Ben Hur Starring Ramon Novarro with Accompaniment by Andrew Rogers
We are so excited to bring this classic film to the Music House with accompaniment by Andrew Rogers on the Mighty Wurlitzer theater organ! This film is one of the most storied films ever made. Because of this fascinating tale, Rogers will beginning the evening at 6:30 pm by showing a portion of a documentary on the making of the film with a brief discussion. The movie will begin at 7:00 pm.
Years in the making, Ben Hur was the most expensive film of the silent film era, costing $3,900,000 and grossing $9,000,000. The chariot and sea battle scenes are considered among the most ambitious filming and editing scenes ever attempted. They used dozens of cameras to capture the action.
Its estimated 125,000 extras were a who’s who list of future Hollywood royalty. Among well-known and soon-to-be-well-known names “working” in the film were John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Marion Davies, Myrna Loy, John Gilbert, Douglas Fairbanks, Clark Gable, Harold Lloyd, Carole Lombard, Janet Gaynor, Fay Wray, Mary Pickford, Colleen Moore, Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Samuel Goldwyn and Rupert Julian.
Ben-Hur (Ramon Novarro) is a wealthy Jew and boyhood friend of the powerful Roman Tribune, Messala. When an accident leads to Ben-Hur’s arrest, Messala, who has become corrupt and arrogant, makes sure Ben-Hur and his family are jailed and separated.
Ben-Hur is sentenced to slave labor in a Roman war galley. Along the way, he unknowingly encounters Jesus, the carpenter’s son who offers him water. Once aboard ship, his attitude of defiance and strength impresses a Roman admiral, Quintus Arrius, who allows him to remain unchained. This actually works in the Admiral’s favor because when his ship is attacked and sunk by pirates, Ben-Hur saves him from drowning.
Arrius then treats Ben-Hur as a son, and over the years the young man grows strong and becomes a victorious chariot racer. This eventually leads to a climactic showdown with Messala in a chariot race.
You don’t want to miss this fascinating evening of film history, action and music!