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Ben-Hur
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Ben-Hur (1959) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 55 | slideshow) Videos (see all 5)
Ben-Hur -- A member of the Jewish nobility living in Jerusalem, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) lives a religious life and peacefully opposes the tyrannical occupation of Judea by Rome.
Ben-Hur -- Trailer for Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur -- Clip: You Should Have Killed Me
Ben-Hur -- Trailer for Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur -- Clip: Chariot Race

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   161,701 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 225% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Lew Wallace (novel)
Karl Tunberg (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Ben-Hur on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 December 1959 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Tale of the Christ See more »
Plot:
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 11 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Cinematic Beauty See more (376 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charlton Heston ... Judah Ben-Hur

Jack Hawkins ... Quintus Arrius

Haya Harareet ... Esther

Stephen Boyd ... Messala

Hugh Griffith ... Sheik Ilderim

Martha Scott ... Miriam

Cathy O'Donnell ... Tirzah

Sam Jaffe ... Simonides

Finlay Currie ... Balthasar / Narrator

Frank Thring ... Pontius Pilate
Terence Longdon ... Drusus
George Relph ... Tiberius Caesar

André Morell ... Sextus
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fortunato Arena ... Soldier (uncredited)
Bruno Arié ... Roman Officer (uncredited)
Les Ballets Africains ... Dancers at Roman Banquet (uncredited)
Emma Baron ... Jewish Woman (uncredited)
Ady Berber ... Malluch (uncredited)

Marina Berti ... Flavia (uncredited)
Hugh Billingsley ... Mario (uncredited)

Jerry Brown ... The Corinthian (uncredited)

Robert Brown ... Chief of Rowers (uncredited)
Lando Buzzanca ... Jewish Slave in the Desert (uncredited)
Joe Canutt ... Sportsman (uncredited)
Otello Capanna ... The Byzantine (uncredited)
Emile Carrer ... Rower No. 28 (uncredited)
Richard Coleman ... Metellus (uncredited)
Antonio Corevi ... Senator (uncredited)
Michael Cosmo ... Raimondo (uncredited)
Alfredo Danesi ... The Armenian (uncredited)
David Davies ... Quaestor (uncredited)
Carmen de Hohenlohe ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Victor De La Fosse ... Galley Officer (uncredited)
Liana Del Balzo ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Mino Doro ... Gratus (uncredited)
Michael Dugan ... Seaman (uncredited)
Franco Fantasia ... Roman Soldier Who Brings Crown to Gratus (uncredited)
Dino Fazio ... Marcello (uncredited)
Enzo Fiermonte ... Galley Officer (uncredited)

Giuliano Gemma ... Roman Officer with Messala (uncredited)
John Glenn ... Rower No. 42 (uncredited)
José Greci ... Mary (uncredited)

Richard Hale ... Gaspar (uncredited)
Claude Heater ... Jesus - The Christ (uncredited)
Prince Hohenlohe ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
John Horsley ... Spintho (uncredited)
Eddie Juaregui ... The Athenian (uncredited)
William Kiehl ... Soldier (uncredited)
Duncan Lamont ... Marius (uncredited)
Howard Lang ... Hortator (uncredited)
Stevenson Lang ... Blind Man (uncredited)
Lord Layton ... Good Thief on Cross (uncredited)

John Le Mesurier ... Doctor (uncredited)
Tutte Lemkow ... Leper (uncredited)

Cliff Lyons ... The Lubian (uncredited)
Luigi Marra ... The Syrian (uncredited)

Ferdy Mayne ... Captain of Rescue Ship (uncredited)

