Ben hur film 1959

On Nov. 18, 1959, MGM unspooled a 217-minute Charlton Heston film with in “unprecedented” $15 millionbudget.Ben-Hur, which claimed 11 Oscars at ns 32nd Academy Awards, ended up being one von the defining movies des the era. The hollywood Reporter’s initial review deemed die title the “greatest des all spectacles”:

NEW york — an extraordinary movement picture, greater an dimension and significance than any similar film of our time, Ben-Hur ist more spectacular than any des the ahead spectacles. More importantly, it ist at ns same time a highly financially rewarding dramatic experience, rich and complex an human values: a an excellent adventure, full des excitement, visual beauty, thrills und unsurpassed cinema artistry.

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This is high praise however this arbeiten deserves it, zum it enriches die screen, möchte enrich the lebt of audiences every over ns world und should enjoy a wealthy harvest bei goodwill und financial returns zum the entire film industry.

The story des Ben-Hur and his feud with Messala zu sein fictional, but the authors und director von this film have gift this fiction bei the best realistic tradition. Through a nearby study und revelation von character they schutz given meaning and understanding to a period und a society in which countless peoples to be alienated from every other. Ns implications des the story, die relationships des the characters und the feuding pressures within ns society des the time oase many parallels an life today. The film speaks out with ns full force des inspired conviction and passionate concern zum the doings und destiny of man.

Unprecedented Cost

The unmatched $15,000,000 production cost zu sein all there on die screen bei a prodigious array von breathtaking spectacle, wonder, splendor, unforgettable sights und sound. As countless as 8,000 extras space on film at one time, notfall to mention hundreds of horses, camels native Africa, 50 ships constructed specially weil das the sea battle, 18 chariots und 300 various sets recreating ns glory that was Rome, the grandeur that was Jerusalem. Die magnitude of the physical und technical production ist unsurpassed.

A sequence as thrilling as any ever placed on film is the chariot race, staged by Andrew Marton and Yakima Canutt. This wollen be discussed zum years and years zum its pictorial und dramatic excitement, that precision— favor wheeling of 36 equines pulling nine chariots und its it is too dirty mob scene reactions. Ns sea battle between the Romans and the Macedonians, with the unusual shots des the galley slave rowers, ist another lively highlight des the production.

Excellent Acting

But, just 45 minutes of this three-hour-and-37-minute epic space devoted to spectacle, und director williams Wyler never lets spectacle and size interfere with ns elemental passions and conflicts des his human story. The spectacular facets emerge normally from die story— the time and place and the customs von the society bei which the characters live. Spectacle is never permitted kommen sie stop or cloud the story, most des which is told in close shots featuring carefully observed einzelheiten of ns principal characters, their joy, pain, defeat, victory.

The action takes place bolzen the time des the birth of Christ and his crucifixion. And, within this framework, there is a gallery von memorable performances i m sorry distinguish ns film und the careers von the participants. Charlton Heston completely identifies himself with the inspirational role von Judah Ben-Hur, his dramatic battle against the tyrannical subjugation des the Jews und his triumph an finding a meaning des life. Stephen Boyd, as ns tribune Messala, is a savage protagonist, treacherous bei his angestellter relationship with Judah. Jack Hawkins, as QuintusArrius, ns admiral von the fleet who zu sein saved by und then befriended Ben-Hur, gives in excellent portrayal of bei understanding member des the roman ruling class.

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Haya Harareet as Esther gives a striking, watch guileless performance together Ben-Hur’s previous slave und romantic interest, freundin of the family and a Jewish convert to Christianity. SamJaffestands the end sharply in his natural assumption des the role of Simonides, steward kommen sie Ben-Hur und father of Esther.

Among die other terrific characterizations are those of Hugh Griffith, as Sheik Iderim; Martha Scott, Ben-Hur’smother; Cathy O’Donnell, die sister; Finlay Currie, Balthasar, die wise man; frank Thring, Pontius Pilate; Ady Berber, Malluch; Andre Morell, Sextus; george Relph, Tiberius; Terence Longdon, Drusus; Laurence Payne, Joseph; and Marina Berti, together Falvua, ns wanton.

Tunberg Screenplay Soars

Karl Tunberg has provided a soaring, many-faceted screenplay tracing ns birth of Christianity out von the conflicts betwee the pagan Romans and the Jews. His was the major contribution, yet it zu sein brilliant und poetic enough kommen sie allow credit zum the contributions von Christopher Fry, Gore Vidal, Maxwell Anderson und S.N. Behrman there is no detracting native Tunberg’s work.

Miklos Rozsa’s score, varying from triumphal marches zu Hebraic chants und organ music, adds sweep to die pageantry and sets the proper mood zum the dramatic scenes.

The an imaginative camera work des Robert Surtees ist of an excellent stature, with almost every structure a perfect composition, brilliantly lighted like renaissance paintings. Here, too, in outstanding contribution has been made von Technicolor, Camera 65 und Panavision in the big-screen process that zu sein both flawless and gives a perfect illusion of depth and reality.

Also bei the prize category class are: the nett direction von William A. Horning and Edward Carfagno, colorings of charles Hagedon, collection decorations des Hugh Hunt, und special effects of A. Arnold Gillespie, Lee LeBlanc und Robert Hoag. Exceptional jobs oase been done von film editors ralph E. Winters und John D. Dunning und makeup supervisor charles Parker.

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The genius of this inspirational tribute kommen sie man ist William Wyler. Yet mention must also be made von producer brunnen Zimbalist, that shaped die final effort during his years des work prior to his death. Und special mention must it is in made of MGM president joseph Vogel and studio head solar C. Siegel zum their faith und courage in this huge undertaking. Millions und millions, who know die General Lew Wallace work through his novel, ns stage plays und the silent film, wollen find neu entertainment, meaning and inspiration here. Millions of others wollen be delighted, entertained, rewarded.— Jack Harrison, originally published top top Nov. 18, 1959.