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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)
1,340 ( 244)
Top Rated Movies #193 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Balthasar / Narrator
Terence Longdon ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Tale of the Christ See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

29 January 1960 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,900,000 (estimated)


$70,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Paul Newman was offered the role of Judah Ben-Hur but turned it down because he'd already done one Biblical-era film, The Silver Chalice (1954), and hated the experience. He also said it taught him that he didn't have the legs to wear a tunic. See more »


One of the chariot heralds has been claimed to be wearing a wristwatch, but other viewers report that this is an oddly positioned shadow. See more »


Judah Ben-Hur: You sent for me?
Pontius Pilate: I hope I bring you a good conclusion to your victory. I have a message for you from the consul, your father.
Judah Ben-Hur: I honor him.
Pontius Pilate: As you may honor yourself. You have been made a citizen of Rome.
Pontius Pilate: Do you say nothing to this?
Judah Ben-Hur: I have just come from the Valley of Stone where my mother and my sister live what's left of their lives. By Rome's will, lepers; outcasts without hope!
Pontius Pilate: I have heard this. There was great blame there, very deeply regretted.
Judah Ben-Hur: Their flesh is mine, m'lord Pilate. ...
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 »


Referenced in Animaniacs: Video Review/When Mice Ruled the Earth (1993) See more »


Star Of Bethlehem / Adoration Of The Magi
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Cinematic Beauty
9 September 2003 | by (Palm Springs, CA) – See all my reviews

There's a reason Ben-Hur captured more academy awards than any other film (until Titanic). A close to perfect production which exceeds expectations for a film of religious nature. The only way to watch Ben-Hur is via the widescreen DVD - presented in 2:7.1 scope - most probably the widest movie filmed. The only reason I didn't give it a '10' is because of Charlton Heston. A much overrated actor who overacts at every opportunity and becomes quite tiresome. Fortunately, there was so much more in Ben-Hur, that his overacting goes unnoticed. The chariot race is still THE most exciting sequence I've ever seen in a film. Get over the religious issue and give Ben-Hur its due.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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