Not solely did they assemble this entire set for one expansive scene, moreover they shot an exact dwell chariot race inside its partitions, carried out by legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt. According to an interview Heston gave on Gloria Hunniford’s religious program, not solely did Canutt direct the race, nonetheless helped the “Ten Commandments” actor put together on the chariot for five weeks earlier to the big shoot.
Heston was grateful for Canutt’s steering, nonetheless even with all of the preparation, he nonetheless felt nervous about interacting with completely different chariots in the midst of the scene, a terror his mentor squashed with a great piece of advice:
“I acknowledged, ‘regularly it’s merely been you and me and this one workers, a lot of hours a day. When we do this sequence there can be eight completely different teams available on the market. That’s not likely simple.’ And he checked out me, he acknowledged, ‘Chuck, you merely make constructive you retain throughout the chariot. I guarantee you’re gonna win the rattling race.’
Heston would lastly current his gratitude by presenting the Honorary Oscar to Canutt on the thirty ninth Academy Awards in 1967 for all of his devoted work all through the commerce (“El Cid”). As for the chariot race, I’d say the finished consequence speaks for itself.
In addition to its practicality, this sequence lives throughout the sounds of the second, with no music to underscore the pressure between Judah and Messala. The whips, cheers, and horse clopping clog the soundtrack to make an already pivotal scene rather more suspenseful.