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Ben-Hur (1959)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 131,295 users  
Reviews: 350 user | 106 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)

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Top 250 #188 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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The scene opens with an assembly of citizens who are harangued by one of their number, whose words have great weight with the crowd, and their attitude of approval shows that Roman misrule ... See full summary »

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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:

A Tale of the Christ See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

G | 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

MGM offered Universal-International $750,000 for the loan-out of their contractee Rock Hudson. Hudson seriously considered accepting the part until his agent explained to him that the film's gay subtext was too much of a risk to his career. See more »

Goofs

The shadow of the camera can be seen on Christ's back as Ben Hur is leaving Nazareth to go to the galleys (widescreen version). See more »

Quotes

Quintus Arrius: Now listen to me, all of you. You are all condemned men. We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live.
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 Beetlejuice: What Makes BJ Run (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A classic
1 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

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.

8/10


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