The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Ben-Hur (1959 film)

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.

The film was also nominated for one further award

  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium - Karl Tunberg

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