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

Photos (See all 54 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
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 -- Featurette: Chariot Race
Ben-Hur -- Trailer for Ben-Hur

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   159,318 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 1% 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:
The best of the "Intimate Epics" See more (372 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 | 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:
The only Hollywood film to make the Vatican approved film list in the category of religion.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: The calf in the stable is a Holstein, a breed that did not exist at the time, and was unknown in the area until 1922.See more »
Quotes:
Messala:Judah, either you help me or you oppose me, you have no other choice. You're either for me or against me!
Judah Ben-Hur:If that is the choice, then I am against you.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Love Theme / Ring For FreedomSee more »

FAQ

What are some differences between the different versions of the story?
See more »
73 out of 146 people found the following review useful.
The best of the "Intimate Epics", 31 March 2000
Author: Troydawg (troydawg7@hotmail.com) from Tucson, Arizona

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (372 total) »

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