Paramount Home Video’s Bluray of The Ten Commandments (out 3.29) is fairly close to magnificent. It’s a visual bath of the first order. The costumes, the golden armor, the beards, the wood grain, the jewelry, the matted hair on the donkeys and oxen…all the remarkable little details that are part of any well-photographed, large-format, big-event film just keep on coming. The glossy, freshly-painted chariots are a trip in themselves.

I’m not exaggerating — this is one of the most excitingly detailed Blurays I’ve ever seen.

The soundstage scenes constitute 98% of this film, and are therefore the most carefully lighted and colorful and delectable. The glistening palace floors, the stone facades of the Hebrew homes, the Hebrew garments, the shimmering idols and battle helmets and chestplates, the gleaming swords, the mustard-colored deserts, the red headresses and deep-blue palace drapes…wow! Forget the thematic and story contents of this 1956 film, and forget most of the performances except Yul Brynner and Edward G. Robinson‘s. It has always been a tedious and tiresome sit. But the colors and detail are amazing. I feel like I finally understand what this film is really about — i.e., production values!

Watch the following in 1080p to get the full low-rent effect:

The extras contain a short doc about the film’s New York City premiere, and in it there’s footage of John Wayne without his rug.