On time’s winged chariot
When the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio unveiled Ben-Hur in 1925, its budget of $4 million made it the most expensive film produced up to that time. Remakes would follow in 1959 and 2016, but the original epic version, which Violet Crown Cinema presents in a rare screening this week, remains a masterpiece of the silent-film era. We dig into the story behind the movie and investigate its intersections with New Mexico’s history, including the fact that the book on which it was based was penned by soldier, author, and politician Lew Wallace while he was living in downtown Santa Fe during his stint as Territorial Governor of New Mexico. On the cover is a still from the 1925 film.