Ben-Hur (1959) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ben-Hur (1959)

Judah Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince about the year 26 A.D. His longtime Roman friend Messala betrays him for no reason and sends Ben-Hur into slavery on a Roman galley, while Ben-Hur's mother Miriam and sister Tirzah go to prison. Ben-Hur vows revenge, saves the life of Roman commander Quintus Arrius during wartime, and is set free. Finally, he gets a chance to avenge himself in a glorious chariot race in Rome, but when he finds his kin, they are residents of a leper colony in Jerusalem. Based on the 1880 novel by Union General Lew Wallace, this 1959 film was the most expensive up to that time -- $15 million to make -- in a successful effort to save MGM from bankruptcy. (The same studio had filmed the 1925 silent version of this story.) More than 3-1/2 hours long, this classic epic -- a bit talky and creaky for today's audience but still visually sweeping -- won 11 Academy Awards, a feat matched only 38 years later by "Titanic."
Click here to see the rest of this review

The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

Ben Hur tells the plight of a Jewish prince who was betrayed by his friend and sent to the Roman galley ships as a prisoner. He later regains his freedom & saves his family from a certain death in a leper colony.
The review of this Movie prepared by MonaK

Based on Lew Wallace novel, BEN-HUR has been released in 1959. the picture won eleven academy awards.

Stephen Boyd has just been appointed consul of Judea by Rome. He doesn't manage to convince his close friend, the native Judas Ben-Hur to help him impose the Roman culture on the jewish people. Their friendship soon turns into hate and Ben-Hur is sent as a galley slave on a roman ship. After having saved the life of a general, Ben-Hur is adopted by him and, seven years after having left home, returns to Judea with two ideas in mind : to take revenge on Stephen Boyd and to find his own mother and his sister. He'll learn that the two women are suffering from leprosy but is nevertheless looking forward to meet them.
The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler

Script Analysis of Ben-Hur (1959)

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   Roman Era Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   slave Ethnic/Regional/Gender story?    -   Yes Ethnic/region/relig    -   Jew, regular    -   Italian

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   Prince/Nobleman/King Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Jewish


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy Asia/Pacific/Middle East    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Israel Water?    -   Yes Water:    -   warship Misc setting    -   sports arena

Writing Style

Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   kissing Any profanity?    -   None If this is a kid's movie...    -   Ages 10-15 Is this movie based on a    -   book

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like Ben-Hur (1959)

Ben-Hur (1959) Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian