Monday, November 26, 2012
Overlooked By Oscars: Stephen Boyd
Loved Hur. Hated him. Is there a 1950s movie character who grows more despicable than Stephen Boyd as Messala in William Wyler's Oscar-winning remake of Ben-Hur? Boyd is a charismatic combination of unrequited love, political ambition and hate mixed with an electric sexuality that hums right beneath the surface of his actions. Before the Roman tribune reunites with his boyhood best friend, a Jewish prince, he surveys his garrison. There's almost a glint of sexual delight in his eyes when he says, "I am in command." Power and Judah Ben-Hur are the two great stimulants in Messala's life.