Archive for January 19th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(USA 1925 148m) DVD1/2

Lion of the tribe of Judah

p/d  Fred Niblo  w  June Mathis, Carey Wilson, Bess Meredith  novel  Gen.Lew Wallace  ph  Karl Struss (and René Guissart, Percy Hilbum, Paul E.Eagler)  ed  Lloyd Nosler  m  Carl Davis (modern score)  art  Cedric Gibbons, A.Arnold Gillespie, Horace Jackson, Camillo Mastrocinique  cos  Hermann J.Kaufman  models and miniatures  Kenneth Gordon McLean  2nd unit d.  B.Reeves Eason  tech.d.  Col Braden

Ramon Novarro (Judah Ben-Hur), Francis X.Bushman (Messala), Carmel Myers (Iras), May McAvoy (Esther), Betty Bronson (The Virgin Mary), Claire McDowell (Miriam, princess of Hur), Nigel de Brulier (Simonedes), Dale Fuller (Amrah), Mitchell Lewis (Sheik Ilderim), Frank Currier (Quintus Arrius), Leo White (Sanballat), Charles Belcher (Balthazar), Winter Hall (Joseph), Myrna Loy (Hedonist Mistress),

William Wyler’s Ben Hur swept the board at the academy awards for 1959 winning eleven Oscars, including best picture and director.  The record was only matched by James Cameron’s Titanic 38 years later.  And if an ancient Roman religious epic and a grossly inferior saga of a doomed megatonne ocean liner may have nothing in common narratively speaking, but in terms of film history they are very similar.  If either had failed at the box office it would have spelt ruin for the production companies, in the case of Ben Hur, MGM, in the case of Titanic, Paramount and TCF.  (more…)

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