The Prince of Egypt: Wikis

  
  

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The Prince of Egypt

Original poster
Directed by Simon Wells
Brenda Chapman
Steve Hickner
Produced by Penney Finkelman Cox
Sandra Rabins
Jeffrey Katzenberg (executive producer)
Written by Philip LaZebnik
Nicholas Meyer
Starring Val Kilmer
Ralph Fiennes
Michelle Pfeiffer
Sandra Bullock
Jeff Goldblum
Patrick Stewart
Danny Glover
Steve Martin
Martin Short
Music by Stephen Schwartz (songs)
Hans Zimmer (score)
Editing by Nick Fletcher
Studio DreamWorks Animation
Distributed by DreamWorks
Release date(s) December 18, 1998 (1998-12-18)
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $70 million[1]
Gross revenue $218,613,178[1]
Followed by Joseph: King of Dreams (2000)

The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 American animated film, the first traditionally animated film produced and released by DreamWorks. The story follows the life of Moses from his birth, through his childhood as a prince of Egypt, and finally to his ultimate destiny to lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, which is based on the Biblical story of Exodus. The film was directed by Brenda Chapman, Simon Wells and Steve Hickner. The film featured songs written by Stephen Schwartz and a score composed by Hans Zimmer. The voice cast featured a number of major Hollywood actors in the speaking roles, while professional singers replaced them for the songs. The exceptions were Michelle Pfeiffer, Ralph Fiennes, Ofra Haza, Steve Martin, and Martin Short, who sang their own parts.

The film was nominated for best Original Music Score and won for Best Original Song at the 1999 Academy Awards for "When You Believe".[2] The pop version of the song was performed at the ceremony by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. The song, co-written by Stephen Schwartz, Hans Zimmer and with additional production by Babyface, was nominated for Best Original Song (in a Motion Picture) at the 1999 Golden Globes,[3] and was also nominated for Outstanding Performance of a Song for a Feature Film at the ALMA Awards.

The film was released in theaters on December 18, 1998, and on VHS and DVD on September 14, 1999. The film went on to gross $218,613,188 worldwide in theaters[1], making it the second traditionally animated feature not released by Disney to gross over $100 million in the U.S. (after The Rugrats Movie), Prince of Egypt became the top grossing non-Disney animated film until 2000 when it was out-grossed by the claymation Chicken Run. The film also remained the highest grossing non-Disney traditionally animated film until 2007, when it was out-grossed by The Simpsons Movie.[4]

Contents

Plot synopsis

The first song ("Deliver Us") shows Hebrew slaves labor away while Jochebed (also spelled Yocheved) (Ofra Haza), sees her fellow mothers' baby sons being taken away from them, as Pharaoh Seti I (Patrick Stewart) has ordered his guards to kill all the male Hebrew children of Egypt to prevent any future rebellion led by Hebrew men. Yocheved thus places her own son in a basket and sets it afloat on the Nile to be preserved by fate, singing her final lullaby ("River Lullaby", A recurring motif in the film) to the baby. Her daughter, Miriam, follows the basket and witnesses her baby brother being taken in by the Queen of Egypt (Helen Mirren) and named Moses.

The story cuts to 40 years later (according to the Bible), to show a grown Moses (Val Kilmer) and his foster-brother, Rameses II (Ralph Fiennes), racing their chariots through the Egyptian temples, destroying many statues. When they are lectured by their father, Seti I, later on for their misdeeds, Rameses is offended that his father believes he would bring down the dynasty. Moses later remarks that Rameses wants the approval of his father, but lacks the opportunity. Moses goes to cheer his brother up, making joking predictions ("Statues crumbling and toppling, the Nile drying up; singlehandedly you will manage to bring the greatest kingdom on Earth to ruins!"). They then stumble in late to a banquet given by Seti, discovering that he has named Rameses as Prince Regent. In thanks, Rameses appoints Moses as Royal Chief Architect. As a tribute to Rameses, the high priests Hotep (Steve Martin) and Huy (Martin Short) offer Tzipporah (Michelle Pfeiffer), a Midian girl they kidnapped as a concubine for him. Rameses rejects the offer and gives Moses the sacrifice. She eventually escapes, with Moses' help. Moses is led to a small spot in Goshen where he is reunited with Miriam (Sandra Bullock) and Aaron (Jeff Goldblum), his siblings. There, Miriam tells him the truth about his past. Moses at first is in denial ("All I Ever Wanted"), but a nightmare and talks with his adoptive parents help him realize the truth. Moses eventually kills an Egyptian guard, who was abusing an old slave, and runs away in exile.

