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Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)
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Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)
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Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)
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Ben-Hur DVD, Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Gr
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Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)**Charlton Heston
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Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)**Charlton Heston
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Movie synopsis
Anno Domini: the seventh year of Augustus Caesar's reign. In the Roman province of Judea, Jews return to the city of their birth for the census. A bright star in the night over Bethlehem marks the birth of Jesus Christ. Years later, Roman commander Messala (Stephen Boyd), who was brought up in Judea, takes command of the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. His Jewish boyhood friend Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) greets him. Messala is delighted. But when Judah refuses to name Jewish patriots, Messala sentences him to the slave galleys and imprisons his mother, Miriam (Martha Scott), and sister, Tirzah (Cathy O'Donnell). Judah vows revenge.In BEN-HUR, William Wyler's much-lauded epic, the story of Judah's search for his mother and sister and his quest for revenge intersects with crucial biblical events such as the Sermon on the Mount and the crucifixion. Wyler gets fine performances from Heston, Boyd, Jack Hawkins (as a Roman admiral who befriends Judah), and Hugh Griffith (as an Arab sheik who dreams of racing his beautiful white horses against Messala). Among BEN-HUR's vivid dramatic sequences are a violent sea battle and the famous chariot race that pits Judah against Messala in one of cinema's great action sequences.

Product Details
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: G (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • Sound: Stereo Sound, Surround Sound
  • UPC: 012569550629

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:DVD

Director:William Wyler
Leading Role:Charlton Heston
eBay Product ID: EPID3337313

Editorial reviews

"...William Wyler's 1959 Roman drama still has a self-confidence and sheer scope that's jaw-dropping..."
Variety - Derek Elley (03/05/2001)

"Historically significant and fascinating."
Premiere - Glenn Kenny (10/01/2005)

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 73 user reviews

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Rating distributions

Created: 07/16/08

Every time I see this I get charged.............

Review For: Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)

It's definitely one of my favorites of all time because it's got stuff that most movies don't have: Everything. MGM and company unintentionally created a work of popular art that could only be fully appreciated in its original, pristine print, 70mm, super widescreen glory. It is no longer possible to make a film like Ben-Hur. Oh, George Lucas tries with all his computerized graphics, but this is a REAL spectacle, not some virtual one. 8,000 extras, tens of thousands of costumes, a $15 million budget (in the 1950's!), massive sets depict the power of Rome on the grandest possible scale. It took six years to complete production. Yet, its focus remains sharply on the detail, the private human experience of it all. The story doesn't get lost in the enormous vision of the work.

Ben-Hur is a drama at its best. It's the story of a family that had it all, was destroyed and then given their lives back. Ben Hur depicts both the best and worst of the Roman Empire, its glory and progress and the oppression of the less fortunate who lived under its rule.

There are two action scenes that really get my heart pounding each time this. First, the scene on the galley where the slaves are put through a grueling, forced rowing of their ship under the eye of General Quintus Arrius. The way that scene builds with the alternating of the camera from the slaves to the drums to the general, all the while picking up the pace, is quite riveting. Second, the chariot race. Some of the best action ever produced by Hollywood. The race itself keeps people on the edge of their seats. It appears to have been put together close to real time, which makes it all the greater.

Although the movie slows down after the race I am still moved by what happens later. The movie follows up with how Judah dealt with the festering anger inside him and what happens to his mother and sister. His love, Esther, helps the family and tries to console Judah. I really like the character of Esther that is portrayed.

Most of all, the greatest character of all in this movie is that of Christ. In Christ we see someone suffering without the hatred and vengeance that is so shown by Judah. A favorite scene of mine is when Christ gives Judah water to drink. The Roman commander orders him to stop. Jesus looks at him and the soldier is speechless. That says it all.

Charlton Heston has said that this movie could not be made today because of the prohibitive budget that would be required. Heston gives a sensitive and intelligent performance, as does most of the supporting cast. Ben-Hur's 11 Oscar nominations has been equaled by very few films. There have been similar efforts in the past (The Ten Commandments (50th Anniversary Collection), Cleopatra, etc.) but nothing matches the dramatic intimacy balanced with the epic extravagance of Ben-Hur. Truly a film in a class by itself and an actor that will be miss.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 04/15/08

Best of 1959

Review For: Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)

This is the epic of all epics. The only movie to ever approach this is The Return of the King. William Wyler's Oscar-winning BEN-HUR (1959) is a crown achievement of the cinema. Watching a brand-new, pristine camera negative copy, I could not believe that the opening Nativity scene and the Resurrection finale were the same movie. There is just so much here. This remake of the 1925 silent epic, runs close to 4 hours, including powerful music by Miklos Rozsa (who did King of Kings, El Cid and other major epic scores).

The story follows Jew (Charlton Heston) as Judah Ben-Hur and a Roman (Stephen Boyd) as Massala, raised as best friends, who become bitter enemies in the Holy Land at the time of Jesus Christ's life. Director Wyler was always known as a painstaking perfectionist who would exhaust cast and crew by doing take after take after take of every scene. But the result for the audience is enthralling.

The movie is very different from the book. Any fan of the movie SHOULD read the book to gain a greater appreciation of what Wyler was working with and what Lew Wallace created. Simply fantastic!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 04/24/08

Ben-Hur on DVD

Review For: Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)

Ben-Hur is one of the definitive classics of our time. In an era before CG animation or green screen, movies were made the hard way... Using thousands of extras and literally hundreds of sets, Ben-Hur was an epic just in the making of it. Ben-Hur is one of those last century epics that modern day filmakers can only dream of doing. This classic tale is portrayed in massive scale and in excellent directing. Charlton Heston gives an awesome performance. Since his passing, Ben-Hur is the movie I like to look back on and remember him best. These are the types of movies he loved doing. The dvd only enhances the experience with superior digital sound and picture. This particular DVD contains an excellent telling of how the movie was made, and the long hard road that led up to it stretching all the way back into the silent movie era. The main reason I bought it was that we have the original VHS tapes from decades ago, and I decided to get it on DVD so I can enjoy it in my later years and share my experience with others. If you love a good adventure and have the time, Ben-Hur is a must have.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 11/07/06

"A Rich and Glowing Drama"

Review For: Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)

When first I saw the movie, I was a tender thirteen years of age. I was swept away by the story, the characters in it, and the sheer spectacle of the movie. It embodied everything my young heart could have desired at the time: Drama, love, tragedy, and the subsequent victory of a good man over his evil adversary. Recently I purchased the DVD for my personal library of films, and if anything, my opinion has been strengthened during the intervening years that this is one of the best films of all time. It was winner of eleven Academy Awards in 1959, a record that stood for 38 years--an eon in movieland. This spectacular movie, truly an epic film, deserved every Oscar it got. It is still a fabulous movie, even for our day. The themes of good versus evil and overcoming impossible circumstances to triumph at the end is still a classic tale that thrills and uplifts the viewer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 09/10/09

Ben-Hur; Ben-Him (as my mother would say)

Review For: Ben-Hur (DVD, 2001)

A truly great film. Charleton Heston at his best before he got arrogant and gun-crazy. The story is outstanding. Everything about this film is great.
Steven Boyd was great here and always underated. Some of the greatest scenes in film history. The chariot race is assume. The music is assume. You don't have to wonder why it was honored so much with 11 academy awards.
This is arguably the best of the so-called "biblical" films of that time-period. A big-budget production with a huge cast and thousands of extras.
A truly amazing production.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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