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Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  Ben-Hur
 
Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
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Ben-Hur
(1925)

 

This biblical epic, one of the most-famous films of the silent era, stars Ramon Novarro as Judah and Francis X. Bushman as Messala.

coverWarner Home Video
2005 DVD edition

Ben-Hur (1959), color, 222 minutes, Rated G,
with Ben-Hur (1925), black & white, color-tinted black & white and color, 143 minutes, not rated.

Warner Home Video, 67535,
UPC 0-12569-67535-3, ISBN 1-4198-1079-0.
Four single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 5.5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, foreign language subtitles, 39 chapter stops; cardboard wrap with plastic DVD trays in cardboard slipcase, $39.95.
Release date: 13 September 2005.
Country of origin: USA

This four-disc set includes the Photoplay Productions presentation of the silent Ben-Hur (1925), with music score composed by Carl Davis. This edition of the film has not been available to collectors on home video since its 1990s appearance on MGM Home Video laserdisc.

Word has reached us that there are a few examples of different intertitles and missing shots as compared to the laserdisc edition.

The bonus to silent-film collectors is the remastered Ben-Hur (1959) featuring Charlton Heston.

This is, beyond any doubt, the only edition of Ben-Hur worth owning on DVD home video.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
coverOasis Video
2009 DVD edition

Ben-Hur (1925), black & white, 143 minutes, not rated.

Oasis Video, unknown catalog number, UPC 8-809116-454996.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD 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, Korean language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
Release date: 2009.
Country of origin: Korea
This Korean edition appeared for sale on eBay in 2009.

Korean DVD product has a tradition of low bit-rate disc encoding that renders coarse picture images with easily-seen video compression artifacts. That may be the case with this edition.

 
United Kingdom: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.co.uk. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
coverUnknown Chinese
2005 DVD edition

Ben-Hur (1925), black & white, color-tinted black & white and color?, ? minutes, not rated.

Unknown Chinese company, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
One single-sided, dual-layered?, Region 2 NTSC DVD 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 mono sound, English? language intertitles, Chinese language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase?, unknown suggested retail price.
Release date: 2005.
Country of origin: China
This Chinese edition appeared for sale on eBay in late 2005 and reputedly has been mastered from the Kevin Brownlow and David Gill video edition that features music by Carl Davis.
coverIVCF
2003 DVD edition

Ben-Hur (1925), black & white, 141 minutes, not rated.

IVCF, IVCF-2176, UPC 4-933672-227894.
One single-sided, dual-layered, Region 2 NTSC DVD 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 mono sound, English? language intertitles, Japanese language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase?, ¥3500.
Release date: 20 June 2003.
Country of origin: Japan
This Japanese edition contains “explanitory footage” by film critic by Nagaharu Yodogawa.

Probably not to be recommended.

 
This Region 2 NTSC DVD edition is available from CD JAPAN.
Other silent era RAMON NOVARRO films available on home video.

Other TECHNICOLOR FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Other RELIGIOUS FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Other silent film music scores by CARL DAVIS available on home video.
 
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