Original Release — January 29, 1960
Similar to the aforementioned Heat, Judah Ben-Hur’s battle for revenge against former friend and Roman commander Messala is not strictly all action, but culminates in one of cinema’s most astonishing sequences ever committed to film — the Judean chariot race. The ten-minute action scene took three months to shoot and a full year to plan — and the results are astonishing.
While most films today would rely on frantic editing and excessive CGI, Ben-Hur’s preparation was able to account for and capture every on-screen element. A massive arena was built and filled with thousands of extras while actual four horse chariots raced in nine grueling laps. The films of this era didn’t have the accessible technology we do now — if they wanted their audiences to see something, they needed to create it. Audiences had never seen a film dare, achieve, and soar to such heights since Gone With the Wind.
Image Source: IMDb