Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

BEN HUR 1925, a great film...


FredCDobbs
 Share

Recommended Posts

It is a great film. I saw it with live orchestra at the State University of New York at Purchase in the 1980s. Irene Mayer Selznick was in the audience.

 

I've recorded a few of the Novarro films -- they look great!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AMAZING !!! :)

 

OMG..that Chariot Race was a lot more graphic then I ever thought it would be and also lasted a lot longer ! also, the amount of extras they had in the film, it is just unbelievable that a movie of that caliber could be made in 1925 ! :)

 

I did wonder why parts of the movie were filmed in typical silent film colour ( kinda brown & white, if you will) and part was filmed in sharp black and white and also why parts were colourized. Do you know why and what Did You think of the movie ? :)

 

Twink

 

PS The fights that took place on the ship were too much and seemed too real, actually made me cry !

 

This is the First Silent that I have Ever seen and I find it to be more real without the sound of dialogue. I find because of that, one tends to pay more attention to what is actually happening and therefore it seems more real. Less distraction, if you will. It's as if that 'sixth sense' kicks in ! :)

 

Edited by: twinkeee on Aug 8, 2013 10:51 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This version is more a Tale of the Christ than the 1959 edition. The film is still visually impressive. The sea battle which seemed to have been made with real ships and that final earthquake effect. Navarro was very good. It was interesting as study of silent film technique- I wonder why some scenes are in color and other in black and white- the Valley of the Lepers was truly creepy. There are moments which seemed campy- love the femme fatale and her pet peacock and other's are surprisingly moving- the mother wanting to comfort Ben Hur but afraid to touch him. I loved the pre code touches like the topless parade girl but I'm still wondering what that naked slave was doing on the ship? The restoration team did an execellent job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

{color:black}{font:Calibri}:) The 1925 chariot race wins because it was done without the special effects that were available in 1959. It saw it and still don't believe it was so realistic and exciting. {font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{color:black}{font:Calibri}The beginning credits stated that some parts would be in color and the ending thanked some people for helping in the two-color strip restoration so those scenes were not “colorized” by anybody but part of the original film. Part of the 1927 *King of Kings* was done that way as well. Maybe it was out of reverence for the subject matter as the most religious aspects were the ones in color.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{color:black}{font:Calibri}I enjoyed the music, especially that used in the race, as It did add to the excitement . I agree that the cinematography was outstanding, both b&w and color; are you sure this was 1925?{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{color:black}{font:Calibri}Today was my introduction to both Ramon Navarro and Francis X. Bushman who’s name was the punch line for many jokes when I was a kid. Navarro has been charming and believable in the films I’ve watched so far and I’m still at it. (Bushman looked too old to have been Judah’s childhood playmate).{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{color:black}{font:Calibri}I only have one complaint about both versions but if General Wallace’s book ends without the Reserection that is not a valid one and it will be withdrawn. {font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{color:black}{font:Calibri}

One question: How did they manage to do in 2 1/2 hours what the 1959 version took nearly four so well? While I missed certain things such as Judah's conflicting emotions when Messala is hurt in the race-he's still his ememy but he can't forget how they were once like brothers-the economy in the storytelling is amazing.

 

Was this worth the wait? YES! Thank you, *TCM.*

 

{font}

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was really impressed. It held my attention more than any silent i've ever seen (the former best being a tie between 'gold ' and a harold lloyd short). I think they worked out some plot details better than the 59 version and a couple worse than it - and there were a lot of similarities. For example, I think the way they handled Arius' recognition of judah as being like a roman and thus unlocking his chains, i found a bit hokier than the 59 version's handling of that issue. but i really like the way they handled the leper thing. overall I think it surpasses the 1959 version - the acting is incredible imo. it really showed me how important the acting is in silent films...and how each line of printed dialogue has to have a lot of meaning packed into it. the special affects probably surpassed anything made beforehand (and for awhile since!). I too thought the chariot race was better than the 59 version. kudos as well to the restoration team. i say again i was really impressed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone, and I agree with everyone. :)

 

I'd like to add something that some people might have missed. While the acting was very good, the director's hand and eyes were in all of this, every scene.

