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Ben-Hur-1925.jpg

Adapted from General Lew Wallace's popular novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ published in 1880, the epic Ben-Hur featured one of the most exciting spectacles in silent film: the chariot race that was shot with 40 cameras on a Circus Maximus set costing a staggering (for the day) $300,000. In addition to the grandeur of the chariot scene, a number of sequences shot in Technicolor also contributed to the epic status of Ben-Hur, which was directed by Fred Niblo and starred Ramon Novarro as Judah Ben-Hur and Francis X. Bushman as Messala. While the film did not initially recoup its investment, it did help to establish its studio, MGM, as one of the major players in the industry.

This version of Ben-Hur was added to the National Film Registry in 1997.

Watch it here, on this very wiki.

In addition to the tropes common to all versions of Ben-Hur, tropes used in this version include:
  • Epic Movie: This was the most expensive movie ever made at the time.
  • Splash of Color: Most of the film is shot in black and white, but all of the scenes that deal with Christ are in color, as is Ben-Hur's triumph and the final scene.



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