Moses finds his way to Midian, where he saves Tzipporah's sisters from bandits. He is welcomed warmly by Tzipporah's father, Jethro (Danny Glover) the High Priest of Midian and his people. Moses becomes a shepherd and gradually earns Tzipporah's respect and love, culminating in their marriage ("Through Heaven's Eyes"). Moses soon comes into contact with the burning bush while chasing a stray lamb and is instructed by God (also Val Kilmer) to free the slaves from Egypt. God then empowers Moses' shepherding staff with the ability to do great wonders, the greatest being to shepherd his people to freedom. Tzipporah returns with him to find the slaves in even worse condition than before. He discovers that Rameses is now Pharaoh and has a wife and a young son. Moses tells Rameses to let his people go, demonstrating the power behind him by changing his shepherding staff into a snake. Hotep and Huy boastfully repeat this transformation ("Playing with the Big Boys Now"), invoking almost all of Egypt's gods (with the notable exceptions of Horus and Thoth, possibly due to their strong similarity to central figures in Christianity hundreds of years later) in the process; behind their backs, the snake created by Moses eats both of their snakes. Rather than being persuaded, Rameses is hardened and orders the slaves' work to be doubled.

Depicted as a luminous, wispy, white mist, the Plague of Death emerges and descends from the heavens.

Out in the work field, Moses is struck down by an elder Hebrew into a muddy pit, and then is confronted by Aaron, who blames him for the excess workload. Moses, with Miriam's help, tells the Hebrews to believe that freedom will come. He confronts Rameses, who is passing on his boat in the Nile. Rameses orders his guards to bring Moses to him, but they turn back when Moses turns the river into blood. During the nine of the Plagues of Egypt occur ("The Plagues") Moses feels tortured inside, betraying Rameses and leaving Egypt in ruins. Moses soon returns to Rameses to warn him about the final plague. After an almost-tender moment between the "brothers", Moses is told never to come to Rameses again, even though Moses warns Rameses that an even worse plague is about to transpire, and to think of Rameses' only son. Moses then instructs the Hebrews to paint lamb's blood above their doors for the coming night of Passover. The Angel of Death comes through during the night, killing all the firstborn children of Egypt, including Rameses' son. Moses once more visits the grief-stricken Rameses, who is cradling the body of his own son. Rameses reluctantly lets the Hebrews go. Moses leaves and breaks down in tears outside, his spirit broken after causing his brother so much pain.

The next morning, the Hebrews happily pack, leave their enslavement, and eventually find their way to the Red Sea ("When You Believe"), but turn around to find out Rameses has changed his mind and is pursuing them with his army. Moses parts the Red Sea, while behind him a pillar of fire writhes before the Egyptians, blocking their way. The Hebrews cross on the sea bottom; when the army gives chase, the water closes over the Egyptians, and the Hebrews are freed. Rameses, who has been hurled back to the shore by the collapsing waves, is left yelling his brother's name in defeated fury. Moses turns from the shore and begins to lead his people onward; only briefly looking back towards the sea in Rameses' direction, murmuring sadly; "Good bye, Brother". The last scene of the film shows Moses delivering the Ten Commandments to his people as Jochebed's voice echoes in the background.

Cast

Director Brenda Chapman briefly voices Miriam when she sings the lullaby to Moses. The vocal had been recorded for a scratch audio track, which was intended to be replaced later by Sally Dworsky. The track turned out so well that it remained in the film.

Production

The idea for the film came about at the formation of DreamWorks Pictures, when the three partners, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, were meeting in Spielberg's living room.[5] Katzenberg recalls that Spielberg looked at him during the meeting and said, "You ought to do the Ten Commandments."[5]

Story development

The Prince of Egypt was "written" throughout the story process. Beginning with a starting outline, Story Supervisors Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook led a team of 14 storyboard artists and writers as they sketched out the entire movie - sequence by sequence. Once the storyboards were approved, they were put into the Avid Media Composer digital editing system by editor Nick Fletcher to create a "story reel" or animatic. The story reel allowed the filmmakers to view and edit the entire movie in continuity before production began, and also helped the layout and animation departments understand what is happening in each sequence of the film.[6] After casting of the voice talent concluded, dialogue recording sessions began. For the film, the actors record individually in a studio under guidance by one of the three directors. The voice tracks were to become the primary aspect as to which the animators built their performances.[6] Because DreamWorks was concerned about historical and theological accuracy, Jeffrey Katzenberg decided to call in Bible scholars, Christian, Jewish and Muslim theologians, and Arab American leaders to help his movie be more accurate and faithful to the original story. After previewing the developing film, all these leaders noted that the studio executives listened and responded to their ideas, and praised the studio for reaching out for comment from outside sources.[5]

Art and visual design

Art directors Kathy Altieri and Richard Chavez and Production Designer Darek Gogol led a team of nine visual development artists in setting a visual style for the movie that was representative of the time, the scale and the architectural style of Ancient Egypt.[6] Part of the process also included the research and collection of artwork from various artists, as well as taking part in trips such as a two-week travel across Egypt by the filmmakers before the production of the film began.[6]

There are 1192 scenes in film, and 1180 of them have special effects in them. These special effects were elements such as wind blowing or environmental things such as dust or rainwater. There were also effects design in terms of lighting, as it casts its shadows and images into a given scene. In the end, these effects helped the animators graphically illustrate scenes such as the 10 plagues and the parting of the Red Sea.[5]

A character animator working on the film. The character's maquette at the left is used as a reference by the animator.

Character and background design

Character Designers Carter Goodrich, Carlos Grangel and Nicolas Marlet worked on setting the design and overall look of the characters. Drawing on various inspirations for the widely known characters, the team of character designers worked on designs that had a more realistic feel than the usual animated characters up to that time.[6] Both character design and art direction worked to set a definite distinction between the symmetrical, more angular look of the Egyptians versus the more organic, natural look of the Hebrews and their related environments.[6] The Backgrounds department, headed by supervisors Paul Lasaine and Ron Lukas, oversaw a team of artists who were responsible for painting the sets/backdrops from the layouts. Within the film, approximately 934 hand-painted backgrounds were created.[6]

Music and sound

The task of creating the voice of God was given to Lon Bender and the team working with the film's music composer, Hans Zimmer.[7] "The challenge with that voice was to try to evolve it into something that had not been heard before," says Bender. "We did a lot of research into the voices that had been used for past Hollywood movies as well as for radio shows, and we were trying to create something that had never been previously heard not only from a casting standpoint but from a voice manipulation standpoint as well. The solution was to use the voice of actor Val Kilmer to suggest the kind of voice we hear inside our own heads in our everyday lives, as opposed to the larger than life tones with which God has been endowed in prior cinematic incarnations."[7]

Composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz began working on writing songs for the film from the very beginning of the film's production. As the story evolved, he continued to write songs that would serve to both entertain and help move the story along. Composer Hans Zimmer arranged and produced the songs and then eventually wrote the score for the film. The film's score was recorded entirely in London, England.[6]

Soundtrack

Three soundtracks were released simultaneously for The Prince of Egypt, each of them aimed towards a different target audience. While the other two accompanying records, the country-themed "Nashville" soundtrack and the gospel-based "Inspirational" soundtrack, functioned as movie tributes, the official Prince of Egypt soundtrack contained the actual songs from the film.[8] This album combines elements from the score composed by Hans Zimmer, and movie songs by Stephen Schwartz.[8] The songs were either voiced over by professional singers (such as Salisbury Cathedral Choir), or sung by the movie's voice actors, such as Michelle Pfeiffer and Ofra Haza. Various tracks by contemporary artists such as K-Ci & Jo-Jo and Boyz II Men were added, including the Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston duet "When You Believe", a Babyface rewrite of the original Schwartz composition, sung by Michelle Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky in the movie.

Ofra Haza, who voiced Yocheved, sang the opening song "Deliver Us" in 28 languages in which the film was released, in addition to her native Hebrew language.

Reception

Box Office performance

The film was a box-office success, gaining $218,613,188 worldwide[1], which easily covered its production budget.

The Prince of Egypt box office revenue
Source Gross (USD)  % Total All Time Rank (Unadjusted)
Domestic $101,413,188[1] 46.4% 398[1]
Foreign $117,200,000[1] 53.6% N/A
Worldwide $218,613,188[1] 100.0% 319[1]

