Let my footage go

Slightly updated to be even funnier at 1:50 p.m. EST.

Bill Barol’s not a big fan of Cecil B. DeMille’s epic, The Ten Commandments, as he writes in this blog entry:

Watching the annual broadcast of “The Ten Commandments,” I was struck once again by the mind-altering terribleness of it. I mean, I don’t think it makes me irreligious to say that this is one very large stinker of a Bible picture. And this year, as my mind was wandering, I found myself wondering about lines that had been cut from the original release. There must have been some, despite its three-day running time. For example: In the Passover scene, after Eliazar asks why the Israelites eat bitter herbs and Moses answers that it’s to remind them of the bitterness of their slavery, it seems plausible that the screenwriters had Eliazar answer: “But uncle, I work sixteen hours a day in mud over my head, I need no reminders. What am I, stupid?” That line? Cut.

Here’s what I think ended up on the cutting room floor…


The scene: At the coast of the Red Sea, which Moses has parted. In the distance, you can see Moses leading the Israelites across the narrow strip of dry sea bed. In the foreground is the Pharoah’s army’s captain and his lieutenant, debating their next move. The captain points at the firestorm that Moses has cast behind the Israelites in order to slow the army down.

Captain: Look! The fire dies! This is our chance! All right, men, let’s go after —

Lieutenant: Begging your pardon, sir, I don’t want to seem to be advocating cowardice, but…

Captain: But what?

Lieutenant: Well, sir, I’ve been thinking that maybe it’s just better to…uh…let them go.

Captain: Let them go? At the brink of our victory? Have you gone mad?

Lieutenant: Think about it. Their god’s been wiping the walls with us, right? The plagues — the frogs, the locusts, the dust turning into gnats, everyone running out of toilet paper and Kleenex at the same time… And what about that thing with the water? He turned the Nile into blood…and on my laundry day! Do you know what it takes to get blood out of togas? Then that angel of death guy ices all our firstborn sons, mine included! I had everything riding on little Johnny, and now I’ve got to bequeath all my chattels to my younger son Lance, who’s…well, he’s turning out a little…well…fruity. And now that we’ve chased Moses and the Israelites to the sea and think we’ve got him cornered, poof — he cuts a path across the water and blocks us with a giant firestorm.

Captain: Your point being?

Lieutenant: This hardcore god of theirs clearly gets results. Don’t you think it’s a little odd that now, of all times, one of this god’s tricks has just fizzled out? Call me paranoid, but I smell a trap. And besides, our failure to stop their attacks in spite of our wizards, superior numbers and weapons should clearly indicate flaws in our mideast polic–

The captain pulls out his sword and lops off the lieutenant’s head with a single stroke.

Captain: (muttering to himself) Damned liberals and their “blame Egypt first” rhetoric… (To his men) All right, men…let’s roll!


The scene: Moses returns from the mountain with the two stone tablets, only to find that the Israelites are now worshipping a golden calf.

Aaron: Hail the cow. Amooooo.

Moses: What the…? I leave you idiots alone for a couple of days and you go all pagan on me. Don’t you remember all that God did for us? The plagues? The Nile turning into blood? The thing where I turned my nunchucks into deadly snakes? With His help, we got Mesopotamian on their ass!

Aaron: Um…yeah, but…we thought about it and decided that this God person is a little too right-wing. And He’s way too much into gross-outs for our liking. I mean, the frogs, locusts and gnats? Icky. I mean, couldn’t he have come up with, I dunno, a plague of puppies? And the bit where He gave all the Egyptians boils? Ewwww! Half of Cairo was still inch-deep in pus when we left. And as for killing all their firstborn sons, well, isn’t that a little…well, sexist? We’ve been thinking that if He has to resort to fascist tactics like that, the Egyptians have already won.

Moses (screaming): And so you switched gods? You worship this (Points to golden calf) now? You worship something we make freakin’ brisket out of? If you’re going to worship stuff you can find at the deli, why didn’t you save yourself a lot of sculpting work and make a golden…matzoh?

Aaron: I’m sensing a lot of hostility here…

Moses contemplates breaking the tablet with commandments one through five over Aaron’s head, but decides not to. He looks at the cow and realizes something.

Moses: Hmmm…it just occurred to me…we were slaves. Unpaid labour. No pyramid builder’s union. We were dirt poor with nothing but the clothes on our backs. Where did you get enough gold to make this false god?

Aaron (nervously): Uh….we found it. Yeah, we found it. You know, near that place beside the thing…you know…

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