Saturday, March 22, 2008

Edward G. Robinson and The Ten Commandants



One of my favorite rituals during the Easter weekend is to watch Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandants. I usually find Charlton Heston annoying in anything else outside of this film. The reason I ever wanted to see this film in the first place is because of Edward G. Robinson. When I was a teenager, I became a big fan of this actor and when going to see Soylent Green in the 1970s, of course I didn't know then it would be Robinson's last film (also starring Heston).


Back in the 1950s during the infamous McCarthy witch hunt for communists, Robinson's liberal sympathies were labeled "too leftist" for the mainstream and he soon found himself not able to get work in Hollywood.

But ol' Cecil wasn't one to be intimidated by anybody or told how to run his business. He called Robinson one day and offered him the role of Dathan. Dathan was a good role and a visible one. Originally a convert he soon became a nudge to the leader Moses, quickly put in his place once Moses part the Red Sea. Quite a trick. DeMille made a version of The Ten Commandants during the silent film days and is the only person to have parted the Red Sea twice. Try topping that.

Eddie Robinson's Dathan put the industry on notice that he was back and he was staying.

No comments: