'The Ten Commandments' 60th Anniversary: Yul Brynner's Exclusive Photos From the Set
As the most expensive film ever made in its day nears its 60th anniversary, the late star's daughter reveals the images captured on Cecil B. DeMille's set by the legendary actor.
When Hollywood epics truly were epic, Cecil B. DeMille topped them all with Paramount's 1956 film The Ten Commandments. Produced for a cost of $13.5 million (nearly $120 million today), the biblical drama was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made, and its initial release took in $120 million worldwide ($1.06 billion today).
Amid the massive undertaking, filmed on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula (and on Paramount's Hollywood lot), Yul Brynner — the Russia-born actor who faced off against Charlton Heston's Moses as the ramrod-straight Pharaoh Ramses II — turned to his avocation, photography. "He really wanted to be a director, but as his life as an actor became bigger and the idea of directing faded, his photography was his link to that creative outlet," says his daughter Victoria, who has preserved thousands of images taken by her father, who died in 1985.
To mark the 60th anniversary of Commandments, she offered THR an exclusive look at his photos from the shoot. "The scale of everything — the people, the costumes, the sets — there was so much going on," says Victoria. "What I love about these pictures, they've remained impeccable in terms of color and contrast. They were all shot on Kodachrome, and nothing has faded."