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Ben Hur


This first film adaptation of the well-known novel by General Lew Wallace was the first American film production challenged in court for its being an unauthorized adaptation of a copyrighted work. Producer Kalem Film Manufacturing Company had not secured permission to film the novel and was successfully sued by the Wallace estate in 1911 for copyright infringement.

Regardless what you might read elsewhere, William S. Hart does not appear in this film. He had previously appeared as Messala in the Broadway stage play adaptation.

coverGrapevine Video
2010 DVD edition

Spartacus (1913), black & white and color-tinted black & white, 58 minutes, not rated,
with Ben Hur (1907), black & white, 13 minutes, not rated.

Grapevine Video, no catalog number, UPC 8-42614-10390-2.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD-R disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, 4 chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $14.95.
Release date: 2 April 2010.
Country of origin: USA

This DVD-R edition appears to have been mastered from an 8mm reduction print. Sections of the print are dark and the resolution is low enough to make discerning picture details difficult.

The film is accompanied by a music score performed on MIDI synthesizer.

USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition from Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
This Region 0 NTSC DVD-R edition is available directly from GRAPEVINE VIDEO.
Other EARLY FILMS of the silent era available on home video.
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  Ben-Hur



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