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Ben-Hur (1959)

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Ben-Hur (1959)


Charlton Heston
Jack Hawkins
Haya Haraeet

Directed by William Wyler

When the movie was over and in the last scene I saw Ben-Hur Judah (Charlton Heston) approach his mother and sister after he beheld the miracle of our Lord Jesus Christ, I said within myself, “what a privilege it is to have seen this movie”; and a privilege it was indeed. The most amazing thing about the movie is the score, it is just wonderful, then add the tale of Ben-Hur who went from being a prince to a slave and back and learnt the hard way that revenge does not bring content; What you have is this 50s masterpiece that all should get the privilege to see.

The story of Ben-Hur is set during the birth and death of Christ, Ben-Hur at that time was a good friend of the next in line Governor of Jerusalem. Their friendship is tested (as Ben-Hur is a Jew and his best friend Messala (next in line Governor) is Roman) when Messala calls Ben aside and ask for the names of the Jews leading a rebellion against Rome, Ben’s refusal caused both friends to part.

An unfortunate incident about a loose tile led to the death of the present Governor, Ben and his sister were the ones responsible for the accident, but Messala failed to accept the incident for what it was, an accident even after his investigation showed it was so.

Messala, out of revenge for Ben turning him down, had Ben sold to slavery and his family jailed. Something led to another and Ben is free and all he wants is revenge.

Ben Hur was a record breaking Oscar movie, it won 11 out of the 12 Academy Award nominations that it got, some of its wins inclue Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Charlton Heston. Charlton’s 1956 movie, The Ten Commandment was also a hit and showed Charlton’s gift in epic film portrayal. Ben Hur is based on a book named Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace, and the movie production saw the use of wonderful cinematic scenes, shots that will linger such as the one of the chariot race.

Ben-Hur was both a critical and a commercial success making close to 10 times its production cost and the movie is regarded as one of the best epic movies ever made. Holding back ratings in the American Film Institute in their top 100 movies (it is ranked a 100) and Top Epic films (here it is ranked number 2).

Ben-Hur is a beautiful movie and a highly successful one, which many should get the chance to see; the movie like The Ten Commandments is biblical but not totally biblically grounded like Ten Commandments, but it is still wonderful and nice to see even for those who are eager to see a biblical film.


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