8.1/10
180,558
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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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

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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

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

Ben-Hur is whipped constantly as he marches to the galleys, and presumably is whipped during his three years of service as a rower; obviously his back should be as scarred as that of the insubordinate slave. However, when we see him from the back in the raft with Arrius, the only marks he has are those of the lash with which Arrius scourged him. See more »

Quotes

Simonides: Judah-Ben Hur! You've come back to us like a returning faith! Oh Judah, I should like to laugh again. Let us laugh!
Judah Ben-Hur: We will laugh.
Simonides: There will be joy again in this house! We will celebrate! Among the dust and cobwebs...
[Simonides sobs]
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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 Transformers: The Movie (1986) 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

 
One of the Top Five Films of All Time!
20 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

Anyone want to know how to make a darned good EPIC remake? Then this is the film to see.

William Wyler made an epic, a film that is exciting, violent, heartfelt film. Make no mistake, it is the story of two childhood friends, one gets drunk with power and the other who was a Jewish Prince gets thrown into a life of hardship though his boyhood 'friend'. But he has faith and keeps on going. The ultimate battle to beat all battles, to settle the score...is at the Chariot race and that is a sight to behold.

Films like Ben-Hur will NEVER get greenlighted today and if it did, too much CGI and not enough of what Director Wyler and old Hollywood was good at. The actors, well, they are to die for. Excellent acting. And let me share with you my favorite part...(tee-hee) when Pilate holds up his hankerchief to start the chariot race, plays with the racers and audience - he's very smug ya know..then the WAY he finally drops it. Who couldn't tell how he'd eventually turn out, hmmmmmmm?

There is nothing more I can add that others have said. This film is near and dear to me and for my vote -- is one of the top five films of all time. I never tire of watching this film, I find something new in it every time, its done that well.

This is an epic remake, something else that Hollywood has trouble doing -- to remake a film on this scale that finds new audiences year after year, after year. Brilliant, wonderful, every bit of it. A must, must see. Just plain excellent!


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