Thursday, February 23, 2017

By the Gods!

Ben-Hur's triumphant parade from BEN-HUR (1925)

I like these scenes. This one looks nice. These scenes in the silent version were better executed and more believable than in the 1959 version.  This scene was also shot in early Technicolor and it featured topless dancers (screenshot below), which were cut in most copies.

1 comment:

Scott Ochiltree said...

The 1925 Ben Hur is every bit as good (at least in my view) as William Wyler's 1959 version, especially its naval battle and chariot race scenes.

The film was the most expensive movie of the silent era. Filming started in Italy, but was moved back to Hollywood as a cost control measure. Despite enthusiastic public and critical reception MGM failed to turn a profit on Ben Hur until it was re-released in 1931.

The two strip Technicolor process was surprisingly realistic in the few scenes where it was used. However, the prints were fragile.

In addition to the topless slave girls, there is a full nude shot from the rear of a galley slave chained to a bulkhead. This sort of risque filming became completely absent for about thirty years in mainstream American cinema once the Code was seriously enforced starting in the mid-30s.