There is an argument that the first motion picture was ever produced was in 1878. It's not definitive, but that year a series of consecutive photographs was consecutively shot that, when assembled together, created the illusion of movement. Since that time, the technology of film has improved dramatically, but the stories that are translated into film remains the subject of scrutiny. Remakes, sequels, and reinterpretations have been made ever since. These all inspire the scorn of audiences today, but they've been going on continuously since the beginning of film. For example, the famous William Wyler film of Ben Hur from 1959, the one starring Charlton Heston that won eleven Academy Awards, was a remake twice over. The first version was a fifteen-minute film shot in 1907. The second interpretation came eighteen years later.
1925's Ben Hur was directed by Fred Niblo and starred Ramon Novarro as the boyhood Jewish friend of powerful Roman Tribune Messala. Messala becomes corrupt working for the Romans and sends Ben Hur off to enslavement, during which time he meets and is aided by Jesus of Nazareth. His fortunes turn after that. He is eventually freed, becomes an accomplished chariot racer, and does well for himself. The end. But the production of the movie didn't go quite as smoothly as Judah Ben Hur's story. Production costs grew and grew during production until the film gained the distinction of becoming the most expensive movie ever made during the silent era, breaking the bank at $3.9 million - which is a lot more than $3.9 million today. Fortunately, the popularity of the film came close to justifying the expense, and its influence on modern film remains of note. The American Treasure Tour's Music Room has a collage of photographs on display dedicated to the film.