Courtesy of the Kobal Collection/MGM

Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) drives his team of Arabian horses to victory in the chariot-race sequence from the movie Ben-Hur (1959). Like other Hollywood epics produced during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s and early 1960s, Ben-Hur features exciting action, opulent sets and a popular struggle against Roman imperial oppression. The arena in which the movie’s chariot race takes place was the most expensive set Hollywood had ever built.