His Dark Materials
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Arguably the best adaptation of the famous novel and one of the greatest epics of its time; still quite awe-inspiring and exciting for a present-day audience.
This movie stands the test of time. There are moments in the film where your heart is in your throat; when Jesus is born and everyone knows without being told who Mary is and who Jesus. When Jesus gives a drink to the near death Ben Hur Jesus is kept off screen and you only see his hand, I tell you folks it brings tears to your eyes. Niblo just carries on from there. This is the movie that made MGM.
The best, GREATEST thrilling and inspiring epic movie ever made! With the best movie character ever portrayed: Francis X. Bushman as Messala!
Fred Niblo directed the first official adaptation of Lew Wallace's iconic best seller, with unique and groundbreaking style and production, considering the time period in which it was crafted, and while as a whole Bible-epic it lacks the beautiful dialogue proper of the genre, its themes and tones, accompanied with beautiful timeless score, just fulfills what it's still, after almost a Century, an impressive piece of filmmaking.
This first version of the biblical epic is definitely a shorter and leaner alternative to the 1959 update, while just as chaotic and practically impressive in its action scenes, but its characterizations are less believable.
Way ahead of its time. Take the time to watch and enjoy.
If I had just one word to describe Ben-Hur, it would have to be grand. Honestly, I went into this with fairly low expectations. With a screenplay by June Mathis, who also penned The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, I was expecting a somewhat messy and sloppily put together plot. I could not have been more wrong. The story that Ben-Hur tells is fantastic; perfectly put together with care and consideration for the understanding and entertainment of the viewer. It does, perhaps, drag on a little long after the chariot scene, but manages to have its moments even then. Boasting the largest budget of the silent era, Ben-Hur's production design puts to shame even Lubitsch's lavish sets and costumes. The naval battle and the chariot scenes are truly two of the most impressive things I've ever seen, cementing this original version of Ben-Hur in cinema history.
This was the first remake and the first feature length film of the story of Ben-Hur, besides the ye olde English, the film was fairly easy to understand. Everything that happened before we were introduced to Ben Hur or Judah was kinda irrelevant, but all the scenes somewhat tie together. Last week, I watched another silent film, Nosferatu. This was more entertaining and easy to follow. A lot of the film doesn't feel religious, the film us check full of quotes from the Bible. Almost every time Jesus appeared on screen, it was in full technicolor scenes, I don't get it. You never actually see Jesus as a grown adult, you just see his cameo stretched out to heal people or solve problems. The plot and music is good, the script is pretty well written. This is also my first and only viewing of the story.
This is greater than 1959's ben-hur.
Awesome on such a scale, this film is so engrossing and the chariot scene is one of the best cinematic scenes I have seen, very exciting.