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"Ten Commandments" documentary premieres at BYU March 29-30

Brigham Young University will be premiering the new feature-length documentary “The Ten Commandments: Making Miracles,” which describes the making of Cecil B. DeMille’s epic Hebrew exodus film, Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium.

On Wednesday, March 30, at 6 p.m. the library will also screen the full-length, four-hour version of “The Ten Commandments,” also in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium.

Admission is free for both screenings. Doors open half an hour prior to the showing to encourage early arrival due to limited seating.

BYU’s L. Tom Perry Special Collections in the Harold B. Lee Library, which is sponsoring these special screenings, was a major contributor to the visual richness and content of Paramount Home Video’s upcoming March 29 release of the new documentary. The film will be released as a special Blu-ray/DVD box set also featuring Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 epic biblical movie.

In the 1970s, James D’Arc, curator of the BYU Motion Picture Archive, helped acquire the Cecil B. DeMille Papers for the library from the DeMille family. Then, last fall, Paramount Home Video officials traveled to Provo to sort through 91 boxes of original production correspondence, research photographs and publicity materials in the collection.

Officials also went through more than 1,100 pieces of production art, including many executed by famed Utah artist Arnold Friberg, who was hired as a costume designer and consultant for the film. Paramount selected more than 300 items to use in the feature-length documentary from the DeMille Papers.

Specific pieces of art and other items from the DeMille Papers were reproduced as keepsakes in the deluxe box set that will house both the high-definition Blu-ray disc and the standard DVD edition of “The Ten Commandments.”

“Making Miracles,” directed by celebrated filmmaker Laurent Bouzereau, also features on-camera interviews with Charlton Heston and his son Fraser Heston, who played the infant Moses and who also serves as the narrator of the documentary. Other interviewees include Katharine Orrison, author of “Written in Stone: The Making of The Ten Commandments,” Lisa Mitchell, the actress who played one of Jethro’s daughters in the film, and BYU’s James D’Arc.

For more information about these screenings or the Cecil B. DeMille Papers, contact James D’Arc at (801) 422-6371 or, or contact Brenda Ciccone from Paramount Pictures at (323) 956-8091 or


Writer: Philip Volmar

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