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Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  8 October 1927 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 5,848 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 22 critic

A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.


, (uncredited) , 3 more credits »


(by) (as General Lew Wallace) , (adaptation), 5 more credits »
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Title: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)

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Complete credited cast:
Kathleen Key ...
Nigel De Brulier ...
Simonides (as Nigel de Brulier)
Mitchell Lewis ...
Leo White ...
Frank Currier ...
Charles Belcher ...
Dale Fuller ...
Winter Hall ...


Erstwhile childhood friends, Judah Ben-Hur and Messala meet again as adults, this time with Roman officer Messala as conqueror and Judah as a wealthy, though conquered, Israelite. A slip of a brick during a Roman parade causes Judah to be sent off as a galley slave, his property confiscated and his mother and sister imprisoned. Years later, as a result of his determination to stay alive and his willingness to aid his Roman master, Judah returns to his homeland an exalted and wealthy Roman athlete. Unable to find his mother and sister, and believing them dead, he can think of nothing else than revenge against Messala. Written by Doug Sederberg <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 October 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,900,000 (estimated)


$9,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (restored)

Sound Mix:


(2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The cast was claimed to number over 125,000. See more »


At one point in the chariot race a man in modern clothing - light-colored shirt, long pants, dark shoes - can be seen running out of the crowd onto the track and waving his arms at the camera. That was assistant director William Wyler, who saw that one of the chariots - out of camera range - was approaching the curve of the track too fast and Wyler was signaling the director to have the crew cleaning up a crashed chariot to get out of the way. See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly wonderful
24 December 2004 | by (Winston-Salem, NC) – See all my reviews

Since I was so impressed the the 1959 version of this film, I figured there was no way I could watch this 1925 version and not be let down by it. Not only is this original adaptation very good, but it stands very strongly next to the heralded remake. In some regards, I enjoyed this adaptation better than the remake. Romon Navarro makes an excellent title character. The highlight of this film for me is early on when the star of Bethlehem is formed. Eye-popping visuals especially considering the time they were produced. It blows away any CGI we have today.

The version I saw of this was the newly scored version by Carl Davis, who continues to impress me with his scores for silent films including those he has written for "Greed", "Safety Last", "The Crowd", "Intolerance", "The Phantom of the Opera", and "The Wind".

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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