Ben-Hur/Trivia

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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  • Enforced Method Acting: The stunt coordinator for the 1959 version was the legendary veteran stuntman/director Yakima Canutt; his son Joe was one of the stunt charioteers standing in for Heston. Joe is the one you see driving -- and nearly flipped right out of the chariot -- as the horses jump some wreckage in their path. That was unplanned, and Wyler kept it in, putting in a shot of Heston climbing back into place. Joe was unharmed.
  • Fake Nationality: Practically everybody.
  • Throw It In: During the post-race celebration, the guy who picks up Messala's helmet and runs off with it did so spontaneously. The extras had been told to do whatever they wanted.
  • What Could Have Been: Behold: Leslie Nielsen as Messala!