ABC to Broadcast “The Ten Commandments” on Easter

ABC has announced that it will air the 1956 classic The Ten Commandments — Cecil B. DeMille’s epic masterpiece — on Easter Sunday.


From an ABC press release:

The Easter classic, The Ten Commandments, will air as an “ABC Special Presentation” on Sunday, April 5 (7:00-11:44 p.m., ET/PT) on the ABC Television Network. The legendary Cecil B. DeMille film from 1956 was an annual tradition for many families who gathered to watch the story of Moses every Easter.

Starring Charlton Heston in the iconic role of Moses, the film from Paramount Pictures also stars legendary actors Yul Brynner as Rameses, Anne Baxter as Queen Nefretiri, Edward G. Robinson as Dathan, Yvonne de Carlo as Sephora, Vincent Price as Baka, Debra Paget as Lilia, John Derek as Joshua, and features Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Sethi, Nina Foch as Bithiah, Martha Scott as Yochabel, Judith Anderson as Memnet, among others.

Produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, the film tells the Biblical tale of Moses from his birth through leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, complete with the burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea and Moses receipt of the holy tablets from God.

Filmed on location in Egypt, Mount Sinai and the Sinai Peninsula, the film was DeMille’s last and most successful work. It is a partial remake of his 1923 silent film of the same title, and features one of the largest sets ever created for a motion picture. At the time of its release on November 8, 1956, it was the most expensive film ever made.

Charleton Heston and Yul Brynner star in The Ten Commandments.

In 1957, the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, and Charlton Heston was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for his role as Moses. It is also one of the most financially successful films ever made, grossing approximately $122.7 million at the box office during its initial release — it was the most successful film of 1956 and the second-highest grossing film of the decade.

 The Ten Commandments > ABC > Sunday, April 5

Image © PARAMOUNT. All rights reserved.


  1. I liked it better when it was on Saturday. I wish there was more Christian holiday programming.

  2. I am so very, very glad that they are showing the movie on Easter Sunday this year. I will have the Blessing of sharing it with the our family’s fifth generation.

    Not only is it an outstanding movie but as I understand it, it is pretty accurate. Cecil B DeMile used an enormous amount religious leaders as his consultants while filming it. It’s a treasure!

  3. ABC selected Sunday this year because NBC has the AD The Bible film on Sunday – so now you cannot watch one without missing the other (or TVo-ing it)…

    I’m just glad ABC is showing the film…

  4. Who cares about when it airs? As long as it conveys the hope of the message that God gave to Moses, and later to the world through the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

  5. I agree, it should be aired on Saturday, not Easter Sunday. I grew up with this movie, disappointing that you should change considering that so many need to see this entire movie, and share with their children the importance of hope love and compassion that was given to us as Christians.

  6. Oh, I am so disappointed that ABC is airing this on Sunday night (Easter) rather than the Saturday night prior to the Holiday. With so many family gatherings on Eater there will be little if any time to watch this on Sunday night. The Saturday night airing had become a tradition. I believe they used to air it the Saturday right before Palm Sunday. I don’t recall it ever airing on Easter Sunday. It was a few years ago that they moved it to the Saturday right before Easter. I hope they move it back next year.

  7. Love this movie and I always loved watching it on the Saturday before Easter. A five hour movie Sunday night until midnight with school and work the next day is DUMB!

  8. I think it is great it is back in Sunday night like it always was in the past It lost some prestige when they went to Saturday.

      • I think this should be put on Saturday night. And for the movie to be shown in its entirety. Some years they cut up the scenes to make it fit. If you’re going to do that, then put it on Saturday, at an earlier hour, like 7 pm. If not, I’ll watch my own copy on Saturday so I can enjoy it fully. But there’s nostalgia when you watch it with the family and commercials.

  9. I cannot get enough of The Ten Commandments. The film’s influence throughout my life is as a reliable touchstone, a link to departed loved ones similarly enthused as I and an enduring tribute to that which made Hollywood great.

  10. My now grown children moan, ” you’re watching that old movie…again?!’ I absolutely love this movie and have watched every year sense ABC started showing it! Its a yearly tradition i would hate to give up, thank you

  11. I first saw the film in 1957 when I was 12. I never tire of watching it and also purchased the movie. It’s powerful, entertaining with, superb special effects, costumes and terrific performances. No one else could play Moses but Charlton Heston. Almost all my family, friends and neighbors watch it every year.

    • Richa it is about Passover…however they used to always show it Easter Sunday. They stopped that years ago and usually show it before Easter now.

    • Thought I was losing my mind for awhile. 10 commandments is about Passover not Easter. They want Easter movie watch Ben Hue or the Robe. Simple for me but what do I know.

      • Yes. This movie represents some of the most important events in Judaism. From Passover to the Exodus to the giving of the tablets. Saturday would be a better air time after sun down following Shabbat.

      • Easter??? This is most definitely a Passover movie. Been watching it for over 30 years- as a Passover movie….I can’t get over the comments about wanting there to be more Christian programming….the world my kids and I live in everyday is a Christian world. Isn’t that enough programming? I’ve been wished a Happy Easter multiple times this week…does not apply… and it’s precisely the REASON there needs to be at least ONE day for a Jewish movie

  12. I LOVE this Movie. Been watching it since I was old enough to remember and I am 57 . The Highlight of my Easter Celebration each and every year thru 4 generations now of my family , Now I even have it on CD so I can go back and rewatch it after I doze off.

  13. I will be watching it as well. It’s a great movie to watch, even on the small screen. The remastered version that they show now is a joy for the eyes to behold. I can only hope that ABC continues to run this for many years to come.
    But like someone else mentioned already, I do wish they would show it on the Saturday instead of Sunday. Staying up late is much easier on Saturday compared with a Sunday.

  14. I look forward to watching it every year. Rarely have I missed seeing it. Each time I see it is like the first time. I was nine years old the first time I saw it. Our fifth grade class went to the movie on a field-trip to see it. I could watch it over and over.

    • I still remember seeing it for the first time too! It’s amazing what the filmmakers were able to do without the use of Computer-Generated Animation!

  15. I wish they would have run it on the Saturday before, as they have in most recent years. It’s a really long movie, and it’s tough to stay up that late on a “school night”.

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