November 18, 1959
There have been six different movie versions of the film Ben Hur but the most famous is Charlton Heston’s version that was released on this day in 1959. At the time, Ben Hur had the largest budget ($15.175 million), the largest sets, a wardrobe staff of 100, over 200 artists, about 200 camels and 2,500 horses and about 10,000 extras. Filming began on May 18, 1958 and didn’t wrap up until January 7, 1959. Filming lasted about 12 to 14 hours a day, six days a week. The chariot race scene lasts for nine minutes in the finished film and Miklos Rozsa’s film score is the longest ever composed for a film.