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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   151,678 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 2% 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:
Quite simply the finest epic movie of all time See more (368 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)
Les Ballets Africains ... Dancers at Roman Banquet (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)
Princess 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)
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)
Aldo Pini ... Bad Thief on Cross (uncredited)
Diego Pozzetto ... Villager (uncredited)
Prince Raimondo ... Guest at Banquet (uncredited)
Stella Rho ... Amrah (uncredited)
Edwin Richfield ... Supplier to Leper Colony (uncredited)
Count Mario Rivoltella ... Undetermined role (uncredited)
Hector Ross ... Officer (uncredited)
Prince Emanuele Ruspoli ... Guest at banquet (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 styles
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
Robert 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)
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:
MGM commissioned over 40 scripts for the film over a period of six years.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Messala breaks a tile on the rooftop of the House of Hur, a broken tile from an earlier take already lies at his feet.See more »
Quotes:
Judah Ben-Hur:If I cannot persuade them, that does not mean I will help you... *murder* them. Besides, you must understand this, Messala. I believe in the past of my people, *and* in their future.
Messala:Future? You are a conquered people!
Judah Ben-Hur:You may conquer the land; you may slaughter the people. But that is not the end. We will rise again.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Silent Movie (1976)See more »
Soundtrack:
Triumphal March From Quo VadisSee more »

FAQ

What are some differences between the different versions of the story?
See more »
67 out of 134 people found the following review useful.
Quite simply the finest epic movie of all time, 2 February 2001
Author: Keith Bruce (kbruce00@yahoo.com) from Bradford England

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (368 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Ben-Hur (1959)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
What does Judah say to Pilate? tomkaren1994
Still one of the best movies ever made pazmandy-szilvia
wow some of the editing cuts jimymac
G Rating? russbiz
Just saw it in the theater! Koolio06
Want to see how many people experiences like me zhu_bernard
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