The White Sea, Parted

The view of our front walk this week.

Doesn’t that wall of snow look a bit like the wall of water left by the parting of the Red Sea in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 version of The Ten Commandments?

DeMille remade The Ten Commandments in 1956 with Charlton Heston as Moses, which is no doubt the version you’d recognize from its annual Easter broadcast. But the1923 version is the one in which DeMille ingeniously figured out how to make the Red Sea part by flooding a tank with water and Jello, and then reversing the film shot so that the watery gelatin appears to be parting and rising instead of flowing downward and together. The standing walls shown here were made of molded Jello with water trickling over the top and edges to add to the illusion of huge amounts of water being held back to allow the Israelites’ passage. 

Check out this video explaining the special effects associated with the Red Sea parting over the years.

By the way, the story of finding Cecil B. DeMille’s “Lost City” Egyptian set from the original 1923 film is really cool. Read about it here, or watch the excellent documentary. I was able to view the documentary film free on Amazon Prime a couple months ago. If it’s no longer available free, you can rent it for under $5.00.

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
This entry was posted in Movies and film, Photography, Popular culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The White Sea, Parted

  1. Pretty amazing!! I think your sidewalk needs to be in “pictures”!! lol

    Liked by 1 person

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