8.0/10
6,826
55 user 26 critic

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 8 October 1927 (USA)
A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.

Directors:

Fred Niblo, Charles Brabin (uncredited) | 3 more credits »

Writers:

Lew Wallace (novel) (as General Lew Wallace), June Mathis (adaptation) | 5 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ben Hur (2010)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young Jewish prince seeks revenge after an old friend wrongly imprisons him and his family.

Stars: Joseph Morgan, Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily VanCamp
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill
Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth
Ben-Hur (Video 1988)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Directors: Al Guest, Jean Mathieson
Stars: Aiden Grennell, Ann Marie Horan, Collette Proctor
Way Down East (1920)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Theodore Roberts, Charles de Rochefort, Estelle Taylor
La Bohème (1926)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A group of starving artists try to survive in 1830s Paris, including a seamstress and the would-be playwright she loves.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Lillian Gish, John Gilbert, Renée Adorée
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I.

Director: Rex Ingram
Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Pomeroy Cannon
The Wind (1928)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A frail young woman from the east moves in with her cousin in the west, where she causes tension within the family and is slowly driven mad.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love
Arsenic and Old Lace (TV Movie 1969)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director: Robert Scheerer
Stars: Helen Hayes, Bob Crane, Lillian Gish
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson
Ben Hur (1907)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The scene opens with an assembly of citizens who are harangued by one of their number, whose words have great weight with the crowd, and their attitude of approval shows that Roman misrule ... See full summary »

Directors: Sidney Olcott, Frank Oakes Rose
Stars: Gene Gauntier, Harry T. Morey, William S. Hart
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman becomes a nun when she believes her sweetheart has been killed, but things get complicated when he returns alive.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Lillian Gish, Ronald Colman, Gail Kane
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ramon Novarro ... Ben-Hur
Francis X. Bushman ... Messala
May McAvoy ... Esther
Betty Bronson ... Mary
Claire McDowell ... Princess of Hur
Kathleen Key ... Tirzah
Carmel Myers ... Iras
Nigel De Brulier ... Simonides (as Nigel de Brulier)
Mitchell Lewis ... Sheik Ilderim
Leo White ... Sanballat
Frank Currier ... Arrius
Charles Belcher Charles Belcher ... Balthazar
Dale Fuller ... Amrah
Winter Hall ... Joseph
Edit

Storyline

Erstwhile childhood friends, Judah Ben-Hur and Messala meet again as adults, this time with Roman officer Messala as conqueror and Judah as a wealthy, though conquered, Israelite. A slip of a brick during a Roman parade causes Judah to be sent off as a galley slave, his property confiscated and his mother and sister imprisoned. Years later, as a result of his determination to stay alive and his willingness to aid his Roman master, Judah returns to his homeland an exalted and wealthy Roman athlete. Unable to find his mother and sister, and believing them dead, he can think of nothing else than revenge against Messala. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Peak of All Picture Entertainment! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ben-Hur See more »

Filming Locations:

Anzio, Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,449,980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor) (nine sequences)| Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During a European visit to move the production from Italy to the US, producer Louis B. Mayer stopped in Berlin, Germany, and attended a screening of The Saga of Gösta Berling (1924). The production introduced him to the actress who would become one of the studio's most bankable stars a few years later: Greta Garbo. See more »

Goofs

During the chariot race, in the wide shots of Messala, Ben-Hur is behind him, then the shots to Messala's right have his and Ben-Hur's horses neck-and-neck. See more »

Quotes

Jesus Christ: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Many prints re-printed the Technicolor scenes in black and white. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Silent Film Making at It's Best
21 June 2000 | by beejerSee all my reviews

The 1925 version of Ben-Hur is an outstanding example of silent film making at it's best. With the proverbial cast of thousands, it compares favorably with it's more expensive and lavish 1959 remake. Had the Academy Awards been given out at this time, Ben-Hur would undoubtedly have won it's share.

The video version that I saw was restored to it's original splendor complete with tints and two color technicolor sequences, They are quite spectacular and hold up quite well today. The birth of Christ sequence is most memorable.

The flagship sequences, the sea battle and the chariot race, are expertly staged and remain the most exciting parts of the picture. They are as good as those in the 1959 version.

The casting is, for the most part, excellent. Ramon Navarro as Judah and Francis X. Bushman as Messala stand out. The only problem is the casting of May McEvoy as Esther. With her blond hair, blue eyes and riglets, she looks more like a Mary Pickford want to be than a Jewish slave girl.

Despite all of it's well documented production problems, Ben-Hur still is one of the best movies of all time, silent or sound.


30 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 55 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed