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Ben-Hur (1959)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 116,511 users  
Reviews: 341 user | 100 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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Title: Ben-Hur (1959)

Ben-Hur (1959) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Top 250 #182 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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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

Plot Keywords:

friend | roman | galley | revenge | prince | See more »

Taglines:

The World's Most Honored Motion Picture 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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Centurion: There's a Jew outside. He wants to see the Tribune Messala.
Messala: I assume he has a name.
Centurion: [sneeringly] He says he's a prince, Prince Judah Ben-Hur.
Messala: [loud and quickly] Then treat him like one!
[quietly]
Messala: Tell him I'll join him.
[the centurion starts to leave, and Messala shouts again]
Messala: CENTURION!
[Again quietly]
Messala: This was his country before it was ours. Don't forget that.
[...]
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 »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best of the "Intimate Epics"
31 March 2000 | by (Tucson, Arizona) – See all my reviews

The same quality that made epics like "Gone with the Wind," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago," and, ultimately, "Titanic" the memorable stories they were is present in spades in "Ben-Hur." These are stories, though told on canvases far vaster than the CinemaScope- or Panavision-sized movie screens they were meant for, succeed because, in their best moments, they focus on the interaction between and history of as few as two characters.

What begins as a childhood friendship between a Roman boy and a Jewish boy in Roman-occupied Palestine, becomes, briefly, a politically-charged rivalry, and ultimately, a search for revenge by one upon the other.

Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd deliver the performances of their careers, and get to chew up scenery and sets of such grandeur that Hollywood could never afford their like again.

This film, the greatest epic film ever made, deserves every accolade heaped upon it. The modern viewer may have to apply some patience, but at the end of the nearly four hour running time will find themselves to be vastly rewarded for it. You will find your life changed by both the scale of the film and the intimate message of friendship, betrayal, revenge--and the power of forgiveness.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Movie took a massive downturn in the end bizso09
Is there a more magnificent scene than the 4 white horses in the tent? peterduray-bito
For a film that contains so much (glorious) music....... paule-rooney
I just have to say... bkoeberle2
Jesus' face westsalemcongress
An Unplanned Event Makes a Stunt Go Right! donovanarchmontierth
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