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Ben-Hur (1959)

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

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Writers:

(novel) (as General Lew Wallace), (screenplay)
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Top Rated Movies #197 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Judah Ben-Hur
... Quintus Arrius
... Esther
... Messala
... Sheik Ilderim
... Miriam
... Tirzah
... Simonides
... Balthasar / Narrator
... Pontius Pilate
... Drusus
George Relph ... Tiberius Caesar
... Sextus
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Storyline

Judah Ben-Hur lives as a rich Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century. Together with the new governor his old friend Messala arrives as commanding officer of the Roman legions. At first they are happy to meet after a long time but their different politic views separate them. During the welcome parade a roof tile falls down from Judah's house and injures the governor. Although Messala knows they are not guilty, he sends Judah to the galleys and throws his mother and sister into prison. But Judah swears to come back and take revenge. Written by Matthias Scheler <tron@lyssa.owl.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Tale of the Christ See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 January 1960 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$74,700,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$196,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1970) | (1962) | (1993 re-release) | (DVD) | (2005 DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlton Heston's Oscar winning performance in this film is his only Academy Award nomination, though he also won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. See more »

Goofs

When Ben-Hur and Arrius are shipwrecked after the battle on the sea they are seen drifting on a piece of wreckage together. We see the waves rolling past them yet they stay in one place.

At sea, away from the shore, waves normally roll past floating objects. See more »

Quotes

Judah Ben-Hur: You sent for me?
Pontius Pilate: I hope I bring you a good conclusion to your victory. I have a message for you from the consul, your father.
Judah Ben-Hur: I honor him.
Pontius Pilate: As you may honor yourself. You have been made a citizen of Rome.
[pause]
Pontius Pilate: Do you say nothing to this?
Judah Ben-Hur: I have just come from the Valley of Stone where my mother and my sister live what's left of their lives. By Rome's will, lepers; outcasts without hope!
Pontius Pilate: I have heard this. There was great blame there, very deeply regretted.
Judah Ben-Hur: Their flesh is mine, m'lord Pilate. ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion is shown in a still-frame to appear looking peaceful at the beginning rather than roaring. See more »

Connections

Featured in Vito (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Fanfare To Prelude / Prelude / Marcia Romana
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Still good after 40+ years, but made for a different audience.
4 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ, was hugely popular as a novel, a play and two movies. It was written in a less vulgar time about a very spiritual event. Seen today by moviegoers addicted to constant action and low frequency effects, it will seem ponderous, slow and pretentious. Well, it is a little. You have to pay attention to the dialogue or you won't get it at all. Some of the intimate scenes aren't all that great. Anyone that really pays attention can tell the sea battle is done with miniatures. It's still worth watching. As everyone ought to know by now, the chariot race is one-of-a-kind; nothing else comes close to that real live race where the main actors actually raced most of the time. I just watched this movie after lapse of about 10 years. I still enjoyed it. The sea battle is still fun even if you know the boats are about as big as a man. The few moments which have Christ on the screen are still moving. Just about all of the acting is good with only a few forgettable moments. Just be ready to spend about 4 hours in front of the screen listening to occasionally flowery dialog.


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