Reviews

The Prince of Egypt received generally positive reviews from critics and at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 80 reviews collected, the film has an overall approval rating of 79%, with a weighted average score of 7/10.[9] Among Rotten Tomatoes's Cream of the Crop, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs,[10] the film holds an overall approval rating of 75 percent.[11] By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized 0–100 rating to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 64 from the 26 reviews it collected.[12]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film in his review saying, "The Prince of Egypt is one of the best-looking animated films ever made. It employs computer-generated animation as an aid to traditional techniques, rather than as a substitute for them, and we sense the touch of human artists in the vision behind the Egyptian monuments, the lonely desert vistas, the thrill of the chariot race, the personalities of the characters. This is a film that shows animation growing up and embracing more complex themes, instead of chaining itself in the category of children's entertainment."[13] Richard Corliss of Time Magazine gave a negative review of the film saying, "The film lacks creative exuberance, any side pockets of joy."[14] Stephen Hunter from Washington Post praised the film saying, "The movie's proudest accomplishment is that it revises our version of Moses toward something more immediate and believable, more humanly knowable."[15] Lisa Alspector from Chicago Reader praised the film and wrote, "The blend of animation techniques somehow demonstrates mastery modestly, while the special effects are nothing short of magnificent."[16] Houston Chronicle's Jeff Millar reviewed by saying, "The handsomely animated Prince of Egypt is an amalgam of Hollywood biblical epic, Broadway supermusical and nice Sunday school lesson."[17] James Berardinelli from Reelviews highly praised the film saying, "The animation in The Prince of Egypt is truly top-notch, and is easily a match for anything Disney has turned out in the last decade", and also wrote "this impressive achievement uncovers yet another chink in Disney's once-impregnable animation armor."[18] Liam Lacey of Globe and Mail gave a somewhat negative review and wrote, "Prince of Egypt is spectacular but takes itself too seriously."[19] The Nostalgia Critic placed the film as #8 on his list of the Top 11 Underrated Nostalgia Classics, placing it low on the list because it was a box office success, but has not been talked about since.[20]

Awards and nominations

  • Annie Awards[21]
    • Best Animated Feature (Nominated)
    • Individual Achievement in Directing to Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells (Nominated)
    • Individual Achievement in Storyboarding to Lorna Cook (Story supervisor) (Nominated)
    • Individual Achievement in Effects Animation to Jamie Lloyd (Effects Lead - Burning Bush/Angel of Death) (Nominated)
    • Individual Achievement in Voice Acting to Ralph Fiennes ("Rameses") (Nominated)

Differences from the Biblical story

Although based on the Biblical story of Exodus, the film takes considerable liberties with the Biblical story. It opens with a textual disclaimer stating that, "artistic license has been taken." Some differences are listed below:

  • In the Bible, Pharaoh's daughter finds Moses in the Nile and sends her handmaids to retrieve him. In the movie, Pharaoh's wife found him, and retrieves the basket herself.[22](Ex.2: 9)
  • In the Bible, Moses' sister comes to Pharaoh's daughter and offers her a woman (Moses' real mother) who can nurse Moses; this is not shown in the film.[22]
  • In the New Testament, in the Book of 2nd Timothy, Paul lists the names of the magicians of Pharaoh as Jannes and Jambres (according to Hebrew tradition.) In the film, their names are Hotep and Huy.
  • In the Bible, Moses kills an Egyptian guard and buries his body, whereas in the film Moses flees after accidentally knocking the guard off the large scaffolding.[22](Ex. 2:11-12)
  • In the Bible, Moses was roughly eighty by the time he returned to Egypt, and had two sons. In the film, he appears fairly young, and his sons are not depicted.[22]
  • In the film, Moses turned his staff into a snake when he first saw Pharaoh. In the Bible, he performed it during his second encounter.
  • In the Bible, Moses is "slow of tongue", and Aaron speaks for him. In this film, as is often the case with dramatic adaptations of this passage, Moses alone speaks for God to Pharaoh.
  • In the Bible, the pharaoh tried to kill Moses, but in the film Rameses did not.
  • Current hypotheses on the Exodus timeline have Tuthmose III or Ramses as the Pharaoh of Oppression. (However, it must be noted that there is no historical data to support these hypotheses.) In the film, it is Seti, with Ramses being his successor. This assumption was also present in an earlier Exodus film, The Ten Commandments.

Controversy

The Maldives was the first of two Muslim countries to ban the film. The country's Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs stated, "all prophets and messengers of God are revered in Islam, and therefore cannot be portrayed".[23][24] Following this ruling, the censor board banned the film in January 1999. In the same month, the Film Censorship Board in Malaysia banned the film, but did not provide a specific explanation. The board's secretary said that the censor body ruled the film was "insensitive for religious and moral reasons".[25] However, the film is now openly available on DVD in retail stores in both countries.

