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"Behind The Scenes On Ben Hur (1959) Races" Topic

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529 hits since 26 Sep 2017
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 4:34 a.m. PST

I still prefer this "racing" over what I saw in the more recent Ben Hur remake. A lot more believable too. :)

PS. They sure look like they were having a blast.




JimDuncanUK27 Sep 2017 4:51 a.m. PST

There is a rumour or perhaps it was a legend that in the original Charlton Heston film of Ben Hur there was a red sports car in the background of the chariot racing scenes.

I looked and looked but never found it in any of the releases that I saw on TV.

Old Wolfman27 Sep 2017 6:24 a.m. PST

Whenever I watch that ,I do some Jackie Stewart style commentary, ex. "It's a great day for racing…"

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 8:43 a.m. PST

There's a story that when the time came for filming the race, Heston was worried that he hadn't gotten in enough practice yet. Finally his stunt man and trainer, Yakima Canute, said "Chuck, just get in the chariot: I'll guarantee you'll win the race!"

Liliburlero Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

Thanks for sharing these photos, we've never seen them before. We didn't even BOTHER to look at a re-make of Ben-Hur, I mean, give us a break… can you possibly top perfection with that brilliant cast!!! These photos of Heston and Stephen Boyd are just priceless, considering their characters were literally 'at odds'. There will NEVER be a Mesalla like the way Stephen Boyd portrayed him. As Dad (Larry Brom) stated: "Well, he was a a#$hole to the end". Hahahahahaha

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

The 1959 Charlton Heston movie was a remake. Ramon Navarro played Ben Hur in the original, released in 1925. I've seen both, and liked both.


Personal logo Chuckaroobob Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 1:42 p.m. PST

Seen all three, the '59 is the best!

14Bore27 Sep 2017 2:33 p.m. PST

The chariot scene has to be one of the best cinematography ever done.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 3:02 p.m. PST

I've seen all three also. And I still prefer '59.


Hafen von Schlockenberg Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2017 6:55 p.m. PST

There were four. You can find the 1907 version on youtube.

Also a miniseries, and a direct-to-video animation (with Heston's voice).

Previous discussion, with links to even earlier ones:

TMP link

14Bore, the chariot sequence was directed by Yakima Canutt, mentioned above. One of the greatest action directors of all time,and one hell of a guy. A lot of the things we take for granted in the movies were invented by him. His life was jam-packed with enough stuff for five men:


Still one of my favorite names,too!

A few pics from his career:








Hafen von Schlockenberg Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2017 7:57 p.m. PST

He invented this one:


Hey Dan,looks like they ran out of "horsepower" at some point!


The only accident in the chariot race happened when Yakima's son,Joe, didn't follow his father's instruction to strap himself in--he hit a bump,and the result was this:


Fortunately,he only suffered a minor cut to the chin. And the shot was so spectacular, they left it in,and added a shot of Heston "recovering".

Edit: I should have said, Yakima Canutt was the "coordinator" of the chariot sequence. The director was Andrew Marton.

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