8.1/10
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395 user 118 critic

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

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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

Sheikh Ilderim's four horses' names are Aldebaran, Altair, Antares and Rigel. Their mother's name is Mira. All are Arabic names for major stars in the sky. Both Hugh Griffith (Sheikh Ilderim) and Charlton Heston mispronounce "Rigel": each pronounces it as "REE-ghel," with a hard "g" as if it were from the Latin, whereas the correct Arabic pronunciation is "REEJL," employing a hard "j" sound. As an Arab, Sheikh Ilderim should have known better. 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

[Judah, Esther, Miriam and Tirzah enter the city to find it deserted except for a blind beggar]
Judah Ben-Hur: [to Blind Man] Why are the streets deserted?
Blind Man: They have gone to the trial. Alms for the blind?
Judah Ben-Hur: Trial? Whose trial?
Blind Man: The young rabbi from Nazareth. They are wanting his death.
Esther: It cannot be true!
Blind Man: [holding out his cup] Alms?
Judah Ben-Hur: What has he done?
Blind Man: Nothing I know of. For the blind? For the blind? Help for the blind?
[Judah drops a coin in his cup]
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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 The Littles: Ben Dinky (1985) 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

 
pretty much sets the bar for epic entertainment
10 March 2015 | by See all my reviews

We are by nature a cynical and critical group.

With the attention span of a bumblebee, moreso the current generation than the earlier ones, because of exposure to mobile devices and other modern disposable non-repairable tech.

It is probably for that reason that epics like this one have become forgotten over time. Even the late CH has become more a societal joke and less of an icon over time. Michael Moore made Heston's participation in the NRA a joke. (If Heston's concerns over where society is headed prove to be true, the final joke may be on Moore.) Back to the film. It is almost perfect. Then, as now. The script continually builds. Modern writers could learn from that. No matter what is presently on screen as you watch, the inevitability of the final climax beckons.

The acting is perfect.

The mixture of myth and drama is perfect.

True the Roman dialog did not benefit from the verbal tricks that Stephen McKnight used in Spartacus (bending the script to match the flow of actual Roman) but it is more than enough to entertain and entrance.

From the "accident" early in the film which starts the flow of events, to the chariot race WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN EQUALLED IN THE HISTORY OF FILM, to the reunion with lost family at the end, this is one of the most powerful and entertaining films of all time


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