Ben-Hur is a 1959 film directed by William Wyler and is, today, the best-known version of the film based on the Ben-Hur book by Lew Wallace. It was done in the spectacular block buster style, and featured Charlton Heston as Judah ben-Hur and Stephen Boyd as Messala. It premiered at Loew's Theater in New York City on November 18, 1959.
This version won a stunning 11 Academy Awards (a number matched only by two other movies in the history of Academy Awards - Titanic in 1997 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2004).
This was a successful attempt to save MGM from bankruptcy.
MGM received over 40 scripts.
Academy Award for Best Picture - Sam Zimbalist , producer
Academy Award for Best Actor - Charlton Heston
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor - Hugh Griffith
Academy Award for Directing - William Wyler
Academy Award for Best Art Direction - Set Decoration, Color - Edward C. Carfagno , William A. Horning , and Hugh Hunt
Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Color - Robert Surtees
Academy Award for Costume Design, Color - Elizabeth Haffenden
- Best Effects, Special Effects - A. Arnold Gillespie (visual), Milo B. Lory (audible), and Robert MacDonald (visual)
- Best Film Editing - John D. Dunning , and Ralph E. Winters
- Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture - Miklós Rózsa
- Best Sound - Franklin Milton
The film was also nominated for one further award
- Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium - Karl Tunberg