7.8/10
6,877
56 user 26 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) | 5 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
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
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
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
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I.

Director: Rex Ingram
Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Pomeroy Cannon
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut
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
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
The Iron Mask (1929)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

King Louis XIII of France is thrilled to have born to him a son - an heir to the throne. But when the queen delivers a twin, Cardinal Richelieu sees the second son as a potential for ... See full summary »

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Belle Bennett, Marguerite De La Motte, Dorothy Revier
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
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:

See the stupendous chariot race that the whole town is talking about. (Newspaper ad cut). 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

Ben Hur was advertised as "The Picture Every Christian Ought to See!" 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

Iras: Flashing eyes and milk-white bodies! Beauty to be tamed! Does it not thrill you?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Many prints re-printed the Technicolor scenes in black and white. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Silent and stunning version about the known hero set in the Roman empire at the time of Christ
17 April 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Nice silent rendition that still stands as the all-time silent classic , including marvelously staged battle ships and overwhelming chariot races . It packs impressive scenes that still look nice , in spite of age . Childhood friends , Judah Ben-Hur (Ramon Novarro) and Messala (Francis X Bushman) meet again one time grown-up . Now as experienced adults , this time Messala is a Roman officer , a tough conqueror against the Jews and Judah as a rich noble , though conquered , Israelite . When in Jerusalem takes place a Roman parade , spontaneously falling a brick that causes Judah to be sent off as a galley slave , his ownership confiscated and his mother and sister Tirzah (Kathleen Key) imprisoned at an impregnable jail . But the brave Ben Hur goes on his determination to stay alive and saves the Roman general Quinto Arrio when they are attacked by a pirate galleon , and he , then , becomes his fostered son . Several years later Judah goes backs his homeland . Unable to locate his mummy and sister, and believing them dead , he can think of nothing else than vendetta against Messala . Meanwhile , Ben Hur falls for Esther (May McAvoy) , daughter of Simonides (Nigel Of Brulier) .

The second movie of the acclaimed novel , being lavishly produced , stars Ramón Novarro and Francis X. Buxman as Messala . Novarro is good in the known role as wealthy Palestinan battling the Roman Empire . The chariot race required thousands of extras on sets constructed on lots of acres of backlot at Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios . The MGM production costs were massive millions of dollars , as a lot of chariots were built , with half being used for practice . The race took various weeks to film . The known chariot scene was shot at what is now the intersection of La Cienega and Venice Boulevards in Los Angeles . Although problems lingered on the production and at a cost of over 4.000.000 dollars . The initial Italian set was eventually torn down and a new one built in Culver City , California . Attractive images , majestic set design , glamorous photography in black and white , evocative as well as rousing musical score subsequently added by the great composer Carl Davis combine to cast a spellbinding movie . The motion picture was stunningly realized by director Fred Niblo helped by Second-unit director B. Reeves Eason and Cliff Lyons ; being a hit smash at the box office . In 1931 , a shortened version was released . Rating : 8 , extraordinary and awesome , it ranked as the most expensive movie of its time and took years to end ; it is one of the greatest films in the genre "Epic". Ben-Hur still stands as the all-time silent classic .

Other retellings based on this vintage novel written by Lewis Wallace are the followings : The classic version ¨Ben-Hur¨ won a record 11 Ocars , directed by William Wyler with Charlton Heston , Stephen Boyd , Haya Harareet , Jack Hawkins , Sam Jaffe , Finlay Currie , Martha Scott , Cathy O'Donnell , in which stuntman Cliff Lyons worked a Stuntman/chariot driver in both versions : 1925 and 1959 ; cartoon version (2003) by Bill Kowalchuck with prologue by Charlton Heston and ¨Ben-Hur¨ TV series by Steven Shrill with Joseph Morgan , Stephen Campbell Moore , Kristen Krouk , Simon Andreu and Lucia Jimenez


6 of 6 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 Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed