Backed by the Pentagon: George Stevens originally hired 550 Navajos from a local reservation to be Roman legionnaires, but they could not stay on the set for very long and eventually went back home to participate in a tribal election. Stevens replaced them with Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets.
California Doubling: Shot in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah. The area standing in for the Jordan River is now a reservoir.
Dyeing for Your Art: Telly Savalas shaved his head bald for his role as Pontius Pilate. He kept his head shaved for the rest of his life.
Hide Your Pregnancy: Joanna Dunham, who played Mary Magdalene, became pregnant during filming. The director worked around this by shooting her from the chest up as much as possible, making her later scenes markedly unlike the earlier ones.