Ben-Hur: Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]
Ultimate Collector's Edition, Collector's Edition
Blu-ray + Audio CD
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Import Blu-Ray/Region All pressing. This 1959 version of Lew Wallace's best-selling novel, which had already seen screen versions in 1907 and 1926, went on to win 11 Academy Awards. Adapted by Karl Tunberg and a raft of uncredited writers including Gore Vidal and Maxwell Anderson, the film once more recounts the tale of Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), who lives in Judea with his family during the time that Jesus Christ was becoming known for his "radical" teachings. Ben-Hur's childhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd) is now an ambitious Roman tribune; when Ben-Hur refuses to help Messala round up local dissidents on behalf of the emperor, Messala pounces on the first opportunity to exact revenge on his onetime friend. Tried on a trumped-up charge of attempting to kill the provincial governor (whose head was accidentally hit by a falling tile), Ben-Hur is condemned to the Roman galleys, while his mother (Martha Scott) and sister (Cathy O'Donnell) are imprisoned. But during a sea battle, Ben-Hur saves the life of commander Quintus Arrius (Jack Hawkins), who, in gratitude, adopts Ben-Hur as his son and gives him full control over his stable of racing horses. Ben-Hur never gives up trying to find his family or exact revenge on Messala. At crucial junctures in his life, he also crosses the path of Jesus, and each time he benefits from it. The highlight of the film's 212 minutes is its now-legendary chariot race, staged largely by stunt expert Yakima Canutt. Ben-Hur's Oscar haul included Best Picture, Best Director for the legendary William Wyler, Best Actor for Heston, and Best Supporting Actor for Welsh actor Hugh Griffith as an Arab sheik.
Top customer reviews
The actors Charlton Heston,Stephen Boyd,Jack Hawkins,Haya Harraret,etc,etc did wonderful performances in our opinion. The movie's beginning shows two childhood friends Messala the Roman and Judah Ben Hur the Hebrew who met each other again as adults. Messala this time became a Roman Tribune. A serious conflict between the two arose when Ben Hur refused Messala's offer to help him capture suspected Jewish conspirators against Rome. Ben Hur refused to be treacherous to his own people or be branded as a traitor.
One day, a loose tile from the roof of the Hur house fell and accidentally hit a Roman official on the road below. Although innocent, Ben Hur together with his mother and his sister were arrested and imprisoned. BenHur was then sent to the Roman ships (galleys) as one of the enslaved oarsmen. On the way to Rome, the entire ship sank. Ben Hur managed to save the life of the Roman Ship Commander named Arrius until they were rescued by other Romans. Arrius then later adopted him as a son. This led to his becoming in charge of the horses in the stables and eventually to the magnificent breathtaking 4-horse chariot races in the Circus Maximus (wherever) with BenHur as one of the charioteers.
It so happened that Messala the Tribune was also a charioteer and the two former childhood friends met again as enemies. Since this is a movie review, I will not go further to tell the end or the events leading to the movie's ending.
One has to watch this movie from its beginning to its ending to fully appreciate its magnificence and beauty. BenHur's encounter with Jesus Christ earlier and then up to His crucifixion is unquestionably very inspiring. It is also fascinating to watch officials climbing certain steps to get to the top of the magninicent buildings (there were no elevators of today then) in order to give the signals that the race is about to begin. The blaring of multiple Roman trumpets to announce the appearance of the Roman emperor was very majestic. Then during this brutalizing race, there were chariot accidents with serious injuries (even being trampled). The appearance of the Roman "paramedics or ambulances (very ambulatory indeed) " to get the injured safely out of the tracks are thrilling to watch. One reviewer actually said that one of these Hollywood stuntmen sustained serious injuries during the filming. The filming it was said was made in Rome or somewhere in Italy (not Hollywood) and no "green screens" were used. At that time there were also no computer generated tricks that could be used. The closeups and the audio and the editing,etc,were just amazing as the risks taken to film the chariot race.
Some reviewers are actual movie filming technology experts and some of their criticisms appear valid. The task of judging the movie for its PRECISE OPTIMAL TECHNOLOGY belongs to these professionals which certainly is not me or not most of us. However,the good quality of the video-audio of my DVD copy (not BluRay) as well as the MESSAGE that this movie brings are sufficient enough for us to give it 5 stars. We recommend young or old to watch this outstanding movie. We believe that however old the movie maybe, it will never be forgotten.
Set in Jerusalem, well mostly Israel during the time of Jesus and his ministries. The story follows Ben-Hur, no duh right, as he goes through his life, free man, criminal, slave, finally set free. I find some of the old classics rather boring. Which ones I will keep to myself, as other may disagree. We all have our own preferences. As we should, otherwise we would all be the same and that would be boring.
Ok so this movie has boats, chariot races, arena fights, leaves, Jesus, love, war, hatred, forgiveness, miracles, hope, everything that makes a great movie with a GREAT story. Highly recommend watching it.
The book is obviously highly researched and gives really interesting and detailed perspective of the sociopolitical climate which existed during the time of Christ. This was interesting to me for academic as well as religious reasons.
I would give a warning of the book, which is that the language is thick and takes some getting used to. Also there were parts of the book wherein too much (for my taste) historical detail or lore of the time were described but seemed to add little to the plot and so were a little tiresome.
But over all it was a very good read.