Monday, April 17, 2023


Messala (Francis X. Bushman) against Ben-Hur (Ramon Navarro) during the chariot race in BEN-HUR (1925)

The chariot race in this version is wild, with a stuntman killed during the making of the scene.

Francis X. Bushman (Mesalla) relates the following: "During one take, we went around the curve and the wheel broke on the other fellow's chariot. The hub hit the ground and the guy shot up in the air about thirty feet. I turned and saw him up there — it was like a slow-motion film. He fell on a pile of lumber and died of internal injuries." from Snopes.

The chariot race of the 1959 version is considered one of the greatest moments in film history. As great as it is, the 1959 version used the 1925 version as a template (minus the chaotic production) and the greatness of the 1959 version was helped immensely by it. It like both versions.

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