They say "all roads lead to Rome," and nothing could be truer when considering the scores of movies that examine ancient Rome. Quite simply, all roads lead to Ben-Hur. From Spartacus to Gladiator, audiences cheered tales of rebellions against the wicked. The grandfather of all gladiator movies remains Ben-Hur. Not the 1959 version (which was pretty great, winning a record 11 Academy Awards), but the silent 1925 epic, which was, for its time, the most-expensive silent film ever produced. Consider that the movie had a price tag of $3.9 million. Adjusted for inflation, that's almost the equivalent of $500 million dollars.
The Capital City Kiwanis Club will present Ben-Hur--the silent version--with live organ accompaniment, on Friday, April 6, at 6:30 p.m.
All proceeds will benefit the Kiwanis International Eliminate Project, an effort to wipe out maternal and neonatal tetanus, which steals the lives of nearly 60,000 newborns and an untold number of women each year.
Ben-Hur is nothing less than thrilling, showcasing the classic 1880 novel by Lew Wallace, and still considered by many to be the most influential Christian book of the 19th century. But no matter what your faith leanings may be, the tale includes breathtaking scenes of perhaps the greatest chariot race ever captured on film. Considering that special effects didn't exist at the time, the action is doubly impressive. And for goodness sake, don't let the fact that this movie is silent throw you off—maybe you've heard that this year's Best Picture Academy Award went to a silent film?