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Ben-Hur - Chariot Race
In the big Chariot Race, one guy falls out of his chariot and is run over by the next. The guy is carried off the scene by two or three other men. This man was actually dead. What happened is this. When shooting this scene, the plan was for the man to position himself so that the horses would run around him. The chariot was built so that when he laid down, it would go right over top of him. During the shooting, the man panicked and tried to rise up. The chariot caught his forehead and killed him. If you watch the scene in slow motion, you will notice the unusual angle of the body as it is flipped by the chariot and rolled.
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Rated 6.5/10 (113 ratings) Your opinion?
Special Requirements: Ben Hur
Contributed By: The Black Wolf on 02-20-2000 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
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stacie_yates writes:
Um, yes and no. This all depends on which version you're talking about. In the Charlton Heston version, no one died. Every urban legends site on the net debunks this myth. See There was a chariot death in the 1920s silent version, while they filmed in Rome. However, in that death, the rider was thrown out of his chariot when his wheel broke. He was catapulted onto a pile of lumber and died of internal injuries. No one was run over during filming in any version. also labels the rumor as false.
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Syera writes:
Many of the "deaths" have been labeled the "fatal accident", though the only injury was inflicted to Heston's double--a cut on the chin that required four stitches. If you watch the bodies of the drivers after they fall out, you can tell they were dummies because of the unnatural movement.
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rticul8r writes:
This so-called slip-up has been totally de-bunked. Look at the DVD extras and they reference this supposed death. In fact nobody died during the filming of this movie. By the way, Charleton Heston did most of his own stunts.
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JoelC writes:
Watch the movie in slow motion, its obviously a dummy, it does move until it gets hit. The most tragic casualty of the production, however, was 54-year-old producer Sam Zimbalist, who collapsed and died of a heart attack 40 minutes after leaving the set complaining of chest pains.
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