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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:

, (uncredited) | 3 more credits »

Writers:

(novel) (as General Lew Wallace), (adaptation) | 5 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Ben-Hur
... Messala
... Esther
... Mary
... Princess of Hur
... Tirzah
... Iras
... Simonides (as Nigel de Brulier)
... Sheik Ilderim
... Sanballat
... Arrius
Charles Belcher ... Balthazar
... Amrah
... Joseph
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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:

The Outstanding Attraction in America. The Greatest Wealth of Drama, Spectacle, Thrills, Awe Inspiring Magnitude, and Most Delicate Love Story ever presented in the History of the Theatres of the World. MIGHTY BEN-HUR See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,449,980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(2-strip Technicolor) (nine sequences)| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first attempt to film the chariot race was on a set in Rome, but there were problems with shadows and the racetrack surface. Then one of the chariots' wheels came apart and the stuntman driving it was thrown in the air and killed. See also Ben-Hur (1959). See more »

Goofs

The position of the body of the charioteer killed in the training session at Sheik Ilderim's camp. See more »

Quotes

Arrius: A galley slave wanting to live! How long have you been at the oars?
Ben-Hur: In your calendar, three years - - in mine, three centuries!
Arrius: What has kept you alive?
Ben-Hur: I live for revenge!
Arrius: Spoken like a Roman!
Ben-Hur: I am a Jew!
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User Reviews

 
Silent Film Making at It's Best
21 June 2000 | by See all my reviews

The 1925 version of Ben-Hur is an outstanding example of silent film making at it's best. With the proverbial cast of thousands, it compares favorably with it's more expensive and lavish 1959 remake. Had the Academy Awards been given out at this time, Ben-Hur would undoubtedly have won it's share.

The video version that I saw was restored to it's original splendor complete with tints and two color technicolor sequences, They are quite spectacular and hold up quite well today. The birth of Christ sequence is most memorable.

The flagship sequences, the sea battle and the chariot race, are expertly staged and remain the most exciting parts of the picture. They are as good as those in the 1959 version.

The casting is, for the most part, excellent. Ramon Navarro as Judah and Francis X. Bushman as Messala stand out. The only problem is the casting of May McEvoy as Esther. With her blond hair, blue eyes and riglets, she looks more like a Mary Pickford want to be than a Jewish slave girl.

Despite all of it's well documented production problems, Ben-Hur still is one of the best movies of all time, silent or sound.


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