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Ben Hur (1959)


Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Producer: Sam Zimbalist
Starring: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Sam Jaffe, Cathy O'Donnell
Synopsis: One of the cinema's greatest epics because it's based on a compelling human story of revenge, bitterness, redemption and forgiveness. Heston is magnificent as the Prince of Judea, Ben Hur, who confronts the conquering Romans. His actions send him and his family into slavery - and an inspirational encounter with Jesus. The story moves from Judea to imperial Rome and back to Judea where Heston finally meets his rival Messala in a justly famous chariot race, regarded as one of the most exciting action sequences ever filmed. He rescues his suffering family - after once again encountering Jesus, this time on his way to Golgotha. This was a production of unheard of scale, exhibiting the work of literally tens of thousands of people. The 1880 novel by Lew Wallace had previously been made to great acclaim in 1927 with Ramon Navarro which Wyler ironically was one of 60 Assistant Directors on. The 35th Anniversary edition, which runs 282 minutes, includes an exclusive documentary narrated by Christopher Plummer on the making of the film, behind-the-scenes footage, screen tests, cast interviews and the film's original trailer. Academy Award® Nominations: 12, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Academy Awards: 11, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Charlton Heston, Best Supporting Actor--Hugh Griffith.
Academy Awards®:
Best Picture   Won
Best Director William Wyler Won
Best Actor Charlton Heston Won
Best Supporting Actor Hugh Griffith Won
Best Color Cinematography Robert Surtees Won
Best Screenplay Karl Tunberg Nominated
Art Direction/Set Decoration William A. Horning Won
Best Costume Design Elizabeth Haffenden Won

Miklos Rozsa
Ralph Winters
John D. Dunning
Best Sound

Edward Carfagno
Hugh Hunt

Best Special Effects
A. Arnold Gillespie
Robert MacDonald
Best Sound Effects
Milo Lory
Best Music Score of a Drama/Comedy Frank E. Milton
Golden Globes:
Best Motion Picture, Drama   Won
Best Director
William Wyler
Special Achievements
Andrew Marton
(For Directing the Chariot Race)
Best Supporting Actor Stephen Boyd Won

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