The next logical choice was to have Rex Ingram direct and Ramon Novarro star.
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14 The film became notorious after its release for the egregious animal abuse involved in filming.
Niblo was out of control, raging and generally making himself disagreeable.For most everyone else, it was war.Ill bet he never has trouble getting a sandwich made!(Stills seem to indicate that the audience was shot for the 1925 version but cut for release.As it turns out, it was a story as old as the movies, albeit usually with reversed genders.What a sight it must have been!Novarros content, arguably, was often darker and deeper.Its wonderfully done and manages to convey complicated emotions without a single word.It would take a decade before such devices lost favor in Hollywood.The opening is taken up with a nativity scene, which means there is a fifteen minute delay in getting the main narrative started.
Novarro was known as the calmer, more cooperative and generally less neurotic of the two.Mathis and Brabin began to fight and matters were made worse by the fact that Goldwyn had set up no real chain of command."What Will Happen to Ben-Hur?".George Walsh and Gertrude Olmstead?The chariot race is just flat compared to the silent.The holy baby is duly born in Technicolor splendor with the expected number of wise men in attendance and then we fast-forward some years to Jerusalem under the Roman yoke.Religion with few specifics.Flippant casting choices had almost doomed Ben-Hur from the start.Stephen Boyds expanded Messala narrative probably gets the most attention so I wont be delving too far into his work here.