The answer to the first movie is BEN-HUR (1959), which was originally made in 1925 during the silent era. Granted, an orchestral score was composed for the silent film and that score was played by musicians in theaters screening the film. But not all theaters could afford to provide a full orchestra so those audiences in smaller towns and venues enjoyed a piano or organ accompaniment rather than the full score.
But the chariot race sequence in the 1959 version is the scene I had in mind when I posed the question. It's one of the greatest set pieces in cinema history and there's not a note of music to be heard.
What you do hear is the thunder of the horses' hooves, the rumble and squeak of the chariots, the furious cracking of whips, the deafening roars of the crowd as men, animals and vehicles race around the arena, across the screen and into immortality.
It's a brilliantly staged and executed sequence and with no musical score or dialogue (and no cutaways to any action not taking place within the arena) it's pure cinema. Only images and sound are used to tell this part of the epic story and the result is something that once seen (especially on the big screen), is never to be forgotten
I'll reveal the answer to the second film in the next post. Here's another clue for you all: the walrus was Paul. Just kidding. The second movie features a score by one of the greatest film composers of the twentieth century but he contributed nothing to this part of the film.