 

It was the director who told the actors how and when to turn their heads, when to look down, when to look sad, shy, angry, afraid. He was watching the timing of everything, and remember, he could talk during the filming, since this was silent.

 

If he wanted a certain expression to linger a while, he didn't say anything, the actor just kept looking a certain way. And then when the director wanted them to look up or change expressions, he told them while they were filming.

 

Fred

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some examples of a few actresses following the instructions of a director, during a color film screen test. You can see some of them say a few words back at the director.

 

 

 

"Ok, now look up..... flutter your eyes...... smile...... tilt your head to the right..... smile a shy grin......."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a documentary clip showing how part of the chariot race was filmed.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEknV9vPQt0

 

At about 8:35 into this clip we see a wreck on the center left of the screen, and from the center right we see a man run out onto the racinig track. That was an assistant director, dressed in a costume, running out to flag away some of the other horses so they wouldn't pile into that wreck. I saw this scene in the actual movie, including the assistant director running out onto the track. But he looked like a cast member since he seems to be in a long robe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>Do you know why parts of the movie were in sharp black and white and why other parts were much less so ?

 

It looked to me like some of the scenes were shot with diffusion filters or diffusion lenses, to give sort of a dream-like quality to the image.

 

Also, back then a lot of different cameras and lenses were used for different scenes, also many different cameramen, so all of their lenses might not have all matched up. Some might have been sharper lenses than other ones.

 

I think the color tint to each black and white scene was up to the team that restored the film. Many early silent films were tinted, most often blueish for night "moonlight" type scenes, and orange for indoor "candle light" type scenes. Also other colors too. I think today's tinting is a little too strong, but we don't have any original films to compare it with. I think the tinting in the long version of GREED is much too vivid. And in that film, a lot of the tinting of the gold was done in a computer, so that the tinting is only in part of the scene, and that means the film has been artifically "colorized" in many of the scenes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>I think they worked out some plot details better than the 59 version and a couple worse than it

 

Yeah, definitely. And while I greatly enjoyed watching this 1925 version this evening, and especially listening to the brilliant score by Carl Davis, AND while I thought the chariot race was as well done as the '59 remake, I have to say I thought the more low key and much later presented conversation of Judah Ben-Hur of the remake and the healing by rain of his mother and daughter's leprosy seemed more believable...if that sort of thing is believable at all, of course.

 

This is because first, I've never heard of Christ bringing back to life a dead baby and/or curing any diseased person with the wave of hand while carrying that cross of his, and secondly any word that "two legions of rebel troops in support of Jesus" were ever amassed by anyone just before the Passion Play took place...though I'm certainly no biblical scholar, ya know...which means I COULD be wrong here, but I doubt it.

 

AND, while I really hate to bring this next thing up here again about the whole idea of what male actors are "handsome" or not, but GEEZ, what was with Judah's housekeeper telling Francis X. Bushman's Massala that he was still "bold and handsome", 'cause once again I gotta say I THINK Francis X. was a bit on the HOMELY side if ya ask ME!!!

 

(...though I suppose we COULD just chalk THAT all up to his rather unfortunate choices in the shade of his eye-shadow and lipstick in this movie!)

2430-1504.gif

 

LOL

 

(...OH, and btw Twink, and just for future reference...ya see that picture of Francis here?...well, THAT shade of film is known as "sepiatone"...and no, it has no relation to our mutual friend around here from Michigan that I know of!)

 

LOL

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on Aug 8, 2013 9:35 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> > Do you know why parts of the movie were in sharp black and white and why other parts were much less so ?

> It looked to me like some of the scenes were shot with diffusion filters or diffusion lenses, to give sort of a dream-like quality to the image.

>

> Also, back then a lot of different cameras and lenses were used for different scenes, also many different cameramen, so all of their lenses might not have all matched up. Some might have been sharper lenses than other ones.

