really worked out in order to prove that he deserved the role

10commandments

And then we have the very hunky Charlton Heston. I mean you look at him and hear his voice, and you can see why every girl wanted him.

If he existed.

Not only did he make Moses a total action hero; but also presented the spiritual side beautifully.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

Heston wasn’t the original choice, but was later picked because he bore a similarity to Michelangelo’s sculpture of Moses.

charlton-heston-as-moses-in-the-ten-commandments

And let’s not forget that Vincent Price is the amazing, sinister, and sleazy master builder. Even if his character is horrible, I love him.

VincentPrice

The rest of the actors were just as good; along with the sets, and the extravagant costumes. This was just a phenomenal film that everyone needs to view at least once in their lives.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more anniversary posts, go to We Wish You a Merry Christmas

For more on Cecil B. DeMille and Charlton Heston, go to The Greatest Show on Earth

For more Vincent Price, go to A Man Without a Face: The Bat (1959)

Advertisements

I’ll Always Be There When You Need Me: Anastasia (1997)

Romantic Moment #9

anastasia

Anastasia (1997)

So this film is based on two things, the person Anastasia and the 1956 film of the same name. Anastasia was the youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II Romanov. With the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Czars were kicked out of power and later killed. The only body to not be found was Anastasia, which lead to a rumor that she wasn’t dead, but was still out there and would return one day. There was actually a woman who claimed she was the real Anastasia, going by the name Anna, but even though she knew countless details that only a Romanov would have known; it was later determined that she wasn’t Anastasia. The 1956 film, while starring the wonderful Ingrid Bergman and the very handsome Yul Brynner; was not very good. Yul Brynner was too mean and Bergman was too hysterical, etc. It just sucked. So about twenty years later Fox remade a animated version that had more likable characters, a more adventurous plot, and a collection of wonderful songs. I love the songs in this movie; Rumor in St. Petersburg, Journey to the Past, Paris Holds the Key (To Your Heart)and (my fav) At the Beginning.

That said, there is one other little thing I want to clear up. Anastasia is not a disney movie. I REPEAT! ANASTASIA IS NOT A DISNEY MOVIE! DISNEY DID NOT MAKE THIS MOVIE!!! It was 20th Century Fox! FOX MADE IT! FOX! FOX! FOX! FOX! It just urks me how people call it a Disney movie because it IS NOT A DISNEY MOVIE!

Anya

So the film begins in 1916 Russia, where the Czar is giving a party. His mother, the Dowager Empress (Angela Lansbury) is visiting from France. She and his youngest daughter, have a close connection and the Dowager gives her a secret music box and a locket that is a key, that have the saying “Together in Paris”. The ball is interrupted by their “holy man” Rasputin (he was a real creepo) played by Christopher Lloyd. Rasputin is mad at the Romanovs for trying to banish him, and has sold his soul to brung destruction on all of them. The Dowager and Anastasia are saved by a kitchen boy, who sneaks them out through a secret passage. They run for a train, but Anastasia trips and is left behind.

Fast forward ten years, the Dowager Empress has put out notice of a heavy reward to anyone who can bring her, her granddaughter. Dimitri (John Cusack), the kitchen boy, is all grown up and has been having tryouts to find someone to play Anastasia so he can get the money and be gone from Russia forever. He and his partner, Vladimir, an ex member of the Royal Court, both have the knowhow to get it done. Dimitri also has the music box.

Meanwhile, Anya (Anastasia), played by Meg Ryan, has been living with amnesia in an orphanage. Now being of age, she is being sent out to work. Instead of following the directions given to her, she decides to follow a stray dog she found and head to St. Petersburg and ultimately, Paris.

The two meet up in the old Romanov palace as Dimitri and Vladmir have gone there to lick their wounds, no applicants worked out, and Anya wants to get papers from Dimitri to get out of Russia. They notice her similarities to Tsarina Alexandra and offers it as a potential way to find her family, not telling her about the money (you know that old cliché). They board the train and are on there way

Meanwhile, Rasputin is rotting in Purgatory, as he can’t go off to hell until all the Romonavs are dead, and can’t go topside because he lost his glass vial of evil I guess (I’m not sure what its real name is), is lost. Bartok, his pet bat has found the vial and goes down telling him about Anastasia’s “rebirth”. Rasputin goes up to kill her.

Back on the train, Anya and Dimitri feel a little something for each other but are mean to each other not wanting to admit it. They have to move to the baggage cart as things have changed under Stalin. While there, Rasputin attacks and they have to switch to a boat. Rasputin attacks them, and Dimitri saves her. They eventually reach Paris, and Anya passes all the tests, solidifying it when she answers that she was saved by a kitchen boy. Dimitri hears this and knows that she is the real deal. The only issue is, the Dowager has decreed to see no one again. They decide to surprise her at the opera, Dimitri deciding to let her go and to do everything he could to help her connect to her family. Dimitri’s scheme has reached the Dowager’s ears and she really lays into him, with Anya overhearing. Anya is pissed that Dimitri lied to her and runs off to her hotel room. Dimtri then drives the Dowager over there and the two talk and are united. They have a ball to welcome her back, with Vladmir being reinsteated and honored with medals. The Dowager offers Dimitri the money, but he refuses (sound like someone you know?) and takes off. That night, Rasputin attacks Anya, Dimitri returns, and they defeat Rasputin. The two elope and run off, Anya telling her grandmother that she will see her again soon.

Most Romantic Moment:

Just like 10 Things I Hate About You it was hard to choose the “most romantic moment” as it was chock full, but I can only pick one.

So Dmitri has left. He could have told Anya what he did for her when she was a kid. He could tell her that  he was the one who saved her as a child. He could have told her that he figured out she was Anastasia and tried to help her at the Opera to get in to see the Dowager. He could have told her that he made sure that the two had a chance to talk because he wanted to reunite her with her family.  He could have told her he didn’t take the money. Instead, he wanted to make her dreams come true. She made him want to reform his conman ways.

better man

But Dmitri has no illusions. Even if he changed his ways, he knows nothing will happen between them.

Dimitri

So he leaves. He leaves because he knows that she needs more than he can give, she needs someone better. (Sound like someone else we know?)

you deserve better

Meanwhile, back at the ball Anastasia is being attacked by Rasputin. He has her down, and just when you think its over, Dimitri comes running in to save the day.

OMG

Yes! HE CAME BACK TO BE WITH HER! Even though it doesn’t make any sense. Even though coming back might not change anything, he DOES IT ANYWAY! Even though there is no guarantee that they will get together. Even though he knows she still might be angry with him and kick him to the curb. It doesn’t matter. He loves her so much he has to tell her how he feels. That’s so romantic!

So romantic!

So romantic!

And in the case of true love,  coming back always works out.

tumblr_m3d9k5EH1n1r7sa6ro1_500

He’s always been there for her.

anastasia_and_dimitri-342365-1