Down 24 this week

Ben-Hur (1959)

G  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  26 December 1959 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 147,409 users  
Reviews: 365 user | 111 critic

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), 4 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Top Rated Movies #188 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director: David Lean
Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Follows a brilliant, flamboyant and controversial British military figure and his conflicted loyalties during wartime service.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell
Gandhi (1982)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The life of the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British rule through his philosophy of nonviolent protest.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Candice Bergen
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb
Amadeus (1984)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Allied P.O.W.s plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter
Casablanca (1942)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Set in Casablanca, Morocco during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Platoon (1986)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe
The Sting (1973)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Adventure | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason


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 <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:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 December 1959 (UK)  »

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
See  »

Did You Know?


Desiring as much authenticity as possible, real aristocrats were recruited to play patricians as guests at the party sequence. Among those utilized were Prince Emanuele Ruspoli, Count Marigliano del Monte, Duchess Nona Medici and Prince Raimondo of Italy, Count Santiago Oneto of Spain, Princess Nina Hohenlohe of Austria and her husband the Prince, Princess Irina Wassilchikoff of Russia and Baroness Lillian de Balzo of Hungary. See more »


After Judah denounces Rome and Esther 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 »


Sheik Ilderim: [about his wives] I've got six... no, seven.
Balthasar: I have counted eight, and that is because he is traveling. At home, he has more.
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 »


Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.

66 of 131 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Want to see how many people experiences like me zhu_bernard
wow some of the editing cuts jimymac
Stephen Boyd apriceaboverubies29
Was anyone else enraged by the cheating in the chariot race? willhazell1993
Just saw it in the theater! Koolio06
Movie took a massive downturn in the end bizso09
Discuss Ben-Hur (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: