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Ben-Hur (1959)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 127,633 users  
Reviews: 348 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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(novel), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: Ben-Hur (1959)

Ben-Hur (1959) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Top 250 #185 | 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 »

Directors: Harry T. Morey, Sidney Olcott, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Herman Rottger, William S. Hart
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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:

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

Trivia

The desert sequences were all set to be filmed in Libya until the Muslim Libyan authorities realized that the film was promoting Christianity. The government ordered MGM out of the country, forcing the studio to shift filming to Spain, which has the only desert in Europe. See more »

Goofs

After Judah denounces Rome and Miriam declares that it is as if he has become Messalla, he turns to face her, in anger, but in the next frame, instead of facing her directly, he it looking at her over his left shoulder; he should be facing her or, at best, have his right shoulder facing her and looking over it. See more »

Quotes

[Quintas Arrius wakes up, chained, on ship debris; the chain is held by Judah]
Quintus Arrius: Why did you save me?
Judah Ben-Hur: Why did you have me unchained?
[they struggle briefly, Arrius is overpowered; he looks at the shackle on Judah's ankle]
Quintus Arrius: What is your name, Forty-One?
Judah Ben-Hur: Judah Ben-Hur.
Quintus Arrius: Judah Ben-Hur. Let me die.
Judah Ben-Hur: [ironically] We keep you alive to serve this ship. 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 »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best of the "Intimate Epics"
31 March 2000 | by (Tucson, Arizona) – See all my reviews

The same quality that made epics like "Gone with the Wind," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago," and, ultimately, "Titanic" the memorable stories they were is present in spades in "Ben-Hur." These are stories, though told on canvases far vaster than the CinemaScope- or Panavision-sized movie screens they were meant for, succeed because, in their best moments, they focus on the interaction between and history of as few as two characters.

What begins as a childhood friendship between a Roman boy and a Jewish boy in Roman-occupied Palestine, becomes, briefly, a politically-charged rivalry, and ultimately, a search for revenge by one upon the other.

Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd deliver the performances of their careers, and get to chew up scenery and sets of such grandeur that Hollywood could never afford their like again.

This film, the greatest epic film ever made, deserves every accolade heaped upon it. The modern viewer may have to apply some patience, but at the end of the nearly four hour running time will find themselves to be vastly rewarded for it. You will find your life changed by both the scale of the film and the intimate message of friendship, betrayal, revenge--and the power of forgiveness.


69 of 109 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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For a film that contains so much (glorious) music....... paule-rooney
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