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Ben-Hur (1959)

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



(novel) (as General Lew Wallace), (screenplay)
1,729 ( 489)
Top Rated Movies #194 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
George Relph ...


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


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


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 January 1960 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$15,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kirk Douglas was offered the role of Messala but turned it down, because he didn't want to play a "second-rate baddie". Douglas wanted to play Judah Ben-Hur, whose Jewishness appealed to him, but he was too old and Charlton Heston had already been cast. The experience motivated Douglas to develop his own epic, Spartacus (1960), which was partially designed to compete against Ben-Hur (1959). See more »


When Esther and Tirzah and Miriam seek shelter, the storm is violent enough to cause earth to fall in front of the cave, and the sound of the wind is deafening. Yet trees visible in the background (from the mouth of the cave) do not so much as sway in the breeze. See more »


Esther: Oh, Judah, rest. Sleep. For a few hours of the night, let your mind be at peace.
Judah Ben-Hur: [bitterly] Peace! Love and peace. Do you think I don't long for them as you do? Where do you see them?
Esther: If you had heard this man from Nazareth...
Judah Ben-Hur: Balthasar's word.
Esther: He is more than Balthasar's word. His voice traveled with such a still purpose... It was more than a voice... a man more than a man! He said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the...
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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 »


Referenced in My Voyage to Italy (1999) See more »


Star Of Bethlehem / Adoration Of The Magi
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

You never get tired watching it
29 December 2016 | by See all my reviews

This is simply my favorite Movie in every way, if you happen to read the Bible, than you understand the message, which is,as the Movie says (a Tale of Christ) the centerpiece of this Epic Work. You watch and cant stop wonder how they managed to create all the special effects at that time (1959), without PC's and all the kind of techniques we use today and still capture your attention from the very beginning, not to mention the music, what a magic, it's indescribably beautiful and deep, Charleston Heston, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet and all other actors made with their great performance this Masterpiece unforgettable, their journey through family, friendship, love, hatred, despair, suffering,revenge and finally peace, redemption and forgiveness is magical, as the Life of the Christ was and for those who believe, is, this was the first Movie I saw in theater years ago and no other ever touched me this way and we all know good Movies has been made since then, but still, this is beyond comprehension, if you are able to watch and believe in Christ with all your heart

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