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The Ten Commandments

(silent 1923 b 136')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Moses liberates the Hebrews and gives them ten commandments. A modern mother teaches them, but one of her sons go against them to make money.

Egyptians under Rameses (Charles de Rochefort) whip Hebrew slaves, and Miriam (Estelle Taylor) prays to God. Moses (Theodore Roberts) and his brother Aaron (James Neill) go to Rameses and demand that he let their people go, or the Egyptians' first-borns will die. Rameses learns that his son died. He tells Moses his people can go, and Moses leads them out of Egypt. Ramses decides to avenge his son and goes after them with 600 chariots. A pillar of fire protects the Hebrews from the Egyptians while Moses parts the Red Sea. The Israelites pass through. The Egyptians follow them, but the sea closes and drowns them.

The Israelites camp by Mt. Sinai, where Moses spends forty days and is given ten laws. Aaron makes a golden calf, and the people worship it and pleasures. Moses returns and breaks the tablet.

Martha McTavish (Edythe Chapman) reads the Bible to her sons. Dan McTavish (Rod La Rocque) makes fun of the commandments, but John McTavish (Richard Dix) takes them seriously. Dan goes out and buys lunch, but hungry Mary Leigh (Leatrice Joy) steals it. She hides in a carpenter shop, and John has his mother invite her to supper. Dan comes home, and Martha prays before they eat.

On Sunday, Dan and Mary play a record and dance. John gives Mary flowers, says someone secretly loves her, and shows her a ring; but she assumes he is speaking for Dan and accepts him. Martha objects to dancing on Sunday and breaks the record. She intends to leave, but Mary and Dan decide to marry and go. Dan says they will break all ten commandments.

Three years later Dan is a successful contractor, but Inspector Redding (Robert Edeson) warns him about a church they are building. Dan hires John, who admits he loves Mary. Dan imports jute from India which comes by way of Molokai, and his church has rotten concrete. Dan meets the Eurasian Sally Lung (Nita Naldi), who invites him to her home for lunch. Mary brings lunch and is told that Dan is out. She takes it to John at the top of the building. She sees Dan leave with Sally. John notices that the concrete is bad and tells Redding the building must stop. When Redding offers him money, John slugs him. John learns that the concrete has too much sand and lacks enough cement. He confronts Dan, who accuses John of trying to ruin him in order to get Mary. A wall falls on Martha. They find her dying, and she tells Dan to love God, not fear Him.

Redding tells Dan they need $25,000 to stop the scandal, but Dan says he is broke. Dan asks Sally to give back the pearls. She refuses, but he takes them. She implies that he has leprosy from her. Dan shoots her, and she dies. Dan drinks and tells Mary that he killed the leper. She hides him from police. Dan tries to escape in a motor boat. Mary finds John in the office and says she is branded. Dan's boat breaks up on a rocky shore. John reads the Bible to Mary how Jesus cured a leper. She notices that in the light it is gone.

The modern story reflects how stealing may be caused by the greed that cuts corners to make more profit.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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