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Rome, the Eternal Story: From Ben Hur to The Eagle
Posted January 21, 2011 to photo album "Rome, the Eternal Story: From Ben Hur to The Eagle"
The Eagle explores a part of ancient Roman history rarely seen on stage. But the history of Rome changes throughout history as well.
Slide 5: Ben Hur (1907) in Silent Film
Film director Sidney Olcott and charioteers on the Jersey Shore.
This 15-minute film, directed by Canadian Sidney Olcott (1873-1949), features the chariot race in which Ben Hur defeats Messala, his childhood friend who betrayed him into slavery. This scene, filmed on a New Jersey beach, used firemen who drove chariots pulled by the horses that normally pulled their fire wagons. In addition, Olcott borrowed the costumes for his period piece from the Metropolitan Opera. The movie is most notable for instigating Kalem Co. v. Harper Bros, the case in which the Supreme Court ruled that before the film company makes a movie it must buy the rights to previously published work still under copyright.