In conjunction with its current exhibition The King James Bible: Its History and Influence, the Harry Ransom Center hosts the Biblical Film Series throughout June and July.
The event is free, but donations are welcome. Seating is limited. Line forms upon arrival of the first patron, and doors open 30 minutes in advance. Patrons are encouraged to visit the exhibition, which is open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, before attending the screenings.
The following films will be screened:
June 7, 7 p.m.: The Ten Commandments (1923), directed by Cecil B. DeMille and featuring Theodore Roberts and Leatrice Joy. The first part of the film tells the biblical story of Moses (Theodore Roberts) leading the Hebrew people from Egypt to the Promised Land. The second part, a moral parable set the 1920s, tells of two brothers, rivals for the love of Mary (Leatrice Joy), who come into conflict when John (Richard Dix) discovers Dan (Rod La Rocque) used shoddy materials to construct a cathedral. This silent film, which runs 136 minutes, depicts both the story of the commandments and their application to contemporary 1920s society.
June 21, 6 p.m.: The Ten Commandments (1956), directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Charlton Heston. The film tells the story of the Egyptian prince Moses (Heston), who learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people from bondage under his adoptive brother Pharaoh Ramses II (Yul Brynner). Please note that this film will begin at 6 p.m. due to its 220-minute run-time.
July 12, 7 p.m.: Samson and Delilah (1949), directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature. Based on the Biblical account found in the Book of Judges, this film tells the story of Samson (Mature), the strongest man in the tribe of Dan. After a confrontation takes the life of Samson’s betrothed, Semadar (Angela Lansbury), her sister Delilah (Lamarr) vows to avenge her by seducing Samson, learning the secret of his strength, and betraying him to the Philistines. The film runs 131 minutes.
July 26, 7 p.m.: Solomon and Sheba (1959), starring Yul Brynner and Gina Lollobrigida. In this non-canonical retelling of the Biblical account, King David names his younger son Solomon (Brynner) successor ahead of his older son Adonijah (George Sanders). Solomon falls in love with the Queen of Sheba (Lollobrigida), who, unbeknownst to him, has allied herself with the Pharaoh of Egypt, aims to divide the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and uses the disaffected Adonijah in her plans. The film runs 139 minutes.