May McAvoy ... Woman in Crowd (uncredited)
Nona Medici ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Furio Meniconi ... Soldier (uncredited)
Tiberio Mitri ... Roman at Bath (uncredited)
Aldo Mozele ... Barca (uncredited)
Thomas O'Leary ... Starter at Race (uncredited)
Remington Olmsted ... Decurian (uncredited)
Laurence Payne ... Joseph (uncredited)
Aldo Pial ... Cavalry Officer (uncredited)
Vladimiro Picciafuochi ... Soldier (uncredited)
Aldo Pini ... Bad Thief on Cross (uncredited)
Ferdinando Poggi ... Soldier (uncredited)
Diego Pozzetto ... Villager (uncredited)
Prince Raimondo ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Stella Rho ... Amrah (uncredited)
Edwin Richfield ... Supplier to Leper Colony (uncredited)
Mario Rivoltella ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Hector Ross ... Officer (uncredited)
Emanuele Ruspoli ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Amerigo Santarelli ... Rower (uncredited)
Maxwell Shaw ... Rower No. 43 (uncredited)
Noel Sheldon ... Centurion (uncredited)
Aldo Silvani ... Man in Nazareth (uncredited)
Reginald Lal Singh ... Melchior (uncredited)
Gianni Solaro ... Galley Officer (uncredited)
Pietro Tordi ... Pilate's Servant (uncredited)
Giuseppe Tosi ... Chariot Driver (uncredited)
Ralph Truman ... Aide to Tiberius (uncredited)
Raimondo Van Riel ... Old Man (uncredited)

Venantino Venantini ... Palefrenier de la course de chars (uncredited)
Dervis Ward ... Jailer (uncredited)
Irina Wassilchikoff ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Joe Yrigoyen ... The Egyptian - Chariot Racer (uncredited)
Nazzareno Zamperla ... Roman Soldier with a Bow on Galley (uncredited)

Directed by
William Wyler 
 
Writing credits
Lew Wallace (novel) (as General Lew Wallace)

Karl Tunberg (screenplay)

Maxwell Anderson  contributing writer (uncredited)
S.N. Behrman  contributing writer (uncredited)
Christopher Fry  contributing writer (uncredited)
Gore Vidal  contributing writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Sam Zimbalist .... producer
Sol C. Siegel .... executive producer (uncredited)
Joseph Vogel .... executive producer (uncredited)
William Wyler .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa  (as Miklos Rozsa)
 
Cinematography by
Robert Surtees (director of photography) (as Robert L. Surtees)
 
Film Editing by
John D. Dunning (film editor)
Ralph E. Winters (film editor)
Margaret Booth (uncredited)
 
Casting by
Irene Howard (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
Vittorio Valentini (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Edward C. Carfagno  (as Edward Carfagno)
William A. Horning 
 
Set Decoration by
Hugh Hunt (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Elizabeth Haffenden 
 
Makeup Department
Gabriella Borzelli .... hair stylist
Charles E. Parker .... makeup (as Charles Parker)
 
