Ben-Hur

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96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

85%

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User Ratings: 2,728

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Movie Info

In this silent classic, Judah ben-Hur (Ramon Novarro) discovers that he has been betrayed by his childhood friend Messala (Francis X. Bushman), leading to separation from his family. Punished for an accident, Ben-Hur is unjustly forced to serve on a Roman ship, where he becomes a friend to the vessel's admiral, Quintus Arrius (Frank Currier). Eventually, Ben-Hur has the chance to compete against Messala in a chariot race, providing him with a shot at vengeance.

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News & Interviews for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Critic Reviews for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

  • Dec 04, 2019
    The 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, 2011
    I 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, 2011
    Subjectively 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. 99/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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