March 3, 2015

I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts.
Orson Wells

"Well you shouldn't lend your sweaters to blabbermouths."
— Jay Jay (Duke Everts), Play Misty for Me (1971)

"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."
Albert Einstein

Ben-Hur (1959) (part 6 of 17)
  • The chariot race was shot without sound. This was added in post-production when the decision was also made to not have any music throughout the sequence.
  • Three hundred sets, five years of research, and fourteen months of labor were required for the sets.
  • Stephen Boyd, and several other actors playing Romans, wore dark contact lenses, so their eyes appeared brown.
  • Although William Wyler was Jewish, he particularly wanted to make a film that would appeal to all religious faiths.
  • When he was cast as Messala, Stephen Boyd grew a bushy beard for the role, only to be told that fashionable Roman men of the time didn't wear beards.
  • One of the very few (and very expensive) 65mm cameras in the world was wrecked during the filming of the chariot race.
  • Charlton Heston was initially offered the role of Messala.
  • The process of amassing the more than a million props that were needed began in Rome two years before camera started rolling.
  • Ben-Hur (1959) is the first of the three movies which have won 11 Academy Awards' most popular award, Oscar (in 11 of 12 categories). Extra categories were available for the others. Second was Titanic (1997). Third was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) to have won 11 Oscars at Academy Awards for acting and other categories. Unlike the other two films, several of the categories won by Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) didn't exist in Ben-Hur (1959)'s day, making its eleven wins that much more impressive.

  • Knowledge is the treasure of a wise man.
    William Penn

  • When wearing a Kimono, Japanese women wear socks called "Tabi". The big toe of the sock is separated from the rest of the toes, like a thumb from a mitten.
  • The names of the two stone lions in front of the New York Public Library are Patience and Fortitude. They were named by then-mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.
  • Carnegie Mellon University offers bag piping as a major. The instructor James McIntosh, who is a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and who began bag piping at the age 11.
  • The book of Esther in the Bible is the only book which does not mention the name of God.

  • In a major league baseball game, a pitcher faced only 27 batters. Every batter he faced, he struck out. He allowed no hits and no runs, yet his team lost 4-0. How could this be?

    Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.

    “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

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