Coming in from the Cold (War)

Melanie J. Wright

in Moses in America

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195152265
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834884 | DOI:

Series: AAR Cultural Criticism Series

 Coming in from the Cold (War)

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This chapter examines Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 biblical epic film The Ten Commandments. The analysis of the film and its reception draws on insights from cinema studies, particular in relation to the history and status of the motion picture industry in mid‐twentieth‐century America. The Hollywood epic has typically been characterized as superficial and banal by biblical scholars and film critics alike, but this study argues for the rehabilitation of DeMille's Moses as a complex example of innovative biblical interpretation, shaped by DeMille's desire to champion American values in the context of Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union.

Keywords: American values; Biblical interpretation; cinema studies; Cold war; DeMille; epic; Soviet Union; The Ten Commandments

Chapter.  17330 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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