A RECORD-BREAKING HISTORY
Continuing the tradition of epic grandeur established
by the novel, two record-breaking movies, and a Broadway play,
"Judah Ben-Hur" sets to music the sweeping story of
the world's favorite "Prince of Jerusalem".
The Book: Written by Lew Wallace in the
closing years of the 19th century, "Ben-Hur" immediately
captured the hearts and imaginations of readers across America
and Europe. It became the second most read book of its time.
The Play: Nineteen years after publication
the book was adapted for theatre and began its unprecedented run
on Broadway. The show ran across the United States for an amazing
twenty-one years. The highlight of the play was the chariot race
in which horses were trained to run on a treadmill while a thirty-foot
high background scrim was run in the opposite direction behind
The Silent Film: In 1926 "Ben-Hur,
A Tale Of The Christ" was released by MGM. Starring silent
screen idols Ramon Navarro and Francis X. Bushman, the film was
the most ambitious undertaking of its day and was met with overwhelming
acceptance by moviegoers around the world.
The Academy Award Winning Classic: In
the middle 1950's, faced with growing competition from the television
industry, America's movie moguls sought ways to entice the public
to return to the theatre. In an effort to turn their struggling
studio around, MGM reached for the tried and true tale that had
served them so well on the silent screen. In 1959 the world was
treated to the movie that to this day has set the standard for
others to follow. This cinema spectacular, starring Charlton Heston
as Ben-Hur and Steven Boyd as Mesalla, his arch-enemy, established
itself as the most honored and award-winning film of all time.
It was nominated for 12 academy awards and actually received an
unparalleled eleven Oscars including the coveted Best Actor, Best
Supporting Actor, and Best Director awards.
The DVD: As proof of the film's timeless appeal, movie aficionados worldwide rushed to video outlets to purchase the classic when it was released on DVD in the spring of 2001.