For Your Easter Viewing: Ben Hur (1907)

Just a quick post for today. this unauthorized 1907 adaptation of Lew Wallace’s famous novel Ben Hur is notable not only for being the first filmed version of the story, but also because it led to the studio being sued for copyright infringement by the author’s estate. The suit ultimately reached the Supreme court which ruled in favor of the estate and this ruling set the precedent that motion picture production companies must first secure the film rights of any previously published work which was still under copyright before they could commission a screenplay based on that work.

The film was directed by Sidney Alcott and stars Herman Rottger as Ben Hur and William S. Hart as Messala.

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