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Ben-Hur (1959)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 123,754 users  
Reviews: 347 user | 103 critic

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

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(novel), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: Ben-Hur (1959)

Ben-Hur (1959) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Top 250 #184 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 28 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Balthasar / Narrator
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Terence Longdon ...
George Relph ...
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Storyline

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 <tron@lyssa.owl.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Entertainment Experience of a Lifetime! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 January 1960 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,900,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$70,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1970) | (1962) | (1993 re-release) | (DVD edition) | (2005 DVD)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (1993 re-release)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially there were queries over whether William Wyler was the right director for the job, as he'd never tackled a film of this scale before. One of the doubters was Wyler himself. See more »

Goofs

In the market scene following the argument between Messala and Judah, a person is heard saying in the background 'kidhar jaata hai bhai, kidhar jaata hai' which is hindi for 'where are you going brother, where?'. Hindi language originated much later in the 17-18th century. See more »

Quotes

Messala: Judah, tell me, did you-did you think about what I said yesterday?
Judah Ben-Hur: Yes. I talked to a number of people already. Spoken against violence, against incidents. Most of the men I talked to agree with me.
Messala: Most? Not all?
Judah Ben-Hur: No, not all.
Messala: Who does not agree?
Judah Ben-Hur: Well, the resentful, the impatient.
Messala: Who are they?
[pause]
Messala: Yes Judah. Who are they?
Judah Ben-Hur: [pause] Would I retain your friendship if I became an informer?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion is shown in a still-frame to appear looking peaceful at the beginning rather than roaring. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Wild Rebels (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Triumphal March From Quo Vadis
(uncredited)
Written by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Still good after 40+ years, but made for a different audience.
4 September 2001 | by (Atwater, CA) – See all my reviews

Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ, was hugely popular as a novel, a play and two movies. It was written in a less vulgar time about a very spiritual event. Seen today by moviegoers addicted to constant action and low frequency effects, it will seem ponderous, slow and pretentious. Well, it is a little. You have to pay attention to the dialogue or you won't get it at all. Some of the intimate scenes aren't all that great. Anyone that really pays attention can tell the sea battle is done with miniatures. It's still worth watching. As everyone ought to know by now, the chariot race is one-of-a-kind; nothing else comes close to that real live race where the main actors actually raced most of the time. I just watched this movie after lapse of about 10 years. I still enjoyed it. The sea battle is still fun even if you know the boats are about as big as a man. The few moments which have Christ on the screen are still moving. Just about all of the acting is good with only a few forgettable moments. Just be ready to spend about 4 hours in front of the screen listening to occasionally flowery dialog.


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