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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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(novel) (as General Lew Wallace), (screenplay)
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Top Rated Movies #195 | 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:

The World's Most Honored Motion Picture 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

When film students are given a tour of the Panavision facility, they are shown the chariot race from this film in full 70mm Ultra Panavision (2.76:1). See more »

Goofs

The film implies that Jerusalem was the center of Roman administration in Judea. The Roman prefects who governed Judea made their headquarters in Caesarea Maritima, a much larger city than Jerusalem. Their visits to Jerusalem were infrequent. See more »

Quotes

Miriam: [hesitating as they leave the Valley of the Lepers] I'm afraid.
Esther: [embracing her] No cause. The world is more than we know.
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 The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 7 April 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Theme / Ring For Freedom
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The best of the "Intimate Epics"
31 March 2000 | by See all my reviews

The same quality that made epics like "Gone with the Wind," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago," and, ultimately, "Titanic" the memorable stories they were is present in spades in "Ben-Hur." These are stories, though told on canvases far vaster than the CinemaScope- or Panavision-sized movie screens they were meant for, succeed because, in their best moments, they focus on the interaction between and history of as few as two characters.

What begins as a childhood friendship between a Roman boy and a Jewish boy in Roman-occupied Palestine, becomes, briefly, a politically-charged rivalry, and ultimately, a search for revenge by one upon the other.

Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd deliver the performances of their careers, and get to chew up scenery and sets of such grandeur that Hollywood could never afford their like again.

This film, the greatest epic film ever made, deserves every accolade heaped upon it. The modern viewer may have to apply some patience, but at the end of the nearly four hour running time will find themselves to be vastly rewarded for it. You will find your life changed by both the scale of the film and the intimate message of friendship, betrayal, revenge--and the power of forgiveness.


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