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Ben Hur (1907)

The scene opens with an assembly of citizens who are harangued by one of their number, whose words have great weight with the crowd, and their attitude of approval shows that Roman misrule ... See full summary »

Writers:

Gene Gauntier, Lew Wallace (novel)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Gene Gauntier
Harry T. Morey
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Storyline

The scene opens with an assembly of citizens who are harangued by one of their number, whose words have great weight with the crowd, and their attitude of approval shows that Roman misrule in Jerusalem has reached its climax. Heralds now approach and Roman soldiers beat back the crowd to make way for the approach of the Roman Procurator. The scene changes to the home of Ben Hur, who is seen with his sister and mother on the house top. The cavalcade of Roman troops approaches, and to get a near view Ben Hur leans from the coping and knocks down one of the stones thereof onto the shoulder of the Procurator. This is seen and misconstrued by the Governor, who orders soldiers to arrest the inmates; they, after ineffectual pleas and struggles, are carried off. Ben Hur is consigned to the galleys, where he is loaded with chains. Here he signalizes himself by saving the life of Arrias, who publicly adopts him as his son and proclaims him a Roman citizen amidst the acclamations of the ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Taglines:

Positively the most super motion picture ever made

Genres:

Short | Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

7 December 1907 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Бен-Гур See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kalem Company See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This version was unauthorized, and its makers were successfully sued for copyright infringement. See more »

Connections

Version of Ben-Hur (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Illegitimately Staged
30 March 2008 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

In Biblical times, Jerusalem rebels under Roman rule. After an (unfortunately staged) accident fells a Roman soldier, Herman Rottger (as Ben Hur) is taken into custody. William S. Hart (as Messala) orders Mr. Rottger become a slave. Soon, Rottger wins freedom, and seeks revenge against Mr. Hart, in a "Chariot Race". For the famed Chariot Race, the two stars simply ride by a stationary camera, while costumed people cheer.

The good folks at Kalem (the film company responsible) were counting on viewers to have either seen "Ben-Hur" on stage, or read the Lew Wallace book. And, undoubtedly, most 1900s flicker watchers had the prior knowledge necessary to understand the action. This film highlights the inferiority of the medium, at that time. Director Olcott and Gene Gauntier, who was credited with having written the "Ben Hur" scenario, would have much greater artistic success with films like "From the Manger to the Cross" (1912).

** Ben Hur (12/7/07) Sidney Olcott, Frank Rose ~ Herman Rottger, William S. Hart


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