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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Top Rated Movies #196 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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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) »

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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:

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,900,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$70,000,000 (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

Ben-Hur (1959) is currently, as of 2017, the last Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Esther: It was Judah Ben-Hur I loved. What has become of him? You seem to be now the very thing you set out to destroy. Giving evil for evil. Hatred is turning you to stone. It's as though you had become Messala.
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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

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: The Dark Age of Movies (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Fanfare To Prelude / Prelude / Marcia Romana
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wonderfully epic.
1 March 2017 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

Some movies are so good that they just haven't age. They are timeless, like any work of art. This is one of those movies, perhaps one of the best movies ever and surely one of the biggest and most epic biblical movies ever made. The story is based on a novel by Lew Wallace (which I have read and I have at home) and is so famous that it doesn't allow spoils: the injustice committed against Judah Ben-Hur and his path of revenge, deeply linked to the life and death of Jesus, a latent and ever palpable subplot, even when it does not arise. Epic in every detail, the film features scenarios and costumes carefully crafted in the style of Imperial Rome. Some sequences are truly anthological, as is the case with the chariot race. The representation of the Roman legionaries influenced for decades the conception that we have, individually, on how they were and fought. The visual and special effects used in the film were the best there was at the time and even today, more than half a century later, they're able to surprise by the realism. The color is vivid and intense, cinematography is truly imposing and accentuates the epic ambiance. As for the cast's work, it's definitely the movie of Charlton Heston's life. He not only became famous with it but made here the most remarkable character of his career. Steven Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Martha Scott and Hugh Griffith also shone. It's a long movie, but the audience gets so caught up in it that they don't even feel the time go by. Wonderful!


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