Though the Cecil B. DeMille biblical epic is 56 years old, has been available on home video for two decades, has been broadcast annually Easter eve on ABC since 1973, and is written off by many among the foo-foo elite as corny and heavy-handed, it’s still a ratings winner and managed to win the ratings battle last night with nearly 7 million viewers (or nearly three times Colbert and Stewart combined — you knew that was coming).
Moreover, it won the oh-so coveted 18-49 demo.
Yesterday, I spent Easter with Charlton Heston. Immediately after church, we watched “Ben-Hur” and after Easter dinner, “The Ten Commandments,” both on Blu-ray — which really brings both epics to new life. This is the third time in a year I’ve watched “Ten Commandments,” because grand storytelling just doesn’t get any better.
DeMille’s themes are also important, which is why I’m so happy ABC still broadcasts what would be his final film. “The Ten Commandments” is about human liberty (Moses’ final line of dialogue makes this clear — Go –proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof.), and about the idea that men are not the property of the State but ruled by God’s law.
What might seem corny to the conformist Left sounds downright subversive in the era of Obama.