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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1959 - Academy Award - Ben Hur
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1959!
The Academy Award winning film for best picture was Ben Hur.

The dramatic epic centers on the story of a Jewish prince, Judah Ben Hur, who is betrayed by a friend and sent into slavery in 1st Century Rome. With his mother and sister imprisoned, and facing a life of slavery, Ben Hur rises up to take revenge and regain his freedom.

As a sidenote, Heston was taught to ride a chariot by the stunt crew, who offered to teach the entire cast - Heston was the only one that took them up on the offer. At the beginning of the chariot race, Heston shook the reins and nothing happened; the horses remained motionless. Finally someone way up on top of the set yelled "giddy-up!" The horses then roared into action, and Heston was flung backward off of the chariot.

Ben Hur
The Cast:
  • Charleton Heston as Judah Ben Hur
  • Jack Hawkins as Quintas Arrius
  • Haya Harareet as Esther
  • Stephen Boyd as Messala
  • Hugh Griffith as Sheik Ilderim
  • Martha Scott as Miriam
  • Cathy O'Donnell as Tirzah
  • Sam Jaffee as Simonides
  • Finlay Currie as Balthasar
  • Frank Thring as Pontius Pilate
  • Terence Longdon as Drusus
  • George Relph as Tiberius
  • Andre Morrell as Sextus


  • William Wyler
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