>

> I think the color tint to each black and white scene was up to the team that restored the film. Many early silent films were tinted, most often blueish for night "moonlight" type scenes, and orange for indoor "candle light" type scenes. Also other colors too. I think today's tinting is a little too strong, but we don't have any original films to compare it with. I think the tinting in the long version of GREED is much too vivid. And in that film, a lot of the tinting of the gold was done in a computer, so that the tinting is only in part of the scene, and that means the film has been artifically "colorized" in many of the scenes.Thanks :)

 

That was a lot more info then I expected ! :) Thanks

 

Obviously, you know your stuff about cameras and lighting ! :)

 

Twink

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, there are many Silents that exist in Nitrate prints with original tints and tones in-tact. Maybe not complete features, although there are a few. So we do know what they looked like.

 

For the Newbies I hope they stuck around for OLD HEIDELBERG because as pure film making I think it is much better then BEN HUR. Lubitsch masterful direction part of the reason. There are still a few scenes from BEN HUR missing, at least one in Techicolor. Much of Niblo's film is actually pretty flatly photographed by the standards of the day, with a lack of close-ups. Chariot Race not withstanding. Little of that in the Lubitsch picture.

 

Dargo2,

 

 

Cecil B. Demille repeated Christ bringing the baby back to life on the road to Calvery in THE KING OF KINGS two years later. It's probably an old Christian legend, or was at some point.

 

 

About Francis X. Bushman, he was older when he played the part of Massalla, and BEN HUR was sort of a come back for him. In the Teen's he was popular enough to be called "Mr. Hollywood". As for the print of BEN HUR actually much better quality elemnets have since turned up since the Thames Silents version was produced clear back in 1985 or 86.Actually, regardless of how it was filmed, what filters were used, an original first run Nitrate print would easily be at least 75% sharper all around then what we saw here.

 

 

Originally BEN HUR had a compiled score with some fresh compositions score prepared for live Orchestra by William Axt, and David Mendoza. I know people who have seen the film with that live score and they seem to prefer it to the Davis score. The same is true of THE BIG PARADE, but I have only heard the Carl Davis score to both films. A few of the Axt-Mendoza selections were retained by Davis in his BIG PARADE score.

 

 

Speaking of which, THE BIG PARADE my favorite film Silent or sound debuts in the new restoration next month. September 25th in Prime-time About a week before the long, long awaited DVD and Blu-ray release. Don't miss it, and be sure to order the Blu-ray.

 

 

Now if we could just get TCM to show DeMille's 1923 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Talk about an All-Star Cast. Richard Dix, Rod La Rocque, Leatrice Joy, Estelle Taylor, Nita Naldi and it goes on and on. I don't know why TCM never runs this film. It exist s in fabulous condition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gagman66, Parts of the movie seemed to be in very sharp black and white , almost as if it had been restored, that was my first thought and also in big contrast to the typical silent as I know it.

 

Actually, this was the first time I had seen a silent , (other then bits 'n pieces in promos that kind of thing). I remembered on another post, you had posted that you hoped they would come out with the restored version and on Blu-Ray soon. For a while into the movie, I assumed that maybe that was a restored version until it would go into the typical silent film colour (more brownish & beige actually).

 

I can understand why they colourized it or tinted parts of the movie, (well, maybe not) as some of the colour parts seem more of a 'blur', in particular a group of people in colour as opposed to an individual which was OK.

 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and of course the Chariot Race which was just 'Overwhelming' !

 

Twink

Link to comment
Share on other sites

twinkee,

 

The 1925 BEN HUR actually has been released on DVD twice as a DVD extra. And once as a Blu-ray extra, but still in Standard Definition. But it should be offered without having to buy an expensive deluxe edition of the 1959 version. I've been asking for a TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection- The Silents for a long time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that the chariot races in both versions of Ben Hur rank among the most exciting action set pieces that you are likely to see in the movies. I would rank the two of them on about a par with one another. The disadvantage, of course, with the silent version is that it's effectiveness in that crucial sequence, as well as the overall film, will be impacted by the musical accompaniment. The Carl Davis score, of course, was terrific with this particular version, and added immesurably to the excitement. If a score by another composer is used one day, who knows what the effect will be.

