Ben-Hur

  • PG
  • William Wyler (1959)
  • US
  • 213 min
Ben-Hur
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Back in 1959, this epic was the most costly movie ever made. Charlton Heston won his only best actor Oscar as the chariot-driving, galley-rowing Jewish nobleman who takes all that the Roman Empire can throw at him, thanks to his traitorous boyhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd). Some critics believe that William Wyler's box-office smash is no match for the 1925 silent version, but there's no denying that the race that forms the famous climax is one of the most iconic sequences in Hollywood history - a thousand-strong force toiled for a year to construct the 18-acre chariot arena, which was eventually filled with 8,000 extras. The film, in all, used over 300 sets, 40,000 tons of sand (for the chariot track) and swept up a record 11 Oscars, a total that was equalled in 1998 by James Cameron's Titanic and in 2004 by Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Plot Summary

Oscar-winning period epic starring Charlton Heston. Wealthy prince Judah Ben-Hur sets himself up against the tyranny of his Roman masters at the time of Christ, and is condemned to almost certain death as a galley slave by his childhood friend Messala. But the two men are fated to meet again.

Cast and crew

Cast

Judah Ben-Hur
Charlton Heston
Messala
Stephen Boyd
Esther
Haya Harareet
Quintus Arrius
Jack Hawkins
Sheik Ilderim
Hugh Griffith
Miriam
Martha Scott
Tirzah
Cathy O'Donnell
Pontius Pilate
Frank Thring
Simonides
Sam Jaffe
Balthasar
Finlay Currie
Drusus
Terence Longdon
Tiberius
George Relph
Malluch
Adi Berber
Joseph
Laurence Payne
Sextus
André Morell
Christ
Claude Heater
Mary
Jose Greci

Crew

Director
William Wyler

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Guidance: 
Some violence.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate PG
Categories
Drama

Add new comment