Anne Lancashire "The Phantom Menace: Repetition, Variation, Integration". Film Criticism. . FindArticles.com. 29 Nov. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3076/is_3_24/ai_n28790171
This article has Anne Lancashire paying serious attention to the film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
Lancashire starts her comparison of this installment of the Star Wars saga to Ben-Hur on page 7. She claims that the storyline of Phantom Menace follows very closely with Ben-Hur suggesting that Star Wars is "a film about a hero whose loss of his mother (and sister), in a clash with the (Roman) Empire, turns [the hero] to despair and revenge, until miraculously Christ's crucifixion changes his anguish to peace through love." Moreover, Lancashire mentions slavery as she compares Anakin to Judah.
Most importantly, "the comparable allusion in The Phantom Menace is to...Ben-Hur" as Lancashire tells us that our film is the source for the podrace Anakin partakes in against Sebulba. Too she claims that this idea is a "much noted" conclusion. Within this thought arises again, the notion of slavery and the concept of losing one's family. Anakin is set up as someone who will seek revenge because of family losses and this follows along with Ben-Hur who loses his family after being arrested. But to sum this paragraph, Episode I is most remembered for its podrace scene. It was a major scene and even had a videogame made from it.
So for my question, "How can one scene effect a studio?" we can see an even further projection of the chariot race to other studios, not just MGM. As mentioned, the podrace is a definite play on the chariot race from Ben-Hur. And other movies, not just Star Wars, like Grease and the Little Rascals to name a few, also take bits from the horse drawn chariots.
As one scene gains recognition for being the staple that held together an epic film like Ben-Hur, it would be beneficial for any studio looking to shoot a similar action sequence to take some of the ideas and/or parts that helped make the chariot race a success, and implement them into their film.
Scott W. Hoffman " Ben-Hur". St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. . FindArticles.com. 30 Nov. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g1epc/is_tov/ai_2419100110
This article outlines the history of Ben-Hur. It was written by Lew Wallace and started "an amazing series of first in American popular culture." With its publishing in 1880, Ben-Hur slowly became a very popular book. It only sold 2800 copies in its first seven months, but it sailed over a million in 1911.
In 1907 the Wallace estate ended up suing the makers of a film based on the novel which led to the "first recognition of an author's rights in film adaptations." However, in 1922, the Goldwyn Company purchased the rights to the film and set the epic in motion. The most notable attribute of the epic which was released in 1925 was the chariot race.
The chariot race nearly broke the studio because of its massive budget and demands on both human labor and population. Hoffman says that the race "changed the face of filmmaking," and because of that, the audience of the time flocked to see the premiere. Hoffman further tells us that the critics of the time "praised the film (more for its 'grandeur,' however, than its 'story')."
For my bibilography I'm going to focus on the chariot race scene and how it affected the studio. How its shooting changed the face of filmmaking and why the history of the situation leads to an epic rush of emotion that led to the chariot race being remembered throughout Hollywood's history. Hoffman starts off answering my question of "How one scene can effect a studio?" by telling us that the film was known more for its grandeur and that "its considerable expenditure of money and horses made this sequence a brilliant tour-de-force that established...lavish production values."