Jump to content


Ben-Hur (1959) starring Charlton Heston

Recommended Posts


Following a $14.7 million marketing effort, Ben-Hur premiered at Loew's State Theatre in New York City on November 18, 1959. It was the fastest-grossing as well as the highest-grossing film of 1959, in the process becoming the second-highest-grossing film in history at the time after Gone with the Wind. It won a record 11 Academy Awards, including Best PictureBest Director (Wyler), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heston), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Griffith), and Best Cinematography – Color (Surtees), an accomplishment that was not equaled until Titanic in 1997 and then again by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003. Ben-Hur also won three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – DramaBest Director and Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for Stephen Boyd. Today, Ben-Hur is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, and in 1998 the American Film Institute ranked it the 72nd best American film and the 2nd 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 a "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" motion picture.




During its initial release the film earned $33.6 million in North American theater rentals (the distributor's share of the box office), generating approximately $74.7 million in box office sales. Outside of North America, it earned $32.5 million in rentals (about $72.2 million at the box office) for a worldwide total of $66.1 million in rental earnings, roughly equivalent to $146.9 million in box office receipts.[141] It was the fastest-grossing film[12] as well as the highest-grossing film of 1959,[145] in the process becoming the second-highest-grossing film of all-time (at that time) behind Gone with the Wind.[146][147] Ben-Hur saved MGM from financial disaster,[148] making a profit of $20,409,000 on its initial release,[4] and another $10.1 million in profits when re-released in 1969.[12] By 1989, Ben-Hur had earned $90 million in worldwide theatrical rentals.[149]


According to http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/ , MGM's (the distributor) BO share of $33.6m in 1959 dollars would be $277,121,484.54 in 2016 dollars.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The movie was the quintessential epic. The posters the film was released with matched the film's epicness...




Everything made it seem like a must-see event.

It received 11 Oscars, and it took Titanic 38 years to match that record.

Edited by franfar
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just found this, and it felt like an orgasm for the ears... The music really completes this film.


Hearing it live must have been wonderful.


And here's the original composer conducting it again.


Edited by franfar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This one hasn't aged too well, IMO. Aside from the hilarity of Heston apparently being the only one who was completely oblivious to the homoerotic subtext lol. It may be even hammier, but I prefer the entertainment value of The Ten Commandments to this.  

Edited by Jiffy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Lordmandeep said:

I think of all the biblical epics, this one is the most watchable still. 

this is great until the main conflict of the movie ends and there's like 45 minutes of SON OF GOD shit of ben hur whining about his family's gross herpes or some shit that comes after it. definitely a movie to turn off early.


personally i prefer the ten commandments.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/25/2017 at 6:16 AM, Lordmandeep said:

I agree till the Chariot scene it flows really fast and furious and then rather dies out

Like most movies of that era, it was very heavy on dialogue and contrived drama. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines. Feel free to read our Privacy Policy as well.