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) (as General Lew Wallace), (screenplay)
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Cast

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Balthasar / Narrator
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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:

roman | revenge | galley | jew | jewish | See All (196) »

Taglines:

It's an insane world, but still there's one sanity that remains; the LOYALTY of old friends!! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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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:

$74,700,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although William Wyler was Jewish, he was particularly keen to make a film that would appeal to all religious faiths. In any case, he viewed the novel's subtitle, "A Tale of the Christ", as almost incidental to the story. He never lost sight of the obvious fact that the story was about a man called Judah Ben-Hur. His insistence that it be that personal story is largely responsible for the film's enduring success. See more »

Goofs

Most of the Roman soldiers seen are not displaying the Roman Army's "Winged Lightning" symbol on their shields. 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.
[...]
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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 The Jack Benny Program: Jack Directs Film (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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