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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


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Quotes from

Simonides: Judah-Ben Hur! You've come back to us like a returning faith! Oh Judah, I should like to laugh again. Let us laugh!
Judah Ben-Hur: We will laugh.
Simonides: There will be joy again in this house! We will celebrate! Among the dust and cobwebs...
[Simonides sobs]


[Judah confronts Esther and Malluch in the Valley of the Lepers]
Judah Ben-Hur: [angrily, to Esther] Why did you tell me they were dead?
Esther: It was what they wanted. Judah, you must not betray this faith. Will you do this for them?
Judah Ben-Hur: Not to see them?
Esther: [seeing Miriam and Tirzah approach] They are coming... Judah! Judah, love them in the way they most need to be loved: not to look at them! Judah, let it be as though you had never come here. Please, Judah!
[Judah hides behind a boulder as Esther goes to meet Miriam]
Miriam: Is Judah well? Is he happy?
[Judah's face twists in anguish]
Esther: Yes. He is well. Your mind can be at rest for him. He is well, Miriam.
Miriam: I am content.
[she picks up the basket of food that Esther brought for them]
Miriam: God be with you.
[she and Tirzah go back into the cave]
Esther: [going back to Judah] They are gone. We can go back.
Judah Ben-Hur: [bitterly] Go back... to what?
Esther: Judah, they have one blessing left: to think you remember them as they were. Live your own life. Forget what is here.
Judah Ben-Hur: Forget? Forget? It's as if they were alive in a grave!
Esther: But what can you do?
Judah Ben-Hur: Undo what you've done! How could you have suffered them to come here? I must see them!
Esther: No Judah, please! Judah!
[Judah starts toward the cave but is stopped by Malluch]
Esther: Oh, think, Judah, *think*! It will tear them apart if they see you!


Quintus Arrius: [startled from sleep to find Ben-Hur standing over him] Why are you here?
Judah Ben-Hur: I was ordered to report to you during my relief.
Quintus Arrius: Yes, I had forgotten... You could have killed me as I lay there! You're a condemned man, why didn't you?
Judah Ben-Hur: I'm not ready to die.
Quintus Arrius: What do you think will save you?
Judah Ben-Hur: The God of my fathers.
Quintus Arrius: Your God has forsaken you. He has no more power than the images I pray to. My gods do not help me; your God will not help you.


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Facts about

William Wyler was a renowned stickler for detail. Charlton Heston recalled one particular scene where Judah Ben-Hur simply walks across a room upon his return from slavery. Such a simple scene required 8 takes before the actor finally asked Wyler what was missing. The director informed him that he liked the first take where Heston had kicked a piece of pottery to give the scene its only sound. Heston on the other hand had assumed that Wyler didn't like the kicking and had therefore deliberately avoided doing it again.
One thing William Wyler was completely unable to do was get his leading man to cry on-screen. You'll note in Ben-Hur's crying scenes that Charlton Heston covers his eyes.
Miklós Rózsa wrote the musical score in eight weeks.
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National Film Registry

Ben-Hur

Released 1959
Inducted 2004
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