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 <email@example.com>
The desert sequences were all set to be filmed in Libya until authorities in the country--a Muslim nation--realized that the film was promoting Christianity. The government ordered MGM out of the country, forcing the studio to shift filming to Spain, which has the only desert in Europe. See more »
As stated, the MGM lion is a frozen frame as the film opens - Leo doesn't roar. This was not done as suggested to convey calm or out of respect for the religious theme, but because Wyler wanted to open the very first frame of the film with Rózsa's very dramatic score. For this to be fully effective, the roar had to go. This is very similar to what Fox did with 'The Robe', another religious-themed epic opening immediately with the Newman score on the very first frame and skipping the standard Fox logo and fanfare track. See more »
He gave me water, and the heart to live. What has he done to merit this?
He has taken the world of our sins onto Himself. To this end He said He was born, in that stable, where I first saw Him. For this cause, He came into the world.
For this death?
For this beginning.
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The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion is shown in a still-frame to appear looking peaceful at the beginning rather than roaring. See more »
One older VHS release has a fade to black in between the opening credits and the scene after that. The original version has a dissolve transition. See more »
"Ben-Hur" is a dominant Best Picture Oscar winner that is perhaps more impressive now than it was when it was first released in 1959. Charlton Heston (Oscar-winning) stars as a rich Jewish nobleman during the time of Jesus Christ who is turned into a slave by the Romans after a freak accident. Now he is manning an oar in a ship's galley and his family is imprisoned. Years pass and now Heston is after the former childhood friend (Stephen Boyd), a Roman, that turned against him. The 17 minutes of footage for the chariot race is some of the best during the history of the cinema. Hugh Griffith won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and William Wyler won his third and final Best Director Oscar. A monumental film that is great in every cinematic category known to man. 5 stars out of 5.
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