March 7, 2015

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.
Albert Camus

[last lines]"So this is where you live? Oh, Mother will love it up here!"
— Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly), To Catch a Thief (1955)

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former."
Albert Einstein

Ben-Hur (1959) (part 10 of 17)
  • Such was the expense of the film, nervous studio executives flew out to Rome on a weekly basis to check on the progress of the production.
  • William Wyler selected all the camera angles for the chariot race, but left all the details of its actual shooting in the hands of his second-unit directors Andrew Marton and Yakima Canutt. When he saw Marton and Canutt's work, Wyler remarked that it was "one of the greatest cinematic achievements" he'd ever seen. Wyler then supervised the editing of the sequence.
  • One of only four MGM films where the studio's trademark Leo the Lion did not roar at the beginning of the opening credits, apparently because of the religious theme in the film. The others were The Next Voice You Hear... (1950) (another film with a religious theme), Westward the Women (1951) and North by Northwest (1959), in which composer Bernard Herrmann's growling music took the place of the lion's roar. (The lion used in 1968's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was the new illustrated logo first used in the credits for that film, not a real lion. But this logo was shortly discarded permanently, and so doesn't count.)
  • Initially there were queries over whether William Wyler was the right director for the job, as he'd never tackled a film of this scale before. One of the doubters was Wyler himself.
  • Producer Sam Zimbalist died two months before production ended. Then, William Wyler handled the remaining production duties, along with his directing this masterpiece epic.
  • Producer Sam Zimbalist offered William Wyler $1,000,000 to direct this film. This was the highest director's fee ever paid up to that time.
  • This was to be the last film for Cathy O'Donnell who was then married to Robert Wyler, the director's (William Wyler) brother. She would thereafter work only in television.

  • Experience does not err. Only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power.
    Leonardo da Vinci

  • Revolvers cannot be silenced because of all the noisy gasses which escape the cylinder gap at the rear of the barrel.
  • In 1961, Henry Matisse's painting Le Bateau hung upside down in New York's Museum of Modern Art. It remained upside down for forty-one days until someone noticed. It's estimated nearly 116,000 people passed in front of the painting before the error was noted.
  • The number 4 is the only number that has the same number of letters in its name as its meaning.

  • Scientists have proven that cats have more hair on one side then their other side. Some people believe that this is because when cats lay on their side they need insulation from the cold on the floor or ground. Which side of a cat has more hair?

    A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.

    “Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain”

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