Production Management
Edward Woehler .... unit production manager
J.J. Cohn .... production manager (uncredited)
Dave Friedman .... production manager (uncredited)
Henry Henigson .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gus Agosti .... assistant director
Yakima Canutt .... second unit director
Alberto Cardone .... assistant director
Andrew Marton .... second unit director
John Alarimo .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Sergio Leone .... second unit director (uncredited)
Mario Soldati .... second unit director (uncredited)
Richard Thorpe .... third unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Ken Adam .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Mentor Huebner .... primary conceptual artist and production illustrator (uncredited)
Harold Michelson .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
Massimo Palmieri .... contruction manager (uncredited)
Italo Tomassi .... head scenic painter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Sash Fisher .... sound recordist
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
William Steinkamp .... sound recordist
Van Allen James .... co-supervising sound editor (uncredited)
Milo B. Lory .... special sound effects (uncredited)
Mauro Zambuto .... sound engineer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Umberto Dessena .... special effects (uncredited)
Doug Hubbard .... special effects (uncredited)
Petro Vlahos .... special effects engineer (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special photographic effects
Robert R. Hoag .... special photographic effects
Lee LeBlanc .... special photographic effects
R.A. MacDonald .... visual effects (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
Matthew Yuricich .... matte artist (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Bill Babcock .... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Brown .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Canutt .... stunt double: Charlton Heston (uncredited)
Joe Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Tap Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Michael Dugan .... stunts (uncredited)
Mickey Gilbert .... stunts (uncredited)
Eddie Juaregui .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Nosher Powell .... stunts (uncredited)
Glenn Randall Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
David Sharpe .... stunts (uncredited)
Boyd Stockman .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Yrigoyen .... stunt double: Stephen Boyd (uncredited)
Ian Yule .... stunts (uncredited)
Nazzareno Zamperla .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Piero Portalupi .... additional photography (as Pietro Portalupi)
Harold E. Wellman .... additional photography
Eric Carpenter .... still photographer (uncredited)
Nino DiGiovanni .... still photographer (uncredited)
Owen Marsh .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Meredith M. Nicholson .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
Edward Phillips .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Piero Portalupi .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
John Schmitz .... camera operator (uncredited)
Edward Wahrman .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Harold E. Wellman .... camera operator: third unit (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Jack Martell .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Joan Bridge .... color consultant: costumes
Charles K. Hagedon .... color consultant: settings
Fredric Steinkamp .... associate editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Alex Alexander .... musician: cello (uncredited)
Gus Bivona .... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
John T. Boudreau .... musician: drums (uncredited)
Manuel Compinsky .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Alexander Courage .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonard A. Engel .... supervising music editor (uncredited)
Conrad Gozzo .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Virginia Majewski .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Max Rabinowitz .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Uan Rasey .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Miklós Rózsa .... conductor (uncredited)
Miklós Rózsa .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Eugene Zador .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Reynold Brown .... movie poster art (uncredited)
Oscar Doob .... publicist (uncredited)
Morgan Hudgins .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Ralph McCutcheon .... horse trainer (uncredited)
Enzo Musumeci Greco .... master of arms (uncredited)
Glenn H. Randall Sr. .... horse trainer (uncredited)
Howard Strickling .... publicity director: MGM (uncredited)
Dan S. Terrell .... publicist (uncredited)
Mauro Zambuto .... set engineer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ" - USA (alternative title)
"William Wyler's Ben-Hur" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
212 min | Sweden:219 min (1970) | Sweden:224 min (1962) | UK:222 min (1993 re-release) | 214 min (DVD edition) | 222 min (2005 DVD)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
6-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Australia:PG (alternate rating) | Brazil:12 | Canada:G (Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:G (video rating) | China:(Banned) | Finland:K-12 | France:Tous publics | Germany:16 (video rating) | Iceland:12 | Italy:T | Japan:G (2010) | Malaysia:U (DVD) | Netherlands:AL | Netherlands:14 (Original rating) | New Zealand:PG | Norway:11 | Norway:12 (1959) | Peru:Apt | Portugal:M/12 | South Korea:All | Spain:T | Sweden:15 (original rating) | Sweden:11 (re-rating) (1970) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (1993) (1995) (1996) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (original release) (PCA #19158) | USA:G (re-rating) (1969) | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

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:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When the audience first sees Ben-Hur and Messala together and they both throw a spear at the wall, the sound of Ben-Hur's voice does not match up with his lips.See more »
Quotes:
Judah Ben-Hur:What has become of my mother and my sister?
Messala:It is not my duty to keep track of prisoners.
Judah Ben-Hur:Find them, Messala. Restore them to me and I will forget what I vowed with every stroke of that oar you chained me to.
Messala:I am not the governor of Judea. I can do nothing without Gratus' approval.
Judah Ben-Hur:Then get it! I will come back tomorrow. Don't disappoint me, Messala.
[he leaves]
Messala:What became of them?
Drusus:It's been almost five years. Do you suppose they're still alive?
Messala:Go to the citadel, Drusus. Find out.
Drusus:And if they're dead?
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
OvertureSee more »

FAQ

What are some differences between the different versions of the story?
See more »
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
A Cinematic Beauty, 9 September 2003
Author: Honus1 from Palm Springs, CA

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.

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What are your top 5 favorite film scores? KyleH87
religious question homesick251960
Directed by William Wyler DrMirabilis
Jesus wasn't crucified, says theologian after much research. DavidW1947
Why didnt everyone use a Greek chariot? KingCobra686
8.1 Rating???? Really??? prklinect
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