The chariot race was shot without sound. This was added in post-production when the decision was also made to not have any music throughout the sequence.
Three hundred sets, five years of research, and fourteen months of labor were required for the sets.
Stephen Boyd, and several other actors playing Romans, wore dark contact lenses, so their eyes appeared brown.
Although William Wyler was Jewish, he particularly wanted to make a film that would appeal to all religious faiths.
When he was cast as Messala, Stephen Boyd grew a bushy beard for the role, only to be told that fashionable Roman men of the time didn't wear beards.
One of the very few (and very expensive) 65mm cameras in the world was wrecked during the filming of the chariot race.
Charlton Heston was initially offered the role of Messala.
The process of amassing the more than a million props that were needed began in Rome two years before camera started rolling.
Ben-Hur (1959) is the first of the three movies which have won 11 Academy Awards' most popular award, Oscar (in 11 of 12 categories). Extra categories were available for the others. Second was Titanic (1997). Third was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) to have won 11 Oscars at Academy Awards for acting and other categories. Unlike the other two films, several of the categories won by Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) didn't exist in Ben-Hur (1959)'s day, making its eleven wins that much more impressive. |