silent films

8 posts

Redeeming Messala: Ben-Hur Beyond the 1959 Epic

Dr. Howard Miller, professor emeritus from the University of Texas at Austin, joined us for one more lecture in 2018. It’s possible that more adaptions of Ben-Hur have appeared in the past thirty years than in the previous eighty. And their variety and geographic reach are without precedent in the […]

A black and white photo of June Mathis, legendary Hollywood scenario-writer

Adult Lecture Series: A Woman’s Ben-Hur: June Mathis

Dr. Thomas Slater of Indiana University of Pennsylvania spoke last night about June Mathis and her involvement with the 1925 silent film of Ben-Hur. Dr. Slater discussed June Mathis’ life and glass-ceiling-breaking career in Hollywood. In addition, he focused on Mathis’ script for Ben-Hur, which ultimately was not used. Dr. Slater […]

Dr. Howard Miller discusses Victorian travelers and tourists

The 1925 Ben-Hur: Epic End to an Era

The 1925 Ben-Hur cinematic adaptation marked the end of two eras. MGM’s colossal production epitomized and culminated the tradition of spectacular silent epics. Additionally, the film came at the end of almost six decades in which Wallace’s “Tale of the Christ” was never far from the center of American religious […]

The Music of Ben-Hur

The majesty of Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur has been captured in music a number of times over the years. The 1899 stage production of Ben-Hur had music composed for it by Edgar Stillman Kelley. Born in 1857, Kelley was an American but received much of his training in Germany. He incorporated non-Western influences […]