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 <email@example.com>
Gore Vidal was uncredited as a screenwriter, although producer Sam Zimbalist promised he and Christopher Fry, who worked on the script independently from Vidal and was on-set with William Wyler all during shooting, a screen credit. Karl Tunberg, who wrote the original screenplay that had been very much rewritten into a shooting script by Vidal and Fry, claimed the credit. Zimbalist died before the movie ended, and thus could not testify at the guild arbitration hearing. Tunberg won the credit, but failed to win the Oscar. The film had been nominated for 12 Oscars, and won a record 11 (since tied). The movie's sole loss was for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, and usually is attributed to the fallout from the credit dispute, which Vidal made widely known. See more »
During the chariot race, when we see the third dolphin tipped to mark the laps, the following shot briefly shows the dolphins with the third still up. See more »
There's a Jew outside. He wants to see the Tribune Messala.
I assume he has a name.
He says he's a prince, Prince Judah Ben-Hur.
[loud and quickly]
Then treat him like one!
Tell him I'll join him.
[the centurion starts to leave, and Messala shouts again]
This was his country before it was ours. Don't forget that.
[...] See more »
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion is shown in a still-frame to appear looking peaceful at the beginning rather than roaring. See more »
"Ben-Hur" is a dominant Best Picture Oscar winner that is perhaps more impressive now than it was when it was first released in 1959. Charlton Heston (Oscar-winning) stars as a rich Jewish nobleman during the time of Jesus Christ who is turned into a slave by the Romans after a freak accident. Now he is manning an oar in a ship's galley and his family is imprisoned. Years pass and now Heston is after the former childhood friend (Stephen Boyd), a Roman, that turned against him. The 17 minutes of footage for the chariot race is some of the best during the history of the cinema. Hugh Griffith won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and William Wyler won his third and final Best Director Oscar. A monumental film that is great in every cinematic category known to man. 5 stars out of 5.
103 of 148 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?