After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Judah Ben-Hur lives as a rich Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century. Together with the new governor his old friend Messala arrives as commanding officer of the Roman legions. At first they are happy to meet after a long time but their different politic views separate them. During the welcome parade a roof tile falls down from Judah's house and injures the governor. Although Messala knows they are not guilty, he sends Judah to the galleys and throws his mother and sister into prison. But Judah swears to come back and take revenge. Written by
Matthias Scheler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Six of the newly developed Camera 65 units, each valued at $100,000 were loaded onto two ships in Califonia and transferred to Italy. See more »
As stated, the MGM lion is a frozen frame as the film opens - Leo doesn't roar. This was not done as suggested to convey calm or out of respect for the religious theme, but because Wyler wanted to open the very first frame of the film with Rózsa very dramatic score. For this to be fully effective, the roar had to go. This very similar to what Fox did with 'The Robe', another religious themed epic opening immediately with the Newman score on the very first frame and skipping the standard Fox logo and fanfare track. See more »
[Quintas Arrius wakes up, chained, on ship debris; the chain is held by Judah]
Why did you save me?
Why did you have me unchained?
[they struggle briefly, Arrius is overpowered; he looks at the shackle on Judah's ankle]
What is your name, Forty-One?
Judah Ben-Hur. Let me die.
We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well, and live.
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The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion is shown in a still-frame to appear looking peaceful at the beginning rather than roaring. See more »
One of the best epics, this is a story of the friendship between two young boys. Eventually they grow up to be enemies and end up hating each other, one being Jewish and the other one Roman.
One could easily assume "Ben-Hur" is a story from The Holy Bible, and although this is not the case it was the intention when writing it. It certainly is one of the greatest stories ever told. This is the third adaptation of the classic tale, and it's the only one really remembered today. Many elements were inspired and copied from the first two, filmed in 1907 and 1925, but with a vast improvement: special-effects. The set wasn't as dangerous in 1959 because of the technical revolution that had taken place since the last time around.
"Ben-Hur" is full of drama, action and romance. There's also a tension between the two leads that could be interpreted as a love-affair gone horribly wrong, but this was toned down by the studio as homosexuality was a big taboo at the time.
Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd are great, with a wonderful supporting cast to back them up, making this a classic.
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