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BEN-HUR : A Tale of the Christ (1925) [Import] UNCUT FULL LENGTH as Originally Released

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 1925)
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Editorial Reviews

*~* IMPORTED from South Korea *~* The epic first production of Ben-Hur, the most expensive silent movie, a mammoth undertaking with scenes of the terrifyingly realistic chariot race and sea battle filmed with more than 40 cameras, and Technicolor used only to film certain scenes, while the rest are Black & White. The film starts with a look of very old sepia photographs, but then it goes into the familiar Black & White mode. William Wyler was Assistant Director, and later in 1952 directed Charlton Heston in the "Ben-Hur" most of us know. Remarkably, actors who went on to become legends such as Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Carol Lombard, Clark Gable, Fay Wray, Myrna Loy, and many others, were uncredited extras in this movie. There are many fascinating facts and figures about this movie on the Internet, which can greatly add to the viewing experience. *~* IMPORTED from South Korea *~*

Product Details

  • Actors: Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman
  • Directors: Fred Niblo
  • Producers: Louis B. Mayer, J.J. Cohn, Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.
  • Format: Import, Full length, Silent, Full Screen, Dolby
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: YDM and Peter Pan Pictures, South-Korea
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002KG5LI8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,202 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2010
In 1925, Fred Niblo (and other directors) created several moments in BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST that were reference points for William Wyler's '59 remake.

An action sequence that couldn't be duplicated or exceeded was the naval battle. In this silent version, a real boat rams the trireme that Judah is imprisoned on. Its hull collapses, water rushes in and more than one Italian extra nearly drowns in the resulting chaos.

One impressive technique was using Technicolor for any scenes related to Jesus. In Wyler's picture all cinematography is color. The dramatic contrast between the presence or influence of Christ and his b&w absence is lost. Never showing his face IS retained, though.

Studio execs concerned with a snail's pace shoot and major expenses in Italy brought the partly completed movie back to Hollywood. The famous chariot race was shot in California, which is why so many actors, directors and other celebrity spectators are listed at imdb as uncredited extras. An undercranked camera makes this sequence unusually speedy and spoils its impact, IMO.

As for this Korean import of the silent "Hur," it's transferred from less-than-perfect stock that reveals damage in spots (thus my 2 star rating).

A beautiful dub of the '25 epic is a bonus offering on WARNER's BEN-HUR Four Disc Collector's Edition.

As the Romans say: Caveat emptor!
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excellent silent movie - love novarro's acting
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Silent black and white films has to rely on costumes and strong acting to survive and this one has both. There is the great chariots race in this version, and its as good if not better then Charlton heston's race. The film has some terrible spots in it where it needs to be digitized and I hope saved for future generations.
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