Video: Ben Hur Scenes Shot In Sheepshead Bay… In 1907

Sheepshead Bay is on Blu-ray now. Well, sort of.

Ben Hur, a film based on the book Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, is out on Blu-ray. When the film was initially released, it garnered praise from movie critics and won a total of 11 Oscars, including the Best Picture award at the 1959 Academy Awards.

But did you know the iconic Charlton Heston version was a remake? At least two film editions and a play preceded it. And parts of the 1907 version were filmed in Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay – where local firefighters acted as the riders in the famed chariot race.

Directed by Sidney Olcott, a Canadian filmmaker, Frank Oakes Rose and others, it was only 15 minutes long due to it being produced without the permission of the author, Lew Wallace. He sued the film company for copyright infringement, setting the precedent that all movie studios are to get permission for adaptations of published work.

So take 15 minutes and watch the entire video, a bit of film history – and Sheepshead history.

Do you know of any other movies filmed in the Sheepshead Bay area? Let us know in the comments!