8.1/10
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Ben-Hur (1959)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as General Lew Wallace), (screenplay)
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2,060 ( 225)

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Top Rated Movies #198 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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George Relph ...
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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:

It's an insane world, but still there's one sanity that remains; the LOYALTY of old friends!! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original novel, Ben-Hur's mother does not have a name; she is referred to as Mother of Hur. For the film, she was called Miriam. See more »

Goofs

Sheikh Ilderim and Judah pronounce the name of the Sheikh's chariot horse "REEGH-el," as though it were from the Latin, with a hard "g." The four horses, as the Sheikh, are "named for the stars," and all those names -- Aldebaran, Altair, Antares and Rigel -- are Arabic names for these particularly bright stars that are still in use. An Arab would pronounce that last name as "Rijl" (REE-djl), not "REEGH-el," and Judah would likely have known that. See more »

Quotes

Judah Ben-Hur: [as Judah Ben-Hur hugs Simonides, in friendship] Simonides.
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

Referenced in Countdown: Episode #73.79 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"All life is a miracle!"
19 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

BEN-HUR is a very interesting epic historical drama, which has gained a cult following on the basis of an intelligent story, a touching human drama and a phenomenal action sequences. The film was adapted from Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

A prince, who lives in Jerusalem, is a wealthy and generous man. His old friend, who has spent a few years in Rome, has returned as a commander in Jerusalem. The two of them are happy to see each other again, but they both realized that they have different political opinions. Their political differences and the prince's wealth are causing dissension. A tile on an old roof at the prince's home has broken and nearly killed the new governor. The Roman commander is sure of the prince's innocence, but ....

A story about revenge, love, hate, violence and conflict was enriched with extremely strong emotions and heroic moments. Mr. Wyler has directed the interest on one character, his emotional and spiritual development, in the world of tyranny, hatred and injustice. Biblical elements have remained in the background of the story, but they have a very strong influence on the main melodrama.

Action sequences have offered plenty of excitement, primarily through a spectacular chariot race and an ancient sea battle. Set design is a little masterpiece. The soundtrack is top notch. However, a touching and tense human drama in a specific environment with historical and religious moments is the biggest advantage of this film. This movie is not boring, despite its period of nearly 225 minutes.

Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur is brisk, proud and upright character. He has acted in some scenes a little inhibited, but Mr. Heston has, in a credible way, presented all the tragedy of his character. Stephen Boyd as Messala was poisoned with an ideology. He is a rival, but is primarily a traitor. Messala has rejected a friendship and „ love" because of his ideology.

Their support are Jack Hawkins (Quintus Arrius) as a Roman consul in a dangerous game of fate, Haya Harareet (Esther) as a Jewish girl who is in love with her prince. Her character has brought a strong religious moment in a melodrama. Hugh Griffith as Sheik Ilderim is a cheerful character who brings a specific humor and an Arab point of view in relation to the two main characters.

This is, without any doubt, one of the greatest epic spectacles of all time.


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