To escape the edict of Egypt’s Pharaoh Rameses I (Ian Keith), condemning all newborn Hebrew males, the infant Moses (Fraser C. Heston) is set adrift on the Nile in a reed basket. Saved by the pharaoh’s daughter Bithiah (Nina Foch), he is adopted by her and brought up in the court of her brother, Pharaoh Sethi (Sir Cedric Hardwicke). Moses (Charlton Heston) gains Sethi’s favor and the love of the throne Princess Nefretiri (Anne Baxter), as well as the hatred of Sethi’s son, Rameses II (Yul Brynner). When his Hebrew heritage is revealed, Moses is cast out of Egypt, and makes his way across the desert where he marries, has a son, and is commanded by God to return to Egypt to free the Hebrews from slavery. In Egypt, Moses’ fiercest enemy proves to be not Rameses II, but someone near to him who can “harden his heart”.
Still does it for me
Every time it played at our local cinemas I went to see it and sat through it at least twice. I cannot remember how many times I have seen this wonderful movie. I first saw it when I was about 11 and marvelled at it as a spectacle. I wept when Heston wept and rejoiced when he did. As I grew older I came to love Brynner’s fantastic performance and lust after Anne Baxter (only better in All About Eve). Cedric Hardwicke, Edward G. and Debra Paget (Hubba Hubba)all impressed me. I was sorry Vincent Price was killed so early – what a great villain. It still demands my attention when it appears on TV. I swear I have seen it enough, but if I catch a glimpse then I have to see it again!! I find it unbelievable that it won almost nothing at the Oscars. At least best Actor for Brynner and best supporting actor for Edward G.!! No costume design? No set design? No Music? A travesty!! See this if you have not already – you are in for a treat- it still stands up. Long but absorbing.