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Ben-Hur: The Epic That Changed Cinema (2005)

Current filmmakers such as Ridley Scott and George Lucas reflect on the importance and influence of the Film.


Gary Leva


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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Wyler ... Himself (archive footage)
Bruce Crawford Bruce Crawford ... Himself
Ben Burtt ... Himself
Ridley Scott ... Himself
George Lucas ... Himself
Arnon Milchan ... Himself
Fraser C. Heston ... Himself (as Fraser Heston)
Charlton Heston ... Himself (2001 Interview) (archive footage)
Robert Dalva ... Himself
Ernest R. Dickerson ... Himself (as Ernest Dickerson)
Arthur Max Arthur Max ... Himself
Don Davis ... Himself
Irvin Kershner ... Himself
Anthony Pratt Anthony Pratt ... Himself
Janusz Kaminski ... Himself


Current filmmakers such as Ridley Scott and George Lucas reflect on the importance and influence of the Film.

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Release Date:

13 September 2005 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Leva FilmWorks See more »
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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This documentary is featured on the Four-Disc Collector's Edition DVD for Ben-Hur (1959), released in 2005. See more »


Features The Matrix (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Filmmakers Are Still In Awe Of This Movie
1 August 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

It's one thing when you and I sing the praises of a film, but when the experts - the people who know film-making inside-and-out - heap superlatives on a film.....well, it's time to take notice. Not that Ben-Hur needed additional praise; the film won a then-record 11 Oscars. But, when it's almost 50 years later and today's film experts are still in awe of that film. That says a lot.

It was impressive to hear a number of directors and cinematographers, men like Ridley Scott, Ernest Dickerson, George Lucas, Robert Dalva and others explain WHY Ben-Hur was so impressive and how this film inspired them to do things in their movies years later. Even with today's technology, they still aren't sure how some of the scenes were able to be put on film.

It was amazing for me to see and hear just how big the sets were on Ben-Hur. With computer effects available, for one thing, they don't spend the time and money on things like that today. By "that," I mean, let's say, the arena where Ben-Hur had his famous chariot race. That gigantic oval, with incredible statues and architecture, took over a year to build. Scott, who directed the recent epic "Gladiator," said his arena was one-sixth the size of the one built for Ben-Hur.

Even though some of the talk is technical, it was never confusing and was always interesting. I think I enjoyed listening to most to Dickerson, who was the cinematographer on "Malcolm X." He seemed to be one of the people who was the most impressed with Ben-Hur, and still is today. Directors, photographers, actors, costume designers, on and on just rave about how authentic everything looked in here, which was amazing for a film in the 1950s. That's why it holds up so well today, they remarked.

The above, and a much more "inside" looks at this film, made this documentary interesting, and made me appreciate this film all the more.

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