 

One area in particular in which I do think that the silent version is superior to the remake is in the sea battle scenes. The obvious rear screen projection in the '59, with, at times, a blue line appearing around Charlton Heston, for example, when he is on the raft afterward, has always been a distraction to me. I must be honest that I chuckled a bit at how spectacularly clean all the galley slaves looked at they toiled away with their oars in the silent version. Not even a whip mark in evidence, from what I can recall (though I'm willing to be corrected on that).

 

The battles themselves in the '25 version between the Romans and pirates are remarkable for their realism and intensity. This is real death at close quarters stuff. There is a true savagery to this sequence. You have to wonder how many injuries occured among the stunt men. And I love the idea of tossing bottles filled with vipers on board the Roman ships. That will give them a little something extra to think about.

 

Of course, once the pirates board those same ships too, they will be just as vulnerable to those snakes slithering around the deck, as well. So, from a practical sense, it may not make that much sense. But it's still a nice touch, that was not reused in the '59 version. There is also an extra touch of sadism to be found in the silent version too, by the idea of strapping down a helpless Roman prisoner on the battering ram of their ship so that he gets more than a headache when they smash into the side of a Roman vessel.

 

But, let's face it, both versions of Ben Hur have a huge story structural flaw that I assume is a reflection of the Lew Wallace novel. And that is that the chariot race comes well before the film's ending, and everything that follows that spectacular sequence is clearly anti-climactic. This is particularly true of the '59 William Wyler version which has always struck me as going on FOREVER after the big race, and more or less moving at a snail's pace, too.

 

The Wyler remake, in particular, with that later slow tempo, is never a film that I will think of as Ben Hurry.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRKO0v8SDfyZWDgjJuf1lV

 

Look at that smooth lily white skin. Not a mark on this prisoner, or any of the others, from what I could see.

 

!data:image/jpeg;base64,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!

 

Great sea battle scenes in the silent version

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wasnt there another director on the film originally when it was shot in Italy? Was it Rex Ingram? Was any of that footage used? Or was that all scrapped? Would assume part of that was used, but I'm not up on the history of the film.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=TomJH wrote:}{quote}

>

> But, let's face it, both versions of Ben Hur have a huge story structural flaw that I assume is a reflection of the Lew Wallace novel. And that is that the chariot race comes well before the film's ending, and everything that follows that spectacular sequence is clearly anti-climactic.

 

I don't regard that as a flaw in either version, because I've never regarded the chariot race as the climax. (I understand why others do, though. Judah gets his revenge, and the race is certainly the highlight for both films.) But it is an empty revenge for Judah; he has not gotten rid of his anger, and the story must go on. I think the real climax comes when he is finally rid of his hatred. In the '59 version, Heston says he felt the sword taken out of his hand. In the '25 version, the sword is almost literally taken out of Novarro's hand. Both are powerful scenes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

scsu1975, I understand what you're saying about the film's main character arriving at a peace with himself. Plus, of course, the resolution, about his mother and sister as lepers. (Anyone remember that Ben Hur spoof on SCTV in which John Candy plays Judah as Curly, and his mother and sister are both in the Valley of the Leopards, complete with spots on their bodies and whiskers? Sorry, I digress).

 

However, I feel it's safe to say that when most people think of Ben Hur the chariot race is the first thing on their minds, whether it's the silent or talkie versions. And, as you stated, those great action set pieces are the highlights of both films. For me, there's nothing that happens afterward that is nearly as emotionally involving as watching Judah drive that team of white horses to triumph.

 

I have to say that both versions of Ben Hur, particularly the talkie, drag for me afterward. I never flip on the TV to watch a section of Ben Hur and pick the film's ending. It's always the chariot race that I will watch time after time. And I strongly suspect that most viewers would feel the same way. To me, it is a structural plot flaw that the highlight of the films occurs so far from their endings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...