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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.

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(novel) (as General Lew Wallace), (screenplay)
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Top Rated Movies #197 | 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

Sculptors cast more than 200 pieces of statuary to supplement the thousands of props used from Cinecitta's warehouse. See more »

Goofs

When Messala breaks a tile on the rooftop of the House of Hur, a broken tile from an earlier take already lies at his feet. See more »

Quotes

Servant: [Presenting a gift] For the Tribune. With the compliments of Quintus Arrius. He awaits your pleasure.
Messala: The consul here?
Servant: It is Quintus Arrius the Younger, tribune.
Messala: Thank him. Bring him to me.
Drusus: I didn't know the consul had a son.
Messala: I've heard of the young Arrius. He's a champion of the great circus. Why is he here presenting me with gifts?
Drusus: Perhaps he will race against you in the games.
Messala: [opens the box and takes out a dagger] Look.
Drusus: It's magnificent.
Messala: And from a man I've never met!
[...]
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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 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture
Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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