The film was banned in Egypt,[26] a predominantly Muslim country, as the depiction of Islamic prophets (of which Moses is one) is forbidden in Islam.There was also discontent concerning the reference to Rameses (or Ramses in Egypt) as the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Rameses II is highly regarded in Egypt, and is widely believed by the people to have been deceased prior to the events of the Hebrew enslavement and Exodus.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Prince of Egypt (1998)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=princeofegypt.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  2. ^ a b "Academy Awards, USA: 1998". awardsdatabase.oscars.org. http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/DisplayMain.jsp?curTime=1235853348172. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  3. ^ a b "HFPA-Awards search". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. http://www.goldenglobes.org/browse/year/1998. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  4. ^ "Highest grossing animated films". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=animation.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Dan Wooding's strategic times". Assistnews.net. http://www.assistnews.net/strategic/s0000023.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Prince of Egypt-About the Production". Filmscouts.com. http://www.filmscouts.com/SCRIPTs/matinee.cfm?Film=pri-egy&File=productn. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  7. ^ a b "Sound design of Prince of Egypt". Filmsound.org. http://www.filmsound.org/studiosound/postpro.html. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  8. ^ a b "SoundtrackNet:The Prince of Egypt Soundtrack". SoundtrackNet.net. http://www.soundtrack.net/albums/database/?id=1648. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  9. ^ "The Prince of Egypt movie reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/prince_of_egypt/?name_order=asc. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  10. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes FAQ: What is Cream of the Crop". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/pages/faq#creamofthecrop. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  11. ^ "The Prince of Egypt: Rotten Tomatoes' Cream of the Crop". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/prince_of_egypt/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  12. ^ "The Prince of Egypt (1998): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/princeofegypt?q=prince%20of%20egypt. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  13. ^ "The Prince of Egypt: Roger Ebert". Chicago Suntimes. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19981218/REVIEWS/812180303/1023. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  14. ^ "Can a Prince be a movie king? - TIME". Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,989841-1,00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  15. ^ "The Prince of Egypt: Review". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/princeofegypthunter.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  16. ^ "The Prince of Egypt: Review". Chicago Reader. http://onfilm.chicagoreader.com/movies/capsules/17161_PRINCE_OF_EGYPT. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  17. ^ "The Prince of Egypt: Movie Reviews". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ae/movies/reviews/161442.html. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  18. ^ "Review:The Prince of Egypt". Reelviews.net. http://www.reelviews.net/movies/p/prince_egypt.html. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  19. ^ "The Globe and Mail Review:The Prince of Egypt". The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/movie/MOVIEREVIEWS/19981218/TALAIM. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  20. ^ http://www.thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/2384-top-11-underated-nostalgic-classics
  21. ^ "Legacy: 22nd Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1999)". Annie Awards. http://annieawards.org/27thwinners.html. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  22. ^ a b c d The Prince of Egypt, Let Us Reason
  23. ^ "There can be miracles", The Independent, January 24, 1999
  24. ^ "CNN Showbuzz - January 27, 1999". CNN. 1999-01-27. http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/News/9901/27/showbuzz/index.html. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  25. ^ "Malaysia bans Spielberg's Prince". BBC News. 1999-01-27. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/263905.stm. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  26. ^ "Titles banned in Egypt". IMDB. http://us.imdb.com/List?certificates=Egypt:(Banned)&&heading=14;Egypt:(Banned). Retrieved 2009-02-28. 

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Titanic
Academy Award for Best Original Song
1998
Succeeded by
Tarzan

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 animated film about Moses, an Egyptian prince who learns of his identity as a Hebrew, and later his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people.

Directed by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner and Simon Wells. Written by Ken Harsha, Anthony Leondis and Philip LaZebnik.
Two brothers united by friendship, divided by destiny. Taglines

Contents

Rameses

  • Last night, the gods granted me a vision. I'm not merely going to restore this temple; I will make it more grand, more splendid than any other monument in upper or lower Egypt...
  • I will not be the weak link! Tell your people as of today, their work load has been doubled, thanks to your God. Or is it thanks... to you?
  • [Rameses' son has just died because of the final plague] You and your people have my permission to go. [Moses reaches for him] Leave me!

