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

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Ben-Hur -- When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge in this animated film.
Ben-Hur -- Trailer for Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur -- Trailer for Ben-Hur

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   157,305 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 5% 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 classic See more (371 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:U | Germany:16 (video rating) | Iceland:12 | Japan:G (2010) | Malaysia:U (DVD) | Netherlands:AL | Netherlands:14 (Original rating) | New Zealand:PG | Norway:11 | Norway:12 (1959) | Peru:PT | 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:
Andrew Marton had three 65mm cameras at his disposal for shooting the race. The larger format film proved to be an issue. The standard close-up lens for 35mm photography was 100mm; it became, in the wide-screen process, a 200mm lens, which could not be focused closer than 50 feet. So he had to use a 140mm lens, requiring him and his crew to move closer to the dangerous action of the race.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Modern books with covers can be seen, at a time when only scrolls and folders with single pages were used.See more »
Quotes:
Judah Ben-Hur:Where are my mother and sister? Where are they?
Messala:Here, within these walls. The governor is recovering. They won't die. Of course, they will be sentenced.
Judah Ben-Hur:Is it possible- Messala, is it possible you could do this to us? To people you've known? A family you've loved? You'll let them go. You must! You will gladly let them go! MESSALA!
[pause]
Judah Ben-Hur:I didn't try to kill the governor! You know that! I'm not mad! I'm not a murderer!
Messala:I know you're not.
Judah Ben-Hur:You know?
[pause]
Judah Ben-Hur:You are evil.
Messala:No, Judah, I am not evil! I wanted your help, now you've given it to me. By making this example of you, I discourage treason. By condemning, without hesitation, an old friend, I shall be feared.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Sir Billi (2012)See more »
Soundtrack:
Love Theme / Ring For FreedomSee more »

FAQ

What are some differences between the different versions of the story?
See more »
49 out of 95 people found the following review useful.
A classic, 1 February 2001
Author: Nezy

One of the best epics, this is a story of the friendship between two young boys. Eventually they grow up to be enemies and end up hating each other, one being Jewish and the other one Roman.

One could easily assume "Ben-Hur" is a story from The Holy Bible, and although this is not the case it was the intention when writing it. It certainly is one of the greatest stories ever told. This is the third adaptation of the classic tale, and it's the only one really remembered today. Many elements were inspired and copied from the first two, filmed in 1907 and 1925, but with a vast improvement: special-effects. The set wasn't as dangerous in 1959 because of the technical revolution that had taken place since the last time around.

"Ben-Hur" is full of drama, action and romance. There's also a tension between the two leads that could be interpreted as a love-affair gone horribly wrong, but this was toned down by the studio as homosexuality was a big taboo at the time.

Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd are great, with a wonderful supporting cast to back them up, making this a classic.

8/10

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (371 total) »

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