The film was based on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ written by Lew Wallace published in 1880.
Ben-Hur was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2004.
Because of all the movies that I've seen in my life, it's a very rare thing these days for me to watch a famous film for the very first time. But that's what happened last night when the Turner Classic Movies channel showed the 1925 version of BEN-HUR. The print TCM showed looked spectacular and fea... Read full article
Out of the Past - A Classic Film Blog
Up until recently I had never seen any film version of Ben-Hur. Last Sunday I watched three in one day! Am I crazy? Maybe a little. But I thrive on challenges especially fun ones like this. It all started with the screening of Ben-Hur (1925) at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA. I went with... Read full article
Flickers in Time
Ben-Hur Directed by William Wyler 1959/USA Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer First viewing #349 of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Messala: [ironically] Return? This big-budget epic delivers in all the blockbuster categories. It is approximately 27 A.D. Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is a prince and t... Read full article
There are countless movie reviews on Turner Classic Movies website alone about Ben-Hur. Countless. So Ive tricked you by titling this post Ben-Hur, when really, Im much more interested in the Kirk Douglas/Stanley Kubrick vehicle, Spartacus, released the year after Ben-Hur, in retaliation. **Kirk D... Read full article
We Recycle Movies
Happy Easter and Passover everyone! When deciding on an Easter movie, I had a wealth of films to choose from. But since I’m not Catholic enough to appreciate “The Passion of the Christ,” not stoic enough to labor through “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” and not on enough... Read full article
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Judah Ben-Hur: [bitterly] Peace! Love and peace. Do you think I don't long for them as you do? Where do you see them?
Esther: If you had heard this man from Nazareth...
Judah Ben-Hur: Balthasar's word.
Esther: He is more than Balthasar's word. His voice traveled with such a still purpose... It was more than a voice... a man more than a man! He said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."
Judah Ben-Hur: Children of God? In that dead valley where we left them? I tell you every man in Judea is unclean, and will *stay* unclean, until we've scoured off our bodies the crust and filth of being at the mercy of tyranny. No other life is possible except to wash this land clean!
Esther: In blood?
Judah Ben-Hur: Yes, in blood!
Esther: I know there is a law in life, that blood gets more blood as dog begets dog. Death generates death, as the vulture breeds the vulture! But the voice I heard today on the hill said, "Love your enemy. Do good to those who despitefully use you."
Judah Ben-Hur: So all who are born in this land hereafter can suffer as we have done!
Esther: As you make us do now! Are we to bear nothing together? Even love?
Judah Ben-Hur: I can hardly draw breath without feeling you in my heart. Yet I know that everything I do from this moment will be as great a pain to you as you have ever suffered. It is better not to love me!
Esther: It was Judah Ben-Hur I loved. What has become of him? You seem to be now the very thing you set out to destroy, giving evil for evil! Hatred is turning you to stone. It is as though you had become Messala!
[Judah looks back at Esther, in extreme shock]
Esther: [sadly] I've lost you, Judah.
Balthasar: He has taken the world of our sins onto Himself. To this end He said He was born, in that stable, where I first saw Him. For this cause, He came into the world.
Judah Ben-Hur: For this death?
Balthasar: For this beginning.
Balthasar: [narrating] In the Year of our Lord, Judea - for nearly a century - had lain under the mastery of Rome. In the seventh year of the reign of Augustus Caesar, an imperial decree ordered every Judean each to return to his place of birth to be counted and taxed. The converging ways of many of them led to the gates of their capital city, Jerusalem, the troubled heart of their land. The old city was dominated by the fortress of Antonia, the seat of Roman power, and by the great golden temple, the outward sign of an inward and imperishable faith. Even while they obeyed the will of Caesar, the people clung proudly to their ancient heritage, always remembering the promise of their prophets that one day there would be born among them a redeemer to bring them salvation and perfect freedom.
Urban legend claims that 4 stuntmen were killed during the filming of the chariot race. There is no truth to this whatsoever.
This is the only one of the three movies who have won 11 Academy Awards (the others being Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) to have won an Oscar for acting performances.
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