7.8/10
7,069
57 user 27 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
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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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
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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:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in arrangement with A.L. Erlanger, C.B. Dillingham & F. Ziegfeld present Ben-Hur. (Newspaper ad cut). See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has a 100% rating based on 9 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »

Goofs

At one point in the chariot race a man in modern clothing - light-colored shirt, long pants, dark shoes - can be seen running out of the crowd onto the track and waving his arms at the camera. That was assistant director William Wyler, who saw that one of the chariots - out of camera range - was approaching the curve of the track too fast and Wyler was signaling the director to have the crew cleaning up a crashed chariot to get out of the way. See more »

Quotes

Messala: Scum of the galleys! I will grind you in the dust before all Antioch!
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Alternate Versions

Music and sound effects were dubbed into the silent film for a 1931 re-release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet: The Sportscar (1955) See more »

User Reviews

 
A Blockbuster Even After 75 Years
8 November 1999 | by gbheronSee all my reviews

The 2 1/2 hour running time just zips by in a flash, and the viewer actually forgets that they are watching a silent film. It's that good. The naval battle and the chariot race are so realistic you marvel at what filmmakers could do 75 years ago with a big budget in the hands of craftsmen. The acting is very good although the "silent" style seems a little over-acted today. I can't recommend this enough as a rental. Let's not forget our wonderful silent classics.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | English

Release Date:

8 October 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur See more »

Filming Locations:

Anzio, Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,950,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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