“Ben-Hur,” the iconic 1959 religious drama directed by William Wyler (“The Best Years of Our Lives,” “Mrs. Miniver”) and starring Charlton Heston, will come roaring back onto the big screen at Bainbridge Cinemas at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 17 for a special one-night-only 60th anniversary screening.
Tickets, $12.50 each, are on sale at www.farawayentertainment.com.
In the movie, a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend and then regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.
It’s an epic tale in every way.
The film reportedly had the largest budget ($15.175 million), as well as the largest sets ever built of any film produced at the time.
Costume designer Elizabeth Haffenden reportedly oversaw a staff of 100 wardrobe fabricators to make the costumes, and a workshop employing 200 artists and workmen provided the hundreds of friezes and statues needed in the film.
From Wikipedia: “Filming commenced on May 18, 1958, and wrapped on January 7, 1959, with shooting lasting for 12 to 14 hours a day, six days a week.
“Under cinematographer Robert L. Surtees, MGM executives made the decision to film the picture in a widescreen format, which Wyler strongly disliked. More than 200 camels and 2,500 horses were used in the shooting of the film, with some 10,000 extras. The sea battle was filmed using miniatures in a huge tank on the back lot at the MGM Studios in Culver City, California.”
The resulting nine-minute chariot race scene has become one of cinema’s most famous sequences, and the film score, composed and conducted by Miklós Rózsa, is the longest ever composed for a film and was highly influential.