Cast Aside - With Bushman at the Unmaking of 'Ben-Hur' in Italy (paperback)
Cast Aside - With Bushman at the Unmaking of 'Ben-Hur' in Italy
by John W. Harding
The ‘UNMAKING’ of ‘Ben-Hur’!
A Hollywood film crew
away on location in Mussolini’s Italy—
Caught between Fascism
and a rising tide of anti-fascist fury!
No shunned movie idol ever had more at stake than Francis X. Bushman in 1924. Once dubbed the “handsomest man in movies,” he has been cast aside now for five years after a messy infidelity scandal. But his freak casting as the villain Messala in “Ben-Hur” could be his shot at redemption.
Only three things stand in his way: A studio mogul who detests him . . . A public that has forgotten him . . . And an overseas production gone haywire.
Can an amoral newsman with an equally suspect past help Bushman rebuild his reputation … or will be a beautiful, strong-willed signorina become both men’s downfall? “Cast Aside” is an insider look at the crimes, passions and publicity stunts of Hollywood’s final months on location in Rome.
From the notorious “Moltrasio trunk murder” at Lake Como to the violence inside Italy’s legendary lost studio of Cines, all roads lead to the single costliest episode of the silent film era—the deadly October 1924 uprising at sea in the waters off Livorno.