Ben-Hur Overview:

Ben-Hur (1959) was a Action - Adventure Film directed by William Wyler and produced by William Wyler, Sam Zimbalist, Sol C. Siegel and Joseph Vogel.

The film was based on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ written by Lew Wallace published in 1880.

Ben-Hur was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2004.

Academy Awards 1959 --- Ceremony Number 32 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best ActorCharlton HestonWon
Best Supporting ActorHugh GriffithWon
Best Art DirectionArt Direction: William A. Horning, Edward Carfagno; Set Decoration: Hugh HuntWon
Best CinematographyRobert L. SurteesWon
Best Costume DesignElizabeth HaffendenWon
Best DirectorWilliam WylerWon
Best Film EditingRalph E. Winters, John D. DunningWon
Best Music - ScoringMiklos RozsaWon
Best PictureSam Zimbalist, ProducerWon
Best WritingKarl TunbergNominated
.

BlogHub Articles:

The Return Of The Epic? – Ben-Hur (2016)

By Michael on Aug 14, 2016 From Durnmoose Movie Musings

So a “featurette” focusing largely on the chariot race has been released to promote the upcoming Ben-Hur movie. I’ll admit I’m looking forward to this, largely because I’m curious how Hollywood is going to handle this kind of epic historical film today. Of course, a bi... Read full article


1001 Classic Movies: Ben-Hur

By Amanda Garrett on Mar 7, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films

Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston, is one of the 1001 classic movies you should see. Each Monday, I'm going to recommend a classic movie you should see (for the reasons behind the 1001 series and reviews of earlier films covered go here). Throughout March, I'll be celebrating the 60th anniversary... Read full article


Ben-Hur (1959)

By Michael on Dec 13, 2013 From Le Mot du Cinephiliaque

Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959) Still holding the record for the most wins at the Academy Awards with 11, tied with Titanic and The Lord of the Rings : The Return of the King, Ben-Hur directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston as its title role, defines the genre of biblical epic film. ... Read full article


BEN-HUR (1925)

By Dan Day Jr. on Aug 9, 2013 From The Hitless Wonder Movie Blog

Because of all the movies that I've seen in my life, it's a very rare thing these days for me to watch a famous film for the very first time. But that's what happened last night when the Turner Classic Movies channel showed the 1925 version of BEN-HUR. The print TCM showed looked spectacular and fea... Read full article


BEN-HUR (1925)

By Dan Day Jr. on Aug 9, 2013 From The Hitless Wonder Movie Blog

Because of all the movies that I've seen in my life, it's a very rare thing these days for me to watch a famous film for the very first time. But that's what happened last night when the Turner Classic Movies channel showed the 1925 version of BEN-HUR. The print TCM showed looked spectacular and fea... Read full article


See all Ben-Hur articles

Quotes from

Miriam: [hesitating before leaving the cave that has been her home] I'm afraid.
Esther: [embracing her in encouragement] No cause. The world is more than we know.


Judah Ben-Hur: You sent for me?
Pontius Pilate: I hope I bring you a good conclusion to your victory. I have a message for you from the consul, your father.
Judah Ben-Hur: I honor him.
Pontius Pilate: As you may honor yourself. You have been made a citizen of Rome.
[pause]
Pontius Pilate: Do you say nothing to this?
Judah Ben-Hur: I have just come from the Valley of Stone where my mother and my sister live what's left of their lives. By Rome's will, lepers; outcasts without hope!
Pontius Pilate: I have heard this. There was great blame there, very deeply regretted.
Judah Ben-Hur: Their flesh is mine, m'lord Pilate. It already carries Rome's mark.
Pontius Pilate: Messala is dead. What he did has had its way with him.
Judah Ben-Hur: The deed was not Messala's. I knew him, well, before the cruelty of Rome spread in his blood. Rome destroyed Messala as surely as Rome has destroyed my family.
Pontius Pilate: Where there is greatness, great government or power, even great feeling or compassion, error also is great. We progress and mature by fault. But Rome has said she is ready to join your life to hers in a great future.
Judah Ben-Hur: There are other voices.
Pontius Pilate: The voice for instance of Arrius, waiting for you in Rome. He would tell you, if I may speak in his place, not to crucify yourself on a shadow such as old resentment or impossible loyalties. Perfect freedom has no existence. A grown man knows the world he lives in, and for the present, the world is Rome. Young Arrius, I am sure, will choose it.
Judah Ben-Hur: I am Judah Ben-Hur.
[long pause; Pilate turns and walks away a few steps, then gestures]
Pontius Pilate: I crossed this floor in spoken friendship, as I would speak to Arrius. But when I go up those stairs I become the hand of Caesar, ready to crush all those who challenge his authority. There are too many small men of envy and ambition who try to disrupt the government of Rome. You have become the victor and hero to these people. They look to you, their one true god as I called you. If you stay here, you will find yourself part of this tragedy.
Judah Ben-Hur: [dipping a hand in a stream] When the Romans were marching me to the galleys, thirst had almost killed me. A man gave me water to drink, and I went on living. I should have done better if I'd poured it into the sand!
Balthasar: No.
Judah Ben-Hur: I'm thirsty still.


read more quotes from Ben-Hur...

Facts about

The film's credits appear with the Sistine Chapel ceiling as background. Charlton Heston played Michelangelo, the painter of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, in the film The Agony and the Ecstasy.
One of only two films shot in the MGM Camera 65 cinematographic process (the other being Raintree County, which was only released in 35mm prints). The MGM Camera 65 process used 65mm negative stock, but the 70mm prints intended for projection contained additional space for a stereophonic track that was printed in magnetic stripes directly on the film in the sprocket-hole area. Magnetic stripes were superior to optical soundtracks in that they could provide four channels of sound (six in the Todd-AO process) compared to the single sound channel of optical prints. The MGM Camera 65 used an anamorphic lens akin to CinemaScope that squeezed the image by 10%. Exhibitors rejected the new system as they had already made huge capital outlays of money to equip their theaters with CinemaScope lenses, stereophonic sound systems and 70mm projectors.
This is the only one of the three movies who have won 11 Academy Awards (the others being Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) to have won an Oscar for acting performances.
read more facts about Ben-Hur...
Share this page:
Visit the Classic Movie Hub Blog CMH
book or play


See All Film Adaptations >>
Best Picture Oscar 1959






See more Best Picture awards>>
National Film Registry

Ben-Hur

Released 1959
Inducted 2004
(Sound)




See All Films in National Registry >>
Also directed by William Wyler




More about William Wyler >>
Also produced by William Wyler




More about William Wyler >>
Related Lists
Create a list




See All Related Lists >>
Also released in 1959




See All 1959 films >>
More "Book-Based" films



See All "Book-Based" films >>
More "Romance (Drama)" films



See All "Romance (Drama)" films >>
More "Religious" films



See All "Religious" films >>
More "Ancient World" films



See All "Ancient World" films >>