Others

  • Yocheved: [singing] River, O, River / Flow gently for me / Such precious cargo you bear / Do you know somewhere he can be free? / River, deliver him there.
  • Miriam: Moses, hear what I say. I've been a slave all my life. And God has never answered my prayers until now. God saved you from the river, He saved you in all your wanderings, and even now, He saves you from the wrath of Pharaoh. God will not abandon you. So don't you abandon us.
  • Aaron: Miriam, do you want us flogged?
  • Tzipporah: Look. Look at your people, Moses. They are free.
  • Hotep: Oh, that's pretty.
  • Huy: [repeated line] By the power of Ra!
  • Seti: Sometimes, for the greater good, sacrifices must be made.
  • Moses: Aren't these your camels?
  • God: With this staff, you shall do my wonders.

Dialogue

[first lines]
Overseers: [chanting] Mud... sand... water... straw. Faster! Mud... and lift... sand... and pull... water... and raise up! Straw... faster!
Hebrews: [singing] With the sting of the whip on my shoulder, with the salt of my sweat on my brow... Elohim, God on high, can you hear your people cry? Help us now, this dark hour... Deliver us, hear our call, deliver us, Lord of all! Remember us, here in the burning sand! Deliver us, there's a land you promised us! Deliver us to the promised land!

Rameses: Come on, Moses, admit it. You've always looked up to me.
Moses: Yes, but it's not much of a view!

Moses: Hey, Ramses! How'd you like to have your face carved on a wall?
Rameses: Someday, yes.
Moses: How about now?! [pushes him into a wall]

Rameses: Second born, second place!
Moses: Not for long!

[After Rameses and Moses have wrecked the statues]
Seti: Why do the gods torment me with such reckless, destructive, blasphemous sons?
Rameses: Father, hear what I say--
Seti: Be still, Pharaoh speaks! I seek to build an empire, and your only goal is to amuse yourselves by tearing it down. Have I taught you nothing?
Hotep: You mustn't be so hard on yourself, Your Majesty. You're an excellent teacher.
Huy: It's not you fault your sons learned nothing.
Hotep: Well, they learned blasphemy.
Huy: True. [They both leave]
Moses: Father, the fault was mine: I goaded Rameses on, and so I am responsible.
Seti: Responsible. And do you know the meaning of that word, Rameses?
Rameses: I understand, Father.
Seti: And do you understand the task for which your birth has destined you? The ancient traditions: when I pass into the next world, then you will be the morning and the evening star.
Rameses: One damaged temple does not destroy centuries of tradition.
Seti: But one weak link can break the chain of a mighty dynasty!
[The Queen relieves him]
Seti: [sighs in disgust] You have my leave to go.
Rameses: Father...
[The Queen stops him and he leaves, offended]
Moses: Father, you know it was really my fault. Must you be so hard on him?
Seti: Moses, you will never have to carry a burden like the crown I will pass to Rameses. He must not allow himself to be lead astray; even by you, my son.
Moses: All he cares about is...is your approval. I know he will live up to your expectations. He only needs the opportunity.
Seti: Maybe, maybe so. Go now, I shall see you both tonight.

Moses: Well, that went well.
Rameses: Just go away.
Moses: Could've been worse.
Rameses: The weak link in the chain. That's what he called me.
Moses: Well, you are rather pathetic.
Rameses: Irresponsible, ignorant of the traditions. He practically accused me of bringing down the dynasty.
Moses: Yeah, I can see it now. There go the pyramids! [laughs]
Rameses: You can laugh about it.
Moses: Statues cracking and toppling over, the Nile drying up; singlehandedly, you will manage to bring the greatest kingdom on Earth to ruin!
Rameses: Tell me this, Moses, tell me this: why is it that every time you start something, I'm the one who ends up in trouble?

Moses: Hey, I figured it out. You know what your problem is, Rameses?
Rameses: What?
Moses: You care too much.
Rameses: And your problem is that you don't care at all.
Moses: Well, in that case, I supposed that you care a lot more than I do that we're...late for the banquet, for example.
[Cut to Rameses and Moses rushing to the banquet.]
Rameses: I'm done for, Father will kill me!
Moses: Don't worry, nobody will even notice us coming in.
[They enter. The entire crowd sees them and cheers loudly.]
Rameses: Nobody will even notice?

[Hotep and Huy have just presented Tzipporah.]
Rameses: Let us inspect this desert flower. [Tzipporah tries to bite his hand] Ehhg! More like a desert cobra!
Moses: Not much of a snake-charmer, are you?

