Religious propaganda in Ben-Hur release

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Mr. Mike, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike Guest

    Included with the Ben-Hur box set to be released on Tuesday is a reproduction of
    the souvenir book which was sold in theatres when the movie was first shown.

    There is also some religious propaganda included, a 9-page pamphlet by Robert
    H. and Robert A. Schuller!! This thing seemingly has the imprimatur of Warner
    Brothers, because its back cover has credits and copyright information from the
    film. Here is how this thing begins:

    INTRODUCTION

    We are honored and delighted to bring you this Bible study guide for Ben-Hur: A
    Tale of the Christ -- a favorite of the Schuller family. Not only a spectacular
    work of cinema, Ben-Hur delivers a simple message that resonates with all of us.
    Ben-Hur tells the story of a man who, despite his imperfections and flaws,
    despite life's trials and tribulations, ultimately finds meaning in life through
    Jesus Christ. And that's the real meaning of the Cross: God is there to guide us
    and to love us no matter what. On a personal note, Charlton Heston has been a
    frequent guest and longtime friend of "Hour of Power," and I know that he views
    his portrayal of Judah Ben-Hur as more than just a role. He sees Ben-Hur's
    struggle as an important one to share with the world because, like Ben-Hur, all
    of us have to fight and overcome personal battles. It is our sincere hope that
    through this Bible study guide, you can discover the power that Jesus Christ has
    to transform your life, because through God, all things are possible!

    SYNOPSIS

    Ben-Hur is a moving saga of the life of Judah Ben-Hur -- the leader of a
    prosperous and politically powerful family in Jerusalem at the time of the Roman
    occupation. Betrayed by a childhood friend, Messala, Judah loses everything
    after being sentenced to life as a Roman galley slave for a crime he did not
    commit. Through God's direct and indirect intervention, Judah survives and rises
    from his captivity to become a transformed man.

    PREPARATION

    Ben-Hur is a film epic in scope and length, clocking in at 3 hours and 32
    minutes. This Bible study is a fully integrated approach, where the study
    follows directly on the heels of watching the film. This one-day study will
    require preparation, but churches (and even small group fellowships and
    families) can turn the study into an "event" by screening the film in the
    afternoon, followed by a shared meal for all participants, then using the Bible
    study to focus on God's Transformational Power.

    A NOTE ON THE FORMAT OF THIS GUIDE

    When you see "Leader:" in regular type, what follows are directions. When you
    see "Leader:" in italic type, what follows is information to share with the
    group. It can be read directly from this guide or paraphrased. Questions printed
    in bold represent the questions that appear in the study guides. Read these
    aloud and then allow participants to comment and take notes on the discussion.
    Some suggested answers to the questions appear in your leader's guide in
    parentheses.

    LEADER'S GUIDE

    Leader: Make sure that everyone has a Bible, a worksheet, and a pen or pencil.
    Open in prayer that God will use this film about ancient times to reveal Himself
    and His purposes to us. Begin the study by asking people to share briefly what
    they liked best about the movie. Take 4-5 brief comments, then comment that what
    you liked the best was the home improvement sequence. People will look puzzled
    -- so you can explain: Leader: The Apostle Paul tells us that our bodies are the
    temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). We are houses, but we are in need of
    severe renovation. C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, asks us to imagine that we
    are living houses. We think we are in need of a little home improvement to turn
    us into truly comfortable little cottages. The problem is that God wants to
    remake us into palaces, which requires a painful teardown and rebuilding. He is
    transforming us into houses that He intends to inhabit. Ben-Hur is a movie about
    this home improvement project and we are going to go through it tonight step by
    step as we look at how God transforms us.
     
    Mr. Mike, Sep 11, 2005
    #1
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  2. Mr. Mike

    Stan Brown Guest

    I suppose they felt they'd be stoned if they included screenwriter
    Gore Vidal's comments about the backstory between Messala and Ben-
    Hur.
     
    Stan Brown, Sep 11, 2005
    #2
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  3. Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike Guest

    Oh, Vidal is in one of the documentaries on the 4th DVD ... though he talks
    about the Ben-Hur/Messala relationship very "discretely."
     
    Mr. Mike, Sep 11, 2005
    #3
  4. Mr. Mike

    Alpha Guest

    The thing about this great movie that strikes me most is how it is *not* a
    religious tale at all, despite the subtitle. This is a tale about the
    individual Ben Hur set within the context of evolving relgions (plural).
     
    Alpha, Sep 11, 2005
    #4
  5. Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike Guest

    This point is made in one of the documentaries on disc 4, that director William
    Wyler took great pains to make this story appeal to members of ANY religion,
    despite its obvious "bias."
     
    Mr. Mike, Sep 12, 2005
    #5
  6. Mr. Mike

    Guest Guest

    The word you want is 'discreetly'
     
    Guest, Sep 12, 2005
    #6
  7. Oh, shock! Horror!

    Whatever is religion doing in "Ben-Hur; A Tale of the Christ"?
     
    The Man With No Name, Sep 13, 2005
    #7
  8. Mr. Mike

    Jim Hollis Guest

    Picked up the "BH" dvd set today. My set has the roadshow book repro
    allright. However, I was most gratified to find that the "Schuller
    propoganda" booklet WAS NOT included. Wonder if someone at WB realized they
    had put something in that best be left out after a bunch had already been
    shipped??
     
    Jim Hollis, Sep 13, 2005
    #8
  9. Mr. Mike

    Ray Guest


    Where do you live?? Maybe they only shipped the booklets to the "red"
    states.
     
    Ray, Sep 14, 2005
    #9
  10. Mr. Mike

    Dick Sidbury Guest

    I'm in a blue state and I *didn't* get the booklet. Maybe you're on to
    something.

    dick
    -- let's hear it from a red stater!
     
    Dick Sidbury, Sep 14, 2005
    #10
  11. Mr. Mike

    rgordon Guest

    www.deepdiscountdvd.com shows two different 4 disc releases... each with the
    same price, but each with a different item number... Seems to be one "with"
    & one "without" - either seems to be for sale in any state, though I ordered
    mine "without"... If it gets lost in the mail I'll assume it's proof there
    is a God.. And if not, proof there isn't...
     
    rgordon, Sep 14, 2005
    #11
  12. Mr. Mike

    Mr. Mike Guest

    There are three different UPC codes for this package ... if you go to Amazon and
    bring up the new Ben-Hur and plug the three different UPC codes into the URL by
    replacing the number after where it says qid= it always brings up the new
    Ben-Hur package.

    UPC 012569675353 is the regular version.

    UPC 012569676695 is the "Bible" version (I thought this was a version which
    contained an actual Bible).

    If you look it up here --

    http://www.movieweb.com/dvd/dvd.php?012569673755

    -- it says the package contains a "study Bible." (No such thing in my package!)
    And then there is UPC 012569673755.

    There was a label with the "Bible" UPC code stuck over the regular one on my
    package.
     
    Mr. Mike, Sep 14, 2005
    #12
  13. Mr. Mike

    GMAN Guest

    Just because you live in a red state does not make one a freaky deaky born
    again.
     
    GMAN, Sep 14, 2005
    #13
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