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.
The first of only three films to win 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It also has the highest percentage of winning Academy Awards. In 1960 there were only 12 categories. 11/12 & 11 of 12 = 91 & 2/3%.
Judah Ben-Hur killed two Roman prison guards, trying to escape from prison. He choked Roman ship commander, Hortator, to death after the ship was rammed. Shortly after rescuing the imprisoned galley slaves, he climbed to the top of the ship and slew a Macedonian, that knocked Roman soldier and temporary ship commander, Quintus Arrius off the ship, into the sea with a lance and blinded another Macedonian, to protect Quintus Arrius. Then, Judah Ben-Hur quickly dove into the sea and rescued Quintus Arrius.
According to text in the film's souvenir program, the film used over 1,000,000 props, though this is likely a studio publicist's exaggeration.
Cesare Danova screentested to play Ben-Hur.
MGM commissioned over 40 scripts for the film over a period of six years. |