Ben-Hur received overwhelmingly positive reviews upon its release. Bosley Crowther, writing for The New York Times, called Ben-Hur "a remarkably intelligent and engrossing human drama". While praising the acting and William Wyler's "close-to" direction, he also had high praise for the chariot race: "There has seldom been anything in movies to compare with this picture's chariot race. It is a stunning complex of mighty setting, thrilling action by horses and men, panoramic observation and overwhelming use of dramatic sound." Jack Gaver, writing for United Press International, also had praise for the acting, calling it full of "genuine warmth and fervor and finely acted intimate scenes". Philip K. Scheuer of the Los Angeles Times called it "magnificent, inspiring, awesome, enthralling, and all the other adjectives you have been reading about it". He also called the editing "generally expert" although at times abrupt. Ronald Holloway, writing for Variety, called Ben-Hur "a majestic achievement, representing a superb blending of the motion picture arts by master craftsmen", and concluded that "Gone With the Wind, Metro's own champion all-time top grosser, will eventually have to take a back seat". The chariot race "will probably be preserved in film archives as the finest example of the use of the motion picture camera to record an action sequence. The race, directed by Andrew Marton and Yakima Canutt, represents some 40 minutes [sic][r] of the most hair-raising excitement that film audiences have ever witnessed."
The film's first telecast took place on Sunday, February 14, 1971. In what was a television first for a Hollywood film, it was broadcast over five hours (including commercials) during a single evening by CBS,[s] preempting all of that network's regular programming for that one evening. It was watched by 85.82 million people for a 37.1 average rating. It was one of the highest-rated movies ever screened on television at the time (behind the broadcast premieres of The Birds and Bridge on the River Kwai).
According to a massive 2013 investigation into the American Humane Association's practices by The Hollywood Reporter, 27 animals died on the set of the 2012 blockbuster "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." The creatures, including sheep and goats, died of awful causes including dehydration, exhaustion and drowning. Despite the deaths, the American Humane Association didn't further investigate and eventually gave the movie a "carefully worded" seal of approval, according to The Independent.
Updated on May 25th, 2021 by Kristen Palamara: The length of movies is more important than it might seem as if there's not enough time to fully tell the story it could feel rushed or if it's way too long it can feel like it drags on forever. These are the longest movies ever made that took the risk of potentially frustrating their audiences with long runtimes. There are older epic classics like The Ten Commandments, recent releases in the category of longest American movies like The Irishman, and recent re-releases of movies with longer run times like Zack Snyder's Justice League.
A rip-roaring history lesson with Hollywood flair. This film not only entertains, but it also tells the stirring story of the Scots, including national hero William Wallace, fighting 13th-century English rule. Some moviegoers may object to the graphic violence. But the film wonderfully captures the courageous spirit of men and women struggling for freedom.
This movie introduced me to the 1970s Swedish group Abba. The songs "Waterloo" and "Dancing Queen" stayed in my head for days afterward. I ended up purchasing the CD "Abba Gold," and ever since then, have considered myself an Abba fan. It's not the most intellectual film of 1995, but its humor and musical picks make it fun to watch.
Many of the best films this year were basically made for children: "Toy Story," "Babe," "The Indian in the Cupboard," "Jumanji," and "A Little Princess." This is encouraging because the percentage of G- and PG-rated films that did well at the box office is higher than R-rated films, usually over 60 percent of all films.... But this was not a year of "Schindler's List" or "Forrest Gump," where people say the films will still be watched 50 years from now. "Toy Story" could be a classic because it is a technological triumph as well as witty, and "Babe" could be a classic.... "Showgirls" was a terrible movie. It completely misread the American public, which is not demanding new, envelope-pushing sexual material.... "Jade," "Strange Days," "The Scarlet Letter," and "Never Talk to Strangers" all did badly.
** As usual, the Caped Crusader (Val Kilmer) is less fun to watch than the villains he's chasing, especially the maniacal Riddler, played by Jim Carrey in a zany performance that's over the top even by his lofty standard. Tommy Lee Jones tries to match him as Two-Face, but quickly falls behind, and Nicole Kidman is fetching as the psychologist who tries to help our hero get in touch with his repressed memories. Directed by Joel Schumacher with occasional gestures toward social commentary, and enough spectacle to mask the movie's deep down emptiness. V
*** The setting is a submarine on its way to confront nuclear-armed Russian rebels. The main action is a showdown between the sub's commander, a flinty veteran of many conflicts, and the executive officer, a thoughtful young fellow with more book-learning than experience. The movie has nothing intelligent to say about post-cold-war tensions or anything else, but it's great fun to watch Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington square off in a submarine that looks like a cross between the Starship Enterprise and something you'd get in a cereal box. Tony Scott directed. V P
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