The 1959 version of Ben Hur was one of the greatest movies made in the past century. Best Picture, Best Actor(Charlton Heston), Best Supporting Actor(Hugh Griffith), Best Director(William Wyler, MGM), Best Cinematographer – Color(Robert Surtees), Best Art Direction/Set Direction, Best Costume Design-Color(Elizabeth Haffenden), Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Special Effects, Best Music Score(Miklos Rozsa), and nominated for Best Screenplay based on a novel.
Who knew? The novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ was written by Union General Lewis (Lew) Wallace and published in 1880. Wallace’s inspiration for the book came after a long train ride and conversation with a noted atheist at the time Robert Ingersoll.
Lew Wallace a son of Indiana, a Civil War General, a Governor of New Mexico Territory during the famous ‘Lincoln County’ wars and U.S. Minister to Turkey in 1885 wrote a story that first saw the light of day on film two years after he passed away in 1905. Then another version in 1925 was filmed with the hunky Francis X. Bushman as Messala, and Ramon Novarro as Ben-Hur. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would be founded two years later in 1927. Is the 1959 version of Ben Hur historically accurate? I’m thinking you have to read the book to find out. I’ll let you know.