BEN-HUR (1959) 20580

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Original MGM Twenty Four Sheet Poster (9ft x 20ft). Unused. Very Fine Condition.

Original MGM Twenty Four Sheet Poster (exterior billboard) for the William Wyler historical epic, BEN-HUR (1959) starring Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith and Haya Harareet. Considered by many critics to be the greatest achievement in cinematic history, Wyler not only had to direct literally "a cast of thousands," but also was able to pull from his main actors the performances of their lives. Everything about this production was "Enormous." 50,000 people were used to make the film on 300 sets covering more than 340 acres. The famous chariot race scene was shot in an 18-acre arena that took 40,000 tons of sand to make the track. The stands were packed with 8,000 extras, and it took over three months to shoot the entire scene. MGM, which nearly went bankrupt making the picture, spent over $12.5 million but grossed over $40 million on the project. The film won eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor to Heston, Best Supporting Actor to Griffith, and Best Director to Wyler. Interestingly enough, Gore Vidal worked as a script doctor on this film. The 24 sheet measure approximately 9 x 20 feet and is printed on multiple panels which have been butted together to make this photograph.
24 sheets are among the rarest posters on any given title. With a few notable exceptions (GOLDFINGER and SPELLBOUND come to mind) 24 sheets have not survived in any significant quantity when they do exist and for many films there are no known examples. In most cases 24 sheet posters were destroyed, if they were utilized at all, because some other 24 sheet advertisement was pasted over them. Because the 24 sheets were bulky to store, they were routinely discarded by the National Screen branches after a film went out of first run. So these are iconic artifacts of a system of national exhibition that simply no longer exists. And there is no more iconic film than BEN HUR. Very fine condition, unused.

Jack Hawkins - Actor
Stephen Boyd - Actor
Haya Harareet - Actor
Cathy O'Donnell - Actor
Finlay Currie - Actor
Hugh Griffith - Actor
Martha Scott - Actor
Sam Jaffe - Actor
Andre Morell - Actor
Marina Berti - Actor
Lando Buzzanca - Actor

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