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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.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Lew Wallace (novel) (as General Lew Wallace), Karl Tunberg (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,430 ( 69)
Top Rated Movies #209 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlton Heston ... Judah Ben-Hur
Jack Hawkins ... Quintus Arrius
Haya Harareet ... Esther
Stephen Boyd ... Messala
Hugh Griffith ... Sheik Ilderim
Martha Scott ... Miriam
Cathy O'Donnell ... Tirzah
Sam Jaffe ... Simonides
Finlay Currie ... Balthasar / Narrator
Frank Thring ... Pontius Pilate
Terence Longdon ... Drusus
George Relph George Relph ... Tiberius Caesar
André Morell ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1960 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

William Wyler's Ben-Hur See more »

Filming Locations:

Anzio, Italy See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

6-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production cost MGM a massive fifteen million dollars, and was a gamble by the studio to save itself from bankruptcy. The gamble paid off, with the film earning 75 million dollars. See more »

Goofs

When Messala assumes command of the garrison, outgoing commander Sextus is seen in the doorway as they are going into the barracks, yet when Messala speaks to Drusus about finally taking command, in the closeup shot Sextus is not in the doorway. See more »

Quotes

Messala: By what magic do you bear the name of a Consul of Rome?
Judah Ben-Hur: You were the magician, Messala. When my ship was sunk, I saved the Consul's life.
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 »

Alternate Versions

The first DVD release had an "Intermission" title card printed in a different font from the one used in the theatrical film and on the second, 4-disc DVD release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alternate Title Design: Nick Livesey (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Breath-taking; possible THE perfect movie.
5 September 2004 | by agent_js03See all my reviews

I think I can safely say that in my opinion, this is the best movie ever made. Its dramatic value is fantastic, and I've never seen a better storyline. The costumes were also incredible. The actors portrayed the best purest form of both ancient Roman and old Judean culture. This film also had quite an emotional effect. The way that Christ's face is never visible nor his voice audible to the audience creates a feeling of reverence to the actual person of Jesus. Lew Wallace also did an amazing job portraying the innocence, kindness, and mercy of Jesus, and his effect on the main character, Judah Ben Hur. Hur's ending quote, "I felt him take the sword out of my hand" was a wonderful picture of his changing. I admit, I am a Christian, but even for those who are not this is still a great film. The message boards confirm that. I recognize that there are some people that require constant action to keep their attention. If this is your case, than this movie is not for you, as it has a lot of dialogue. But I recommend this movie 100%.


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