When Women Wrote Hollywood – 3 in a series – The Ten Commandments (1923), Wr: Jeanie Macpherson, Dirs: Cecil B. DeMille, USA 136 mins

To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch


Jeanie MacPherson
Jeanie Macpherson

The Ten Commandments (1923), Wr: Jeanie Macpherson, Dirs: Cecil B. DeMille, USA 136 mins

Segments from The Ten Commandments (1923)

Original Poster Art

When Women Wrote Hollywood  - 3 in a series - The Ten Commandments (1923), Wr: Jeanie Macpherson, Dirs: Cecil B. DeMille, USA 136 minsWhen Women Wrote Hollywood  - 3 in a series - The Ten Commandments (1923), Wr: Jeanie Macpherson, Dirs: Cecil B. DeMille, USA 136 mins

The Ten Commandments is a 1923 American silent religious, epic film and produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Written by Jeanie MacPherson, the film is divided into two parts: a prologue recreating the biblical story of the Exodus and a modern story concerning two brothers and their respective views of the Ten Commandments.

Lauded for its “immense and stupendous” scenes, use of Technicolor process 2, and parting of the Red Sea sequence,[3] the expensive film proved to be a box-office hit upon release.[4] It is the first in DeMille’s biblical trilogy, followed by The King of Kings (1927) and The Sign of the Cross (1932).

Despite its epic scale, the Moses story takes up only about the first third of the film. After that, the story changes to a modern setting involving living by the lessons of the commandments. Two brothers make opposite decisions, one, John, to follow his mother’s teaching of the Ten Commandments and become a poor carpenter, and the other, Danny, to break every one of them and rise to the top. The film shows his unchecked immorality to be momentarily gainful, but ultimately disastrous. Wikipedia

More information on The Ten Commandments (1923)

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