Miriam: I knew you cared about our freedom!
Moses: Freedom? Why would I care about that?
Miriam: Because you...you're our brother.
Moses: What?
Miriam: They...they never told you?
Moses: Who never told me what?
Miriam: B-but you're here! You must know. [reaches to touch his hand]
Moses: [pulling away] Be careful, slave!
Aaron: [pulls Miriam back nervously] Oh, my good prince...um, she...she's exhausted from the day's work. Not that it was too much! We...we quite enjoyed it, but-but ah, she's confused, and knows not to whom she speaks!
Miriam: [breaks his grip] I know "to whom I speak," Aaron! I know who you are, and you are not a prince of Egypt!
Aaron: Miriam--!
Moses: What did you say?!
Aaron: Your Highness, pay her no heed! C-c-come, Miriam. May I discuss something with you?
Miriam: [fighting him] No, Aaron. No! Please, Moses, you must believe! You were born of my mother, Yocheved! [breaks free of Aaron] You are our brother!
Moses: Now you go too far. You shall be punished!
Aaron: [throws himself on ground between them] No! Please...uh, Your Highness...she's ill! She's very ill; we beg your forgivness. Please, Miriam; l-let us go! [starts dragging her away]
Miriam: No, Aaron!...Our mother set you adrift in a basket to save your life!
Moses: Save my life? From who?
Miriam: [still struggling] Ask the man that you call father!
Moses: How dare you...?!
Aaron: [gives up, stands beside a wall, looking away]
Miriam: God saved you to be our deliverer!
Moses: Enough of this!
Miriam: And you are, Moses. You are the deliverer!
Moses: I said enough! [grabs her arm, throws her to ground] You will regret this night!

[Moses discovers, to his great dismay, that the pharaoh was responsible for the butchery of thousands of Hebrew children.]
Pharaoh Seti: The Hebrews grew too numerous. They might have risen against us.
Moses: [On the brink of tears] Father, tell me you didn't do this.
Pharaoh Seti: Moses, sometimes, for the greater good, sacrifices must be made.
Moses: Sacrifices?
Pharaoh Seti: [Taking Moses tenderly into his arms] Oh, my son...they were only slaves.
[Moses, greatly disturbed, pulls away.]

Moses: Is this where you found me?
Queen: Moses, please try to understand.
Moses: So everything I thought, everything I am, is a lie.
Queen: No! You are our son and we love you.
Moses: Why did you choose me?
Queen: We didn't, Moses. The gods did.

[After the (mostly) accidental death of an Egyptian guard]
Moses: Let me go!
Rameses: No, wait!
Moses: You saw what happened; I just killed a man!
Rameses: We can take care of that! I-I will make it so it never happened!
Moses: Nothing you say can change what I've done!
Rameses: I am Egypt! The Morning and Evening Star; if I say, "day is night," it will be written! And you will be who I say you are. I say you are innocent.
Moses: What you say does not matter! You don't understand...I can't stay here any longer!
Rameses: Moses...
Moses: No! All I've ever known to be true is a lie! I'm not who you think I am.
Rameses: What are you talking about?
Moses: Go asked the man I once called father. [turns, walks away]
Rameses: Moses--?
Moses: [pauses, turns around]
Rameses: [softly, on verge of tears] Please.
Moses: Good-bye, Brother.

[Moses has fallen into Jethro's well. Tzipporah's sisters are trying to pull him out.]
Tzipporah: What are you girls doing?
Sister: We're trying to get the funny man out of the well!
Tzipporah: Trying to get the funny man out of the well. Well that's one I've never heard before. [she looks down the well and see a figure] Oh! Oh, my! Don't worry down there! We'll get you out! Hold on! [she sees it is Moses] You! [she lets go of the rope, nods, and saunters away]
Sister: That's why Papa says she'll never get married.

God: [whispering] Moses...
Moses: Here I am.
God: Take the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.
Moses: Who are you?
God: I Am that I Am.
Moses: I don't understand.
God: I am the God of your ancestors, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.
Miriam: [disembodied] You are born of our mother Yocheved! You are our brother!
[Moses quickly removes his sandals and throws them behind him.]
Moses: What do you want with me?
God: I have seen the oppression of my people in Egypt, and have heard their cry. [sounds of screams and cracking whips] So I shall stretch forth my hand, and lead them out of Egypt, and deliver them into a good land. A land flowing with milk and honey. And so, unto Pharaoh, I shall send...you.
Moses: Me? W-who am I to lead these people? They'll never believe me, they won't even listen!
God: I shall teach you what to say. [disembodied] Let my people go!
Moses: But I was their enemy. I was the prince of Egypt, the son of the man who slaughtered...their children! You've chosen the wrong messenger! H-how can I even speak to these people?
God: Who made man's mouth? Who made the deaf, the mute, the seeing, or the blind? Did not I? Now go!
[Moses falls to the ground, cowering.]
God: [soothing, lifting Moses up] Oh, Moses, I shall be with you when you go to the king of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not listen. So I will stretch out my hand and smite Egypt with all my wonders! Take the staff in your hand, Moses. With it, you shall do my wonders! [whispering] I will be with you, Moses.

