Ben Hur Review
Ben Hur is a 1907 silent short film directed by Sidney Olcott. It is an expectedly flawed experiment.
Now I really did not like Sidney Olcott’s ‘From the Manger to the Cross’ and although Ben Hur shares most of its problems, it is still a better film overall. That is mostly because it is shorter in length and thus the film is much more engaging and it flows nicely.
Most of its scenes were solid with the early chariot sequence being solidly filmed and memorable. I also liked that the intertitles were sparingly used. But even though the film looks really good with such a good costume design, it is again flawed and I know I said that it is good that it is short, but it is also bad. Let me explain. With just fifteen minutes of runtime, the film couldn’t possibly adapt its source material properly and thus we have only a couple of scenes and nothing more than that. Thus the film feels ridiculously slight and frankly even unnecessary.
Ben Hur is another one of Sidney Olcott’s weak experiments that looks good, but has way too short runtime for this kind of story to be told.