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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

[first lines]
Balthasar: [narrating] In the Year of our Lord, Judea - for nearly a century - had lain under the mastery of Rome. In the seventh year of the reign of Augustus Caesar, an imperial decree ordered every Judean each to return to his place of birth to be counted and taxed. The converging ways of many of them led to the gates of their capital city, Jerusalem, the troubled heart of their land. The old city was dominated by the fortress of Antonia, the seat of Roman power, and by the great golden temple, the outward sign of an inward and imperishable faith. Even while they obeyed the will of Caesar, the people clung proudly to their ancient heritage, always remembering the promise of their prophets that one day there would be born among them a redeemer to bring them salvation and perfect freedom.


Judah Ben-Hur: He gave me water, and the heart to live. What has he done to merit this?
Balthasar: He has taken the world of our sins onto Himself. To this end He said He was born, in that stable, where I first saw Him. For this cause, He came into the world.
Judah Ben-Hur: For this death?
Balthasar: For this beginning.


Messala: By condemning without hesitation an old friend, I shall be feared.


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Facts about

The production cost MGM a massive $15 million and was a gamble by the studio to save itself from bankruptcy. The gamble paid off, with the film earning $75 million.
Producer Sam Zimbalist originally intended for the chariot race to be shot in Cinerama. This proved to be too expensive and unwieldy an idea.
Director William Wyler decided that the Romans should have British accents, and that the four Americans in the cast would play Hebrews. This was a technique later used in Masada.
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Best Picture Oscar 1959






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National Film Registry

Ben-Hur

Released 1959
Inducted 2004
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