[Singing]
Hotep: So you think you've got friends in high places, with the power to put us on the run? [vanishes]
Huy: Well, forgive us these smiles on our faces. You'll know what power is when we are done, son...

Aaron: So, Moses, how does it feel when you get struck to the ground?
Moses: I didn't intend to cause you more pain. I'm just trying to do as God told me.
Aaron: God? When did God start caring about any of us? In fact, Moses, when did you start caring about slaves? Was it when you found out that you were one of us?

Moses: Rameses, let my people go!
Rameses: Still gnawing away at that bone, are we? [to his guards] Carry on.
Moses: You cannot keep ignoring us!
Rameses: Enough. I will hear no more of this Hebrew nonsense. [to his guards] Bring him to me.

Rameses: Abandon this futile mission, Moses! I've indulged you long enough! This must now be finished!
Moses: No, Rameses. It is only beginning.

Moses: [singing] Once I called you brother. Once I thought the chance to make you laugh was all I ever wanted. And even now, I wished that God had chose another. Serving as your foe on his behalf is the last thing that I wanted. This was my home. All this pain and devastation, how it tortures me inside. All the innocent who suffer from your stubbornness and pride. You who I called brother, why must you call down another blow?
Chorus: [singing] I send my scourge, I send my sword.
Moses: [singing] Let my people go.
Chorus: [singing] Thus saith the Lord.
Moses and Chorus: [singing] Thus saith the Lord.
Rameses: [singing] You who I called brother. How could you have come to hate me so? I this what you wanted?
Chorus: [singing] I send the swarm, I send the horde.
Rameses: [singing] Then let my heart be hardened, and never mind how high the cost may grow. This will still be so: I will never let your people go.

Moses: Rameses?
Rameses: Let me guess. You want me to...let your people go.
Moses: I...hoped I would find you here.
Rameses: Get out! [throws a goblet at him]
Moses: Rameses, we must bring this to an end. [pause] Rameses please, talk to me. We could always talk here. [pause] This place...so many memories...I remember the time you... [chuckles] switched the heads of the gods in the Temple of Ra.
Rameses: If I recall correctly, you were there switching heads right along with me.
Moses: No, that was you, I didn't do that.
Rameses: Oh yes you did. You put the hippo on the crocodile and the crocodile...
Moses: [remembers] ...on the falcon.
Rameses: Yes! And the priests thought it was a horrible omen and fasted for two months! Father was furious! You were always getting me into trouble! [pauses and expression softens] But then...you were always there to get me...out of trouble again. Why can't things be the way they were before?

Moses: No kingdom should be made on the backs of slaves. Rameses, your stubbornness is bringing this misery upon Egypt. It would cease if only you would let the Hebrews go.
Rameses: I will not be dictated to. I will not be threatened. I am the morning and the evening star! I am Pharaoh!
Moses: Something else is coming, something much worse than anything before. Please, let go of your contempt for life before it destroys everything you hold dear! Think of your son!
Rameses: I do. You Hebrews have been nothing but trouble. My father had the right idea about how to deal with your people.
Moses: Rameses!
Ramases: And it's time I finished the job!
Moses: Rameses!
Ramases: And there shall be a great cry in all of Egypt, such as never has been or ever will be again!
Moses: Rameses, you bring this upon yourself.

Miriam: [singing] Many nights, we've prayed with no proof anyone could hear. In our hearts, a hopeful song we barely understood. Now, we are not afraid, although we know there's much to fear. We were moving mountains long before we knew we could. There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill. Who knows what miracles you can achieve? When you believe, somehow you will. You will when you believe.
Tzipporah: [singing] In this time of fear, when prayer so often proved in vain, hope seemed like the summer birds: too swiftly flown away. Yet now, I'm standing here with heart so full, I can't explain. Seeking faith, and speaking words I never thought I'd say.
Together: [singing] There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill. Who knows what miracles you can achieve? When you believe, somehow you will. You will when you believe.

Taglines

  • Two brothers united by friendship, divided by destiny.
  • The power is real. The story is forever. The time is now.

Cast

External links

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