ben-hur

ben-hur

Charlton Heston & Claude Heater, Ben Hur offers water to Jesus on the way to Golgotha

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From the movie Ben Hur (1959) starring Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur, Jack Hawkins as Quintus Arrius, Haya Harareet as Esther, Stephen Boyd as Messala, Hugh Griffith as Sheik Ilderim, Martha Scott as Miriam, Cathy O'Donnell as Tirzah, Sam Jaffe as Simonides, Finlay Currie as Balthasar and the narrator, Frank Thring as Pontius Pilate, Terence Longdon as Drusus, George Relph as Tiberius Caesar, André Morell as Sextus, Claude Heater as Jesus, and others. In total 45 actors were 'principal performers', 365 actors had speaking parts in the film, whereas up to 50000 individuals acted in minor roles. Directed by William Wyler Produced by Sam Zimbalist Screenplay by Karl Tunberg (uncredited: Gore Vidal, Christopher Fry, Maxwell Anderson, S. N. Behrman) Based on Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace Narrated by Finlay Currie Music by Miklos Rozca Cinematography by Robert L. Surtees Editing by John D. Dunning & Ralph E. Winters Released on November 18, 1959 Budget: US $ 15.175.000 Box Office: US $ 146.900.000 More: One of the very few (and very expensive) 65mm cameras in the world was wrecked during the filming of the chariot race. By the time filming had finished, MGM's London laboratories had processed over 1,250,000 feet of 65mm Eastman Color film, at the cost of $1 a foot. Stephen Boyd wore lifts in his shoes to make his height more on a par with Charlton Heston's. Miklós Rózsa wrote the musical score over a period of nearly a year. He was resident in Rome with the production while he composed, and recorded his music with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at MGM's Borehamwood studios outside London. Audrey Hepburn visited the set during the filming of the chariot race (she was in the midst of shooting The Nun's Story (1959)). This led to the false legend that she was an extra in the crowd scenes, as a favor to William Wyler, who gave Hepburn her first starring role in Roman Holiday (1953), for which she won the Oscar. One thing William Wyler was completely unable to do was get his leading man to cry on-screen. During Judah Ben-Hur's crying scenes that Charlton Heston covers his eyes. Perhaps Charlton Heston's tear glands were unable to operate successfully. Producer Sam Zimbalist died two months before production ended. Then, William Wyler handled the remaining production duties, along with his directing this masterpiece epic. William Wyler selected all the camera angles for the chariot race, but left all the details of its actual shooting in the hands of his second-unit directors Andrew Marton and Yakima Canutt. When he saw Marton and Canutt's work, Wyler remarked that it was "one of the greatest cinematic achievements" he'd ever seen. Wyler then supervised the editing of the sequence. The film's credits appear with the Sistine Chapel ceiling as background. Charlton Heston would later play Michelangelo, the painter of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, in the film The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965). In the original novel, Ben-Hur's mother does not have a name; she is referred to as Mother of Hur. For the film, she was called Miriam. When Ben-Hur confronts a dying Messala after the chariot race, William Wyler insisted on multiple takes. He wanted Ben-Hur to show complete indifference to his dying former friend, something that Charlton Heston found hard to deliver. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052618/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben-Hur_(1959_film)