Ben-Hur (1959 film)

Ben-Hur (1959 Film)

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Ben-Hur (1959 film)

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Ben-Hur (or Benhur) is a 1959 American epic film directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston in the title role, the third film version of Lew Wallace's 1880 novel A Tale of the Christ. It premiered at Loew's State Theatre in New York City on November 18, 1959. The film went on to win a record of eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, a feat equaled only by Titanic in 1997 and The Return of the King in 2003.


The film's prologue depicts the traditional story of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.

In AD 26, Prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is a wealthy merchant in Jerusalem. His childhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd), now a military tribune, arrives as the new commanding officer of the Roman garrison. Ben-Hur and Messala are happy to reunite after years apart, but politics divide them; Messala believes in the glory of Rome and its imperial power, while Ben-Hur is devoted to his faith and the freedom of the Jewish people. Messala asks Ben-Hur for names of Jews who criticize the Roman government; Ben-Hur counsels his countrymen against rebellion but refuses to name names, and the two part in anger.

Ben-Hur, his mother Miriam (Martha Scott), and sister Tirzah (Cathy O'Donnell) welcome their loyal slave Zaimonides (Sam Jaffe) and his daughter Esther (Haya Harareet), who is preparing for an arranged marriage. Ben-Hur gives Esther her freedom as a wedding present, and the two realize they are in love with each other.

During the parade for the new governor...
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