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BEN HUR (1925) late Sunday night Dec 22, 2013


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Midnight Sunday Dec. 22, Eastern Time:


*Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ* (1925)


In this silent film, a rebellious Israelite prince out for vengeance crosses paths with the Messiah.


Dir: Fred Niblo Cast: Ramon Novarro , Francis X. Bushman , May McAvoy .


BW-143 mins, TV-G,

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I saw most of this film the last time TCM aired it. It compares well with the newer 59' version for the spectacular scenes. And I like watching Ramon Novarro. But as was pointed out on a previous thread, how many horses died filming that chariot race? I'm sorry Fred, knowing about that makes me uneasy watching the film again.

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Three horses are known to have died during the filming of the chariot race under the supervision of noted horse-killer ("The Charge of the Light Brigade") second-unit director B. Reeves Eason.


One person may have died during the filming of the chariot race (there's a still photo of one of the charioteers, apparently dead, under a pile of clearly dead horses), though it's unconfirmed. There were three extras who were thought to have drowned during the filming of the sea-battle sequence in Italy -- they'd been asked whether they could swim by those hiring for MGM and, wanting the work, replied that they did, even though it was a lie. A few days after they disappeared during the sinking of one of the Roman galleys they finally turned up, still in costume -- demanding their own clothes be returned.


All this and more is detailed wonderfully in Kevin Brownlow's masterful book, "The Parade's Gone By."

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