1925, Drama/History, 2h 25m23 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings
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Critic Reviews for Ben-Hur
Ramon Novarro, who plays the part of Ben-Hur, is a sturdy, handsome young chap, with an excellent figure. His performance is all that one could wish, for he is fervent and earnest throughout.
Ben Hur is a picture for all times. No matter what happens to others, Ben Hur will remain, as the Bible remains.
The part of Ben Hur Is magnificently played by Ramon Navarro. In his hands the character shows a gradual and logical development, beginning with Judah's boyish bearing in the streets of Jerusalem, adopting a harder tone [as the film progresses].
There have been few attempts made to adapt masterpieces of history to the screen; very few of these attempts have been adequate. This cannot be said of Ben Hur.
The strangest thing:about a deliberately spectacular film is that, when'it i most spectacular, it ceases altogether to be personally dramatic.
At nearly 2½ hours long, the 1925 version is still an hour shorter than the 1959 version, yet the story is essentially the same, and the scale similarly impressive.October 17, 2005 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Audience Reviews for Ben-Hur
Dec 04, 2019The thing about silent films is that their limitations are often their strongest selling points. Yes, overacting to make a point. But often as well, sublime delivery. This outing of Lew Wallace's curious tale of a rich guy stripped of his wealth by The Man (the Romans) only to gain redemption and revenge in a horse race (?!?) is laden with Christian symbolism like a bakery has frosting, and is perhaps just as tempting, if such is your wont. Certainly everything is done in huge style here, and in the grandeur is its charm. Still, silent films are an acquired taste anymore, and for me of necessity needs a decent musical soundtrack to carry it. Having that, then this is a superior version to William Wyler's acclaimed Academy Award winner.Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
Sep 24, 2011I think I ought to re-watch this movie. I did just watch it last week, but it was so long I got bored and wasn't paying attention. I do remember a few good scenes, and the epic landscapes and enormous cast are really cool looking, but it's just so long. It really looks like an expensive picture, and the main cast does a good job, so I think it deserves a re-watch.Aj V Super Reviewer
Aug 16, 2011Subjectively speaking, the remake is obviously superior to the original silent classic technically. That's just like saying that The Matrix (1999) is superior to Metropolis (1927) also technically. However, this masterpiece outdoes the epic remake in a more objective way in basically every single aspect. What is funny, though, is that pretentious critics nowadays show harshness towards Wyler's version because of its popularity, when deep inside they know they fought against themselves quite strongly so they could rate it below 4 stars. They have no solid arguments whatsoever. The ones that criticize the silent version and put the remake over the original also lack solid reasons. Can't all of us be objective, then? Cinema is a serious game. And about Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, it is the best version of the story for a good number of reasons, almost reaching the scope of Griffith's Intolerance, below Abel Gance's Napoleon, but representing a longstanding legend for the Golden Age of US moviemaking. 99/100Edgar C Super Reviewer
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