"an all-time classic"
"old fashioned cinema at its best"
"Far, far better than the modern Gladiator"
Ben Hur with Charlton Heston and Jack Hawkins
A man who defies the Romans brings tragedy to
himself and his family. Set against the back-drop of the life of Jesus.
Winner of eleven Academy Awards. This biblical epic is best remembered for
its breath-taking chariot race. Based on a novel by Lew Wallace. Includes
the original theatrical trailer.
The biggest (and arguably the best) from Hollywood's Golden
Age of Epic, Ben-Hur cost a staggering 15 million dollars in 1959
and was one of the largest film productions ever undertaken: the Circus
Maximus set alone, constructed for the climactic chariot race, covered 18
acres and was filled with 40,000 tons of Mediterranean sand. Fittingly the
movie scooped an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards that year, an achievement
only equalled 30 years later by Titanic.
Director William Wyler, never sacrifices the human focus of the story in
favour of spectacle. Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur dominates an appropriately vast
ensemble cast, while the majestic musical score adds
immeasurably to the occasion.
On the debit side, at four hours it's a long haul and, given the movie's theatrical aspect ratio is
2.76:1 it's a great movie but one best seen on
the biggest screen possible.
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