On the morning of Saturday, October 1, the 49th New York Film Festival premiered the extraordinary 8K digital restoration by Warner Home Video of Ben-Hur (1959) in its original 2.76 aspect ratio with a soundtrack roaring in 6.0 stereo. Film critic and NYFF selection committee member Todd McCarthy presented the film at Alice Tully Hall. First on stage were two children dressed in full-on Roman-era garb. Todd McCarthy introduced them by saying, “Don't mess with them. They're William Wyler's great grandchildren.” Then came Ned Price, Vice President of remastering at Warner Home Video, followed by a few honorary remarks by Catherine Wyler and Fraser C. Heston (pictured above). The latter introduced a short documentary film called Charlton Heston & Ben-Hur: A Personal Journey. Afterwards, the lights went dim and for a few moments the screen was blue. Miklós Rózsa's overture suddenly came through and so began the story of Prince Judah Ben-Hur. If you missed this historic event, you're in luck because we've prepared a brief video recap for you:
Photo by Wildman. Video by Ahmed Khawaja.