Ben Hur

directed by William Wyler
Category: "Action/Adventure"
Year of Release:1959
Date Added:11/25/2007
Date Watched:11/05/2005
Description:When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

My Rating:6

Reviews for Ben Hur

Review - Ben Hur

Hmmm. How to describe a four-hour movie in two paragraphs. Judah Ben-Hur is a rich Jew living in Jerusalem with his mother and sister. He is about the same age as Jesus Christ. When he reaches his late 20s, his childhood buddy Messala returns as a Roman tribune. Things begin friendly enough, but when Judah refuses to rat on Jews opposed to Rome, Messala calls him a traitor. Shortly thereafter, a Roman governor parades through town. While watching from the roof, Judah’s sister accidentally dislodges at tile that strikes the governor. Messala knows they are innocent, but has them arrested. Judah is sent away as a galley slave on a Roman ship. His mother and sister are thrown into prison. On his way to the ship, Judah is saved from dying of thirst by Jesus, who gives him water. He serves on ships for three years and impresses the captain, Arrius who instructs that Judah should not be chained during a battle. When the ship sinks, Judah escapes, then saves Arrius from drowning. Back in Rome, Arrius adopts Judah as his son. Judah returns to Jerusalem. On the way he meets a Shiek who asks him to drive his chariot in the big race. Judah discovers that his mother and sister have caught leprosy and are living with other lepers in a colony. Messala is the champion chariot racer, so to get his revenge. Judah takes up the Shiek’s offer. Messala fights dirty, but is defeated and dies as the result of a crash. Despairing for his family, Judah and his love, Esther, go to the colony and get the two women to bring to Jesus, whom Esther heard preaching. They find Jesus on trial and watch as he’s led off to be crucified. Judah follows to watch. Esther and the two leper women go into the countryside and hide in a cave during a big storm. Somehow, at the moment Jesus dies, their leprosy is cured. The family is reunited.

The healing of the leprosy bugged me, as did the fact that the movie ended with the crucifixion. And it was way too long and slow. Apart from that, the characters were well cast and well played, the plot was pretty good, and the chariot race was fun.
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