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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.

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(novel) (as General Lew Wallace), (screenplay)
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Top Rated Movies #197 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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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

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The Entertainment Experience of a Lifetime! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

26 December 1959 (UK)  »

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)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

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

According to Sir Christopher Frayling's biography of Sergio Leone, Leone apparently recalls William Wyler arriving on set early one morning with Charlton Heston, attired in cowboy garb and doing some re-shoots for The Big Country (1958) on the vast Cinecita back lot in Rome. See more »

Goofs

Sheik Ilderim pins a Star of David onto Ben Hur's belt before the race, obviously to goad the Romans. The Star of David didn't become a symbol of Judaism until the Middle Ages, in Eastern Europe. The first reference occurs in the 12th Century. See more »

Quotes

[Judah confronts Esther and Malluch in the Valley of the Lepers]
Judah Ben-Hur: [angrily, to Esther] Why did you tell me they were dead?
Esther: It was what they wanted. Judah, I must not betray this faith. Will you do this for them?
Judah Ben-Hur: Not to see them?
Esther: [seeing Miriam and Tirzah approach] They are coming... Judah! Judah, love them in the way they most need to be loved: not to look at them! Judah, let it be as though you had never come here. Please, Judah!
[Judah hides behind a boulder as Esther goes to meet Miriam]
Miriam: Is Judah...
[...]
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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 »


Soundtracks

Love Theme / Ring For Freedom
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Quite simply the finest epic movie of all time
2 February 2001 | by (Bradford England) – See all my reviews

What can you say about this film? It has everything, magnificent script, superb acting ,and the most famous chariot race in Hollywood history. Although the chariot race is the centrepiece of this spectacular ,it is by no means the only highlight.Ben Hur (Charlton Heston) is the victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice on himself and family ,and his dramatic adventures in the desert, at sea and finally back in Rome are just brimming with highlights. At the same time his meetings with Christ just add to the Wonderful drama that enfolds in this movie.It has a magnificent musical score which just adds to the drama,and I suspect the climax of the film would only leave the stone hearted unmoved.It has other great stars who make this a must see film ,particularly Jack Hawkins,Hugh Griffith and Stephen Boyd.

This is the sort of film Gladiator should have been but wasn't (what a waste). Still we'll always have Ben Hur to enjoy.


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