7.8/10
6,904
56 user 25 critic

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 8 October 1927 (USA)
A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.

Directors:

Fred Niblo, Charles Brabin (uncredited) | 3 more credits »

Writers:

Lew Wallace (novel) (as General Lew Wallace), June Mathis (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,999 ( 11,696)
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jesus Christ faces religious and political oppression during his ministry and in the days before his death and resurrection.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: H.B. Warner, Dorothy Cumming, Ernest Torrence
Adventure | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Seeking revenge, an athletic young man joins the pirate band responsible for his father's death.

Director: Albert Parker
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Billie Dove, Tempe Pigott
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After hearing the story of Moses, the sons of a devout Christian mother go their own ways, while the atheist brother's breaking of the Ten Commandments leads to tragedy.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Theodore Roberts, Charles de Rochefort, Estelle Taylor
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill
Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth
The Wind (1928)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A frail young woman from the east moves in with her cousin in the west, where she causes tension within the family and is slowly driven mad.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson
La Bohème (1926)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of starving artists try to survive in 1830s Paris, including a seamstress and the would-be playwright she loves.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Lillian Gish, John Gilbert, Renée Adorée
Way Down East (1920)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The young Gascon D'Artagnan arrives in Paris, his heart set on joining the king's Musketeers. He is taken under the wings of three of the most respected and feared Musketeers, Porthos, ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Niblo
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Mary MacLaren, Nigel De Brulier
Arsenic and Old Lace (TV Movie 1969)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director: Robert Scheerer
Stars: Helen Hayes, Bob Crane, Lillian Gish
Ben-Hur (1959)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After having a child out of wedlock, a young Puritan woman is pressured to reveal the name of her lover.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Henry B. Walthall
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ramon Novarro ... Ben-Hur
Francis X. Bushman ... Messala
May McAvoy ... Esther
Betty Bronson ... Mary
Claire McDowell ... Princess of Hur
Kathleen Key ... Tirzah
Carmel Myers ... Iras
Nigel De Brulier ... Simonides (as Nigel de Brulier)
Mitchell Lewis ... Sheik Ilderim
Leo White ... Sanballat
Frank Currier ... Arrius
Charles Belcher Charles Belcher ... Balthazar
Dale Fuller ... Amrah
Winter Hall ... Joseph
Edit

Storyline

Erstwhile childhood friends, Judah Ben-Hur and Messala meet again as adults, this time with Roman officer Messala as conqueror and Judah as a wealthy, though conquered, Israelite. A slip of a brick during a Roman parade causes Judah to be sent off as a galley slave, his property confiscated and his mother and sister imprisoned. Years later, as a result of his determination to stay alive and his willingness to aid his Roman master, Judah returns to his homeland an exalted and wealthy Roman athlete. Unable to find his mother and sister, and believing them dead, he can think of nothing else than revenge against Messala. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

3 Years In The Making - Cast of 150,000 Players - Made For You At the Cost of $4,000,000 See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur See more »

Filming Locations:

Anzio, Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,950,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor) (nine sequences)| Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

For the sea battle, scores of extras were required to play galley slaves and Roman soldiers. Because of the high unemployment figures in Italy, many extras desperate to get a job, lied that they could swim when they were being hired. An accident on the boat, and the fact that no one was sure how many extras were involved in the scene, caused great unease among the MGM management. Rumour has it that afterwards the production manager and his assistants took a boat out, and brought chains with them, to weigh down any bodies they might find floating on the surface. See more »

Goofs

The saw Christ is using remains in the same spot, despite Him creating enough friction with the blade to cut deeper into the wood. See more »

Quotes

Pool of Siloam Woman: His sword is truth and his shield is love.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Nudity was often censored from the film. Shots of topless flower girls and the nude prisoner in the slave galley were deleted from a majority of prints that were in circulation before restoration of the picture began. See more »

Connections

Featured in Movies Are Adventure (1948) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Silent Film Masterpiece
10 January 2000 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

Subtitled "A Tale of the Christ", this mixture of piety & adventure was MGM's grandest silent picture. The story tells how a Hebrew prince defies his Roman masters by beating them at their own game, literally, while becoming increasingly aware that the young Carpenter he met in Nazareth is the very Son of God and how that knowledge changes his life.

Years in the making, with filming in Italy & California, and changes of script and leading man, BEN HUR could have been a disaster. Instead, it was a complete triumph, with the naval battle and chariot race scenes holding their own among the best ever filmed. This film should not be compared with the Heston remake; it stands completely on its own merits.

For decades, the only known prints of this film were 90 minutes long, in black & white. By great good fortune, in the 1980's an uncut version, over 2 hours and with the original tints and Technicolor scenes was discovered in Czechoslovakia. This is what we are able to enjoy today.

Ramon Novarro got the plum male role of the entire silent period . He was a very fine actor and is excellent as Ben Hur. Sadly, the rest of his film career, in which he was typecast in every sort of ethnic role, from Chinese to Polynesian to Arab to Navajo, is virtually forgotten today.


23 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 56 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed