Poster for the film 'Ben Hur'

Made:
1959 in Bradford

Film publicity poster printed by W E Berry, Bradford: 'Ben Hur', 1959.

'Ben-Hur' is a 1959 American epic historical drama film directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist, and featuring Charlton Heston as the title character. A remake of the 1925 silent film with a similar title, it was adapted from Lew Wallace's 1880 novel 'Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ'. The screenplay is credited to Karl Tunberg, but includes contributions from Maxwell Anderson, S. N. Behrman, Gore Vidal, and Christopher Fry.

'Ben-Hur' had the largest budget ($15.175 million), as well as the largest sets built of any film produced at the time. Filming commenced on May 18, 1958, and wrapped on January 7, 1959, with shooting lasting for 12 to 14 hours a day and six days a week. Pre-production began in Italy at Cinecittà around October 1957, and post-production took six months. Under cinematographer Robert L. Surtees, executives at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer made the decision to produce the film in a widescreen format. Over 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 nine-minute chariot race has become one of cinema's most famous action sequences, and the score, composed and conducted by Miklós Rózsa, is the longest ever composed for a film.

It won a record eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Wyler), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heston), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Griffith), and Best Cinematography – Color (Surtees); it also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for Stephen Boyd. In 1998, the American Film Institute named it the 72nd best American film and the second best American epic film in the AFI's 10 Top 10. In 2004, the National Film Preservation Board selected Ben-Hur for preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Details

Category:
Cinematography
Object Number:
2001-5018/11
Materials:
ink and paper
type:
poster
credit:
